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Tonight could be the night for Leinster

Guinness PRO12 Editor

21 Apr 2010

Leinster are one win away from not only finishing as top dogs in the regular Magners League table, but also from becoming the first team to clinch a home tie in the new Play-Off format to determine the 2010 champions.

Last weekend’s home win over the second placed Ospreys took the Dubliners to 50 points and meant they could not be ousted from the top four.

The 2008 champions play Connacht in Galway tonight and then travel to Glasgow to meet the Warriors on Friday. They currently lead the table by seven points and also have a game in hand on the chasing pack.

Victory over Connacht would ensure Leo Cullen’s squad finish as the No1 seeds for the Play-Offs and have home advantage on the weekend of 14-16 May, when they would face the fourth placed team.

If they finish top of the regular league – three points from their final three matches will guarantee them that – they will also go into the semi-finals will the added incentive of knowing that victory at that stage would earn them home advantage in Dublin in the Magners League Grand Final on Saturday, May 29.

The race for the other three Play-Off places is still wide open with the Ospreys (43 points), Munster (43), Glasgow Warriors (42), Edinburgh (40), Newport Gwent Dragons (38) and Cardiff Blues (36) all in with a mathematical chance of a top-four finish.

Munster host the Ospreys at Thomond Park on Saturday in a vital game, while the Warriors face Leinster on Friday night before travelling to Llanelli to meet the bottom-but-one Scarlets on the final weekend of regular league matches.

Edinburgh host Ulster, who are battling in the basement to finish ahead of Irish rivals Connacht, at Murrayfield on Sunday and then have to travel to Dublin to meet Leinster in their last league game.

The Dragons have two Welsh derbies to round off their stirring league campaign, hosting the Blues at Rodney Parade on Friday night and then travelling to Swansea to meet the Ospreys on the final weekend.

The Blues complete their regular league season with a home game against Munster


Wednesday, April 21 

Connacht v Leinster – Sportsground 19:45

Friday, April 23 

Newport Gwent Dragons v Cardiff Blues – Rodney Parade 19:05
Glasgow Warriors v Leinster – Firhill Stadium 20:00 

Saturday, April 24
Munster v Ospreys – Thomond Park 18:30 

Sunday, April 25

Scarlets v Connacht – Parc y Scarlets 14:05 
Edinburgh v Ulster – Murrayfield 16:05 

May 7/8/9

Cardiff Blues v Munster – Cardiff City Stadium
Leinster v Edinburgh – RDS
Ospreys v Dragons – Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Warriors – Parc y Scarlets
Ulster v Connacht – Ravenhill 

May 14/15/16

Magners League Play-Off Semi-Finals
ML1 v ML 4
ML2 v ML 3

Saturday, May 29 

Magners League Grand Final – 18:30