Round 3 predictions: Cheetahs keep on running and Benetton to win at Liberty at last

Charlie Talbot-Smith
10 October 2019

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What a mouth-watering set of match-ups we have this weekend.

The high flyers face off when Toyota Cheetahs welcome Munster and Leinster host Edinburgh, while down at the bottom two winless sides in Ospreys and Benetton look to kick-start their campaign.

It’s almost too close to call and it is always hard to judge where teams stand after only two weeks.

But I’ll have a go! And for those who think they can do better (which I’m sure is most of you), make your own predictions on the Guinness PRO14 app!

Friday

Toyota Cheetahs v Munster

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?

Both sides have taken maximum points from their first two games and top their respective conferences so this is a hard one to call.

Munster have never before lost to a South African side but have been hit by a couple of injuries, most notably to Chris Cloete, and the free-wheeling Cheetahs have been scoring points for fun.

I just fancy these Cheetahs to claim another scalp this weekend with Rhyno Smith again to the fore.

Toyota Cheetahs victory, Munster losing BP

Dragons v Connacht

The Dean Ryan revolution at Rodney Parade is up and running.

A first away win in over five years last time out got them going, and they could make it two wins in a row in the league for the first time since 2016.

They beat Connacht here two years ago after all.

But Andy Friend’s side play some lovely stuff, and gave Benetton a beatdown last time out.

Dragons have some injury concerns as well, so expect Connacht to get over the line.

Connacht victory, losing BP for Dragons

Leinster v Edinburgh

Another huge clash between two unbeaten sides.

Edinburgh are flying a little below the radar so far this season considering their impressive start, but Mark Bennett is in red-hot form and Leinster will have surely taken note.

The boys in blue seldom lose at the RDS, and the bad news for the rest of the league is that the last time they opened their season with three in a row, back in the 2017/18 campaign, they also won the title.

Leinster victory with BP

Saturday

Scarlets v Zebre

Inconsistency was the real killer for Scarlets last season in their final year under Wayne Pivac.

They have failed to string three wins together for over a year now, but under Brad Mooar they look a different prospect this season.

Their backs to the wall defensive display at Scotstoun was mighty impressive and they should have far too much for Zebre this weekend back in Llanelli.

The Italians have only won once on 26 previous visits to Wales, and I can’t see that run ending any time soon.

Scarlets victory with BP

Isuzu Southern Kings v Ulster

Expect an Ulster backlash this weekend after their licking in Bloemfontein last time out.

They have never before lost to the Kings in Port Elizabeth, but this season’s Kings side look a tougher proposition.

There will not be much in it, but Dan McFarland’s side with the in-form Craig Gilroy on the hard ground will probably just have too much in the end to get over the line.

Ulster win with BP, losing BP for Isuzu Southern Kings

Glasgow Warriors v Cardiff Blues

Dave Rennie’s side need to turn things around, and quickly.

Not since 2003/04 have the Warriors lost three games in a row to open their league season.

They almost pulled off a dramatic comeback last weekend against the Scarlets, but failed to find the killer blow at the death.

This weekend though, the Blues could bear the full force.

The Blues are traditionally poor travellers, but a win in Port Elizabeth on the opening weekend went some way to dispelling that, however the Warriors will surely have too much on Saturday.

Warriors victory with BP

Ospreys v Benetton Rugby

The Ospreys do not lose at home to Italian sides. They have played 23 and won 23 in their Guinness PRO14 history.

But this clash between two winless sides might just see that record come to an end.

Benetton were unfortunate not to see off Leinster in round one and after a hammering in Galway, will arrive at the Liberty Stadium itching to put things right.

Benetton Rugby victory, losing BP for Ospreys


Cardiff City Stadium will play host to the 2020 Guinness PRO14 Final on June 20 as one of the most exciting days in the club rugby calendar comes to Wales!

General sale tickets are available from http://bit.ly/PRO14Cardiff2020 and prices start at just £13 for concessions and £26 for adults (subject to booking fees), that’s a 15% early bird discount. Family ticket (2 adults / 2 children) prices begin at £64 and fans are encouraged to buy early to get the best value tickets.

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