Round 7 Predictions: Munster march on and Leinster to continue unbeaten start

Will Jennings
28 November 2019

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Guinness PRO14 rugby is back with a bang this weekend, with seven tantalising fixtures lined up to keep all fans’ eyes glued to their screens.

Two high-flyers meet on Friday night as Munster host Edinburgh in Cork, while up in the north Ulster entertain Scarlets in a clash between the two second-place sides in Conference A and B.

And the weekend bonanza doesn’t end there as undefeated Leinster travel to Glasgow Warriors for a repeat of last season’s final, while Toyota Cheetahs are bidding to end their away day blues when they take on struggling Ospreys.

There are some tough calls to make but here goes – while you can also have your say by making your own predictions on the Guinness PRO14 app!

Friday

Munster v Edinburgh

With just five points separating the top four in Conference B, the stakes couldn’t be higher for what promises to be a captivating Friday night clash on the Emerald Isle.

Johann van Graan’s side sit at the summit of the standings with five wins from their opening six matches, while Edinburgh are lying not far behind having lost just two of their opening Guinness PRO14 games.

And this contest is developing into something of a rivalry between two sides with lofty ambitions, with the Munstermen triumphing 17-13 in a Champions Cup quarter-final bout at BT Murrayfield last season.

It’s so close to call, but I expect home advantage to prevail.

Munster victory, Edinburgh losing BP

Ulster v Scarlets

This is set to be another mouth-watering clash under the Kingspan lights, with Scarlets coming into the game off the back of a blistering start to the Guinness PRO14 season with five wins from six.

But Dan McFarland’s Ulster enjoyed a pair of European victories over the past fortnight, edging past Bath and ASM Clermont in two tightly-contested games.

And the Irish side also boast a formidable home record, with the Kingspan resembling a fortress this season after playing host to four wins from four in all competitions.

Keeping that in mind, Ulster look primed and ready to come out on top in this one.

Ulster victory with BP

Saturday

Benetton v Cardiff Blues

Both these sides saw last-second kicks transform draws into defeat in European action, with Northampton Saints inflicting late misery on Benetton and Leicester Tigers sealing eleventh hour victory over Cardiff Blues.

So both will be desperate for revenge now they are back in Guinness PRO14 action, as both lie in fifth and sixth in Conference B with just two wins apiece.

The two sides treated us to a scintillating encounter last season as Kieran Crowley’s team edged out a 27-25 thriller, but Blues will be buoyed by their Round 6 success that saw them ease past Franco Smith’s Cheetahs 30-17.

Another tough one, but I expect Benetton to triumph in Treviso with a narrow victory.

Benetton victory, Cardiff Blues losing BP

Connacht v Isuzu Southern Kings

Robbi Kempson’s resurgent Isuzu Southern Kings will come into this one in upbeat spirits, beating Ospreys in Swansea last time out to secure their first ever Guinness PRO14 away win.

But they face a staunch opponent in Connacht, who enjoyed an impressive start to the season but went down to a heavy defeat against reigning champions Leinster in Round 6.

For all Kings’ bravery and efforts, I expect Andy Friend’s men – who have six players returning from injury – to get back to winning ways emphatically at the Sportsground.

Connacht victory with BP

Dragons v Zebre

Two European victories will mean Dean Ryan’s side will come into this one with considerable momentum, facing a Zebre team still without a Guinness PRO14 win and sitting at the foot of Conference A.

But the visitors’ spirits will be lifted by Ryan’s absentees, with Jordan Williams – injured – and Taine Basham and Aaron Wainwright also missing after being selected in Wayne Pivac’s inaugural Wales squad.

At Rodney Parade, however, it’s difficult to look past Dragons picking up their third win of the season.

Dragons victory, Zebre losing BP

Glasgow Warriors v Leinster

Will Glasgow Warriors finally be the side to put an end to Leinster’s unbeaten start? That is the question on all fans’ lips heading into this enticing Round 7 encounter.

The champions meet last season’s runners-up, representing the main event of the weekend as Dave Rennie’s men bid to cut the deficit at the top of the Conference A table.

While it was Leo Cullen’s side who triumphed at Celtic Park in last year’s Grand Final, Warriors were the victors when the two teams met in the regular season as they ran out comfortable winners at the RDS Arena.

It’s going to make for fascinating viewing, but I can see Leinster squeezing through to continue their imperious start.

Leinster victory, Glasgow Warriors losing BP

Ospreys v Toyota Cheetahs

It’s been quite a week at Ospreys with uncertainty surrounding Allen Clarke’s reported departure dominating the headlines, but the players will be eager to let their rugby do the talking as Cheetahs descend on South Wales on Saturday night.

And while the hosts may be in a rut themselves after losing five in a row in all competitions, it remains a good time to play Smith’s side given their run of three consecutive away defeats in Guinness PRO14 action.

After recent events both on and off the field at Ospreys, however, Cheetahs may well be the ones who prevail here.

Toyota Cheetahs victory with BP


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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