Three bold predictions for Round 6

Bradley West
07 November 2019

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Round 5 provided another absorbing weekend of action, as Benetton sneaked past Edinburgh in Treviso and Scarlets inflicted further away day misery on Toyota Cheetahs in Llanelli.

And Connacht continued to show that they may be a genuine force to be reckoned with this season, beating Ospreys away from home to help further emulate their 2015/16 form when they were crowned champions.

Meanwhile, Leo Cullen’s Leinster remained unbeaten against Dragons, while Ulster toppled Zebre under the Friday night Kingspan lights and Munster beat Cardiff Blues 33-23 in the Welsh capital.

So, with all that in mind and the shape of both conference tables really starting to take hold, here are three bold predictions for Round 6 – while you can also make your own on the Guinness PRO14 app!

Connacht to end to Leinster’s early hegemony

Cullen’s men face their toughest test so far this weekend, travelling to Andy Friend’s impressive Connacht side who currently sit second in the hotly-contested Conference B standings.

The defending champions have been in imperious form once again this season, demonstrating a potent combination of both style and substance in romping victories over Ospreys and Dragons but also a gritty 3-0 win over Zebre in Parma.

But Connacht will come into this one with desires to put those characteristics to the test, off the back of four consecutive victories that have seen them emerge as one of the competition’s early front-runners.

Winger Niyi Adeolokun has been in scintillating form in recent weeks, while this weekend will mark the return of Irish international duo Bundee Aki and Jack Carty who have recently returned from Japan.

And, although Leinster will also have their crop of international players back at their disposal, a trip to the Galway Sportsground is no easy test against a team full of confidence and playing some superb rugby this term.

Zebre to get off the mark

One can’t help but feel Italian side Zebre have been somewhat unfortunate in the Guinness PRO14 this season, delivering a defiant performance against Leinster and showing glimpses of attacking flair in their Round 5 defeat at Ulster.

But they remain without a win, sitting at the bottom of Conference A with an unfavourable and alarm bell-ringing points difference of -121.

Glasgow Warriors are the visitors to Parma this weekend, however, a team with only two victories so far and facing a difficult task on Zebre’s home soil.

Dave Rennie’s side may have romped past Isuzu Southern Kings 50-0 last time out, but losses against Scarlets and Dragons have raised question marks around their Guinness PRO14 credentials this campaign.

And against a Zebre side determined to pick up their inaugural win of the season, it feels as though the Italians may just edge this one to blow a new lease of life into the Conference A standings.

Van der Merwe and Bennett to run riot against Dragons

Richard Cockerill’s Edinburgh have had a curious start to their Guinness PRO14 season, showing occasional shades of brilliance but in Round 5 falling short of the mark against a motivated and tenacious Benetton side in Italy.

But in Duhan van der Merwe and Mark Bennett the former Leicester Tigers boss has two of the competition’s most exciting players, with van der Merwe hitting a devastating hat-trick against Scarlets and Bennett boasting a series of impressive Guinness PRO14 statistics.

The South African is the one who has really caught the eye at Murrayfield this season, however, staking claim to the second highest number of defenders beaten and clean breaks in the competition – 22 and 11 respectively – and gaining an impressive 286 metres for his side.

And up against Dean Ryan’s Dragons this weekend – who were on the receiving end of a Leinster romping at RDS Arena in Round 5 – the pairing will be licking their lips at the prospect of filling their Guinness PRO14 try-scoring pockets.

So, while it may be a bold prediction indeed, keep an eye out for a further van der Merwe hat-trick and Bennett dotting down at least once in what promises to be a high-scoring bonanza in the Scottish capital.


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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