Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: PRO14: Round 12 Preview

PRO14: Round 12 Preview

Zebre and Leinster prepare to scrum

Darry Worthington takes a look at the seven Round 12 PRO14 fixtures, which get underway on Friday the 21st of February.

It's a big week in the PRO14 with a number of internationals away of 6 Nations duty. The absence of these big names may well open the door for some of the smaller provinces and unions to spring a surprise or two.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports
Friday 21 February

Edinburgh v Connacht
Friday 21 February
Murrayfield
21:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Edinburgh 7/20
Draw 20/1
Connacht 49/20

The first of the weekend's fixtures will see Scottish club Edinburgh take on Irish Province Ulster. The visitors currently reside in second-place on the Conference A standings but can ill-afford a loss as the Free State Cheetahs are only two points behind them. Edinburgh are also sitting pretty on their log, currently residing at the summit of Conference B.

Edinburgh head into this one in solid touch having won four of their last five fixtures while Connacht managed to snap a four-game losing streak by beating the Cardiff Blues 29-0 last weekend.

Verdict: Edinburgh 7/20
Both teams are missing a number of stars which is why I won't be having a big punt on this one. I may throw a small sum of money on the Edinburgh minus should a minus handicap under seven points become available.

Ospreys v Leinster
Friday 21 February
The Gnoll
21:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Ospreys 47/10
Draw 25/1
Leinster 1/7

Leinster will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season when they take on the Ospreys at the very traditional, Gnoll.

The visitors racked up their 11th win of the campaign last weekend as they ran out 36-12 victors over South African side, the Free State Cheetahs.

Ospreys also enjoyed a decent time of it in Round 11 beating Ulster 24-26. This victory ended a long-running losing streak.

Verdict: Leinster 1/7
They may be missing a number of their Irish internationals but I can still see Leinster running up a big score against an Ospreys side that has only won two PRO 14 games this season.

Zebre v Munster
Friday 21 February
Stadio Giovanni Mari
21:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Zebre 13/2
Draw 30/1
Munster 1/12

A severely understrength Zebre side will take on what is essentially Munster's second-string side in Friday evening's final fixture.

The Italian outfit have only won two games this term and head into this fixture off the back of a 56-24 loss to the Glasgow Warriors.

Munster have enjoyed a far more profitable opening 11 rounds and currently sit second on the Conference B standings with seven wins from their 11 fixtures. One of these victories came last week when they beat the Southern Kings 68-3.

Verdict: Munster 1/12
They may be understrength by Munster should have little problems beating Zebre by more than 20 points.

Saturday 22 February

Glasgow Warriors v Dragons
Scoutstoun
Saturday 22 February
21:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Glasgow 1/14
Draw 30/1
Dragons 7/1

The Warriors play hosts to the Dragons in Saturday's opener. The home side currently sit third on the Conference A standings and can ill-afford a loss here as it could see them drop further below the Free State Cheetahs. The Dragons are a place behind their hosts on the Conference A standings but are a full 11-points adrift.

Both teams come into this one in relatively good form with Glasgow winning three and drawing one of their last five fixtures, while the Dragons have won three of their last five.

In terms of last weekend's results, the Dragons enjoyed a bye while Glasgow beat Zebre 56-24.

Verdict: Glasgow 1/14
I'm expecting big things from what will be a youthful Warriors side. My money is on them winning this one by more than 15 points.

Ulster v Free State Cheetahs
Saturday 22 February
Ravenhill Stadium
21:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Ulster 1/8
Draw 30/1
Cheetahs 52/10

Ulster will be looking to put some space between themselves and the Cheetahs when the two sides meet this Saturday. The duo is only separated by six points on the Conference A standings, so this game is effectively a four-point swing.

Both teams have won three of their last five games, with the Cheetahs most recent victory coming against the Kings in Round 10 and Ulster's coming in Round 6 of the Champions Cup where they beat Bath 22-15.

Neither side had a good time of it during last week's round of PRO14 fixtures with the Cheetahs hammered by Leinster and Ulster going down narrowly to the Ospreys.

Verdict: Ulster 1/8
I reckon home ground advantage should be enough to see Ulster to a very narrow win over their South Africa opponents.

Cardiff Blues v Treviso
Sunday 23 February
Cardiff Arms Park
21:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Cardiff 3/10
Draw 25/1
Treviso 5/2

The Blues and Treviso will square off in the penultimate fixture of the weekend. The Blues have struggled for results in recent weeks and have only registered two wins from their last five fixtures. They also head into this one off the back of a 29-0 loss to Irish Province, Connacht.

Treviso have also been out of sorts of late losing their last three fixtures. They have been out of action since the final round of the Champions Cup pool stage, however, and the long break may well aid their cause.

Verdict: Cardiff 
Treviso will struggle here. They are missing a number of internationals and they just don't have the squad depth to cope. I can see Cardiff winning this one by more than 12.

Scarlets v Kings
Sunday 23 February
Parc Y Scarlets
21:05

To Win (80 Mins)
Scarlets 1/100
Draw 30/1
Kings 12/1

The hapless Kings will be looking to bounce back from their mammoth 68-3 loss to Munster when they take on a solid Scarlets outfit in the final game of the round.

The hosts have been in decent touch this term winning seven of the 11 games they have played. Contrastingly, the Kings have only managed to one of their 11.

Verdict: Scarlets 1/100
The Kings were always going to struggle on tour and I think things will get a lot worse for them this weekend. My money is on the hosts taking it by more than 22 points.

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets.

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