Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: PRO14: Semi-Finals Preview

PRO14: Semi-Finals Preview



Darry Worthington previews the two 2019/20 PRO14 semi-finals which will see Leinster tackle Munster and Edinburgh take on Ulster.

Image copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Jockeys Ride Horses
There's a very Irish theme to this year's PRO14 semi-finals with three Irish provinces and just one Scottish side set to do battle this coming weekend.

The first of the two fixtures see reigning champions Leinster take on arch-rivals Munster at the Aviva, while the next game is at Murrayfield where Edinburgh will look to keep Scottish hopes of a title alive when they take on Ulster.

Leinster v Munster
Saturday 5 September
Aviva Stadium
19:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Leinster 3/10
Draw 20/1
Munster 26/10

Handicap 
Leinster (-7.5) 17/20
Munster (+7.5) 17/20

There's an absolute grudge match in store here with Leinster squaring off with local rivals Munster. The two sides met just a fortnight ago with Leinster edging an absolute belter of a game 27-25. Leinster also managed to win the reverse tie between the sides by 13 points to six in a very attritional affair at Thomond Park back in December.

The hosts are yet to lose a game in any competition this year and head into Saturday's fixture off the back of a comfortable 10-28 away victory over Ulster. Munster weren't as prolific as their opponents during the round-robin phase of the tournament as they lost five of their 15 games. They do head into this one off the back of a very impressive 49-12 victory over Connacht.

Verdict: Munster (+7.5) 17/20
Leinster have won four of the last five games between the sides with Munster's last victory coming back in 2018. Both of the round-robin games between the sides would have not seen this handicap cleared which is why I'm on the Munster plus handicap.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphoneEdinburgh v Ulster
Saturday 5 September
Murrayfield
19:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Edinburgh 4/10
Draw 22/1
Ulster 21/10

Handicap
Edinburgh (-5.5) 17/20
Ulster (+5.5) 17/20

Next up we have Edinburgh taking on Ulster. The hosts finished top of the pops in Conference B having won 11 of their 14 fixtures. Ulster finished as runners-up in Conference A and registered eight wins and a draw during their 15 round-robin phase outings. 

In terms of last weekend's results, Ulster were well-beaten by a second strength Leinster while Edinburgh - fielding a weakened team themselves - went down 3-15 to domestic foes Glasgow. They had beaten the exact same opponents 15-30 the week prior. 

These two sides only met once during the shortened round-robin phase with Ulster running out 3-29 victors. Ulster have won four of the last five games between the sides with Edinburgh's last victory coming back in February 2018. Three of the last five games have been won by six points or less.

Verdict: Ulster (+5.5) 17/20
I really do fancy Munster to stay within the handicap. This is likely to be an attritional game with the knockout rugby pressure on. 

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