Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: PRO14 2019/20: Round 1 Preview

PRO14 2019/20: Round 1 Preview

Rugby Players enter a scrum

The 2019/20 PRO14 season gets underway this Friday. Darry Worthington previews the opening set of fixtures, below.

With all the Rugby World Cup action coming thick and fast, one could be forgiven for having paid little attention to the looming start of the 2019/20 PRO14 season. If you haven't had the time to take a look at the betting or how the sides are shaping up before opening night on Friday, don't fret as our rugby scribe has you covered with his Round 1 preview.

Cheetahs v Glasgow Warriors
Friday 27 September
Toyota Stadium
19:05

To Win (80 Mins)
Cheetahs 11/20

Draw 22/1
Glasgow Warriors 29/20

A heavily under-strength Glasgow Warriors side will travel to South Africa to take on reigning Currie Cup champions, the Free State Cheetahs.

The visitors are without 12 of their international players who are away on international duty. The Cheetahs, on the other hand, are just without the services of Torsten van Jaarsveld who will take to the field for Namibia when they take on South Africa this coming weekend.

Verdict: Cheetahs 11/20
This is a massive chance for the Free Stater's with Glasgow missing a number of first-stringers. I fancy the hosts to take this one.
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Ulster v Ospreys 
Friday 27 September
Kingspan Stadium
20:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Ulster 1/8
Draw 30/1
Ospreys 5/1


Next up we have an Irish-Welsh affair with Ulster taking on the Ospreys. Both teams have been hit by international call-ups with Ulster missing prop Jack McGrath currently in Japan. Ospreys are also missing a big household name or two with prop Nicky Smith in with a shout of taking on Australia this weekend.

Both teams enjoyed decent seasons last term with Ospreys just mixing out on the play-offs and Ulster going down in the semi-finals.

Verdict: Ulster 1/8
The Irish Province should have too much about hem for an Ospreys side who are missing a number of key players. 
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Southern Kings v Cardiff Blues
Saturday 28 September

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
16:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Southern Kings 8/10
Draw 18/1

Cardiff 11/10

The Southern Kings will be looking for a fast start on home soil when they take on a Cardiff Blues outfit that are missing talisman Gareth Anscombe.

The Kings had a tough time of it in the PRO14 last season winning only two of their 21 games. These two victories did come on home soil, however.

Verdict: Kings 8/10
I won't be getting too involved in this one and will just have a small strike on the Kings straight win for interest's sake. 

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Munster v Newport Dragons
Saturday 28 September

Thomond Park
16:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Munster 1/11
Draw 30/1
Dragons 57/10

A depleted Munster side take on a Dragons outfit who endured a dire season last time around.

Munster have lost a whole host of internationals but they do have a great academy as well as some Wiley overseas pros who don't play international rugby anymore.

The Dragons have fewer players involved in the World Cup but they don't have a lot of quality in their ranks.

Verdict: Munster 1/11
They may be missing a number of their first-stringers but Munster will have far too much about them for a very average Dragons outfit. 

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Treviso v Leinster
Saturday 28 September
Stadio Communale Di Monigo
18:15

To Win (80 Mins)
Treviso 34/10
Draw 20/1

Leinster 2/9

Last year's surprise package, Treviso, will be looking to cause an upset of note when they take on reigning champions Leinster. The visitors will be without a number of first-choice players with the likes of Jonathon Sexton away with the Irish national side.

Treviso, who made the play-offs last season, haven't lost too many players to World Cup call-ups as a lot of their players are overseas hires.

Verdict: Treviso (+)
I fancy Treviso to keep this one tight. 
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Scarlets v ConnachtSaturday 28 September
Parc Y Scarlets
18:15

To Win (80 Mins)
Scarlets 13/20
Draw 18/1

Connacht 13/10

Two sides who are missing a number of key players will square off this Saturday with Scarlets hosting Connacht.

Connacht are missing their heavy-hitting inside centre Bundee Akee who is staring for Ireland in Japan while the hosts are without 11 of their Welsh internationals.

Verdict: Connacht 13/10
While both teams have been hard-hit but international call-ups, I feel Connacht have been slightly less disturbed. My money is on the visitors causing a major upset. 
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Edinburgh v Zebre
Saturday 28 September
Murrayfield

20:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Edinburgh 1/16
Draw 30/1
Zebre 7/1

Edinburgh will be looking to build on what was a solid close to the 2018/19 season when they take on Italian minnows, Zebre.

The hosts endured a slow start to last season's campaign but came home with a wet sail and almost snuck into the play-offs.

Zebre, in contrast, had a dour time of it throughout the entirety of last season and were only able to win three of their 21 fixtures.

Verdict: Edinburgh 1/16
I cannot see Edinburgh having any issues here. My money is on the hosts taking it by more than 20 points. 

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets