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Peter Jackson: Six Clues to Guinness PRO12 Round 5

Guinness PRO12 Rugby Editor

30 Sep 2016

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Friday

Newport Gwent Dragons v Glasgow Warriors, Rodney Parade, kick-off 7.35pm

Three successive defeats for the Warriors are almost as rare as blue moons over Clydeside.  They did lose three on the trot six years ago, a run that started at Rodney Parade against a Dragons team captained then by Luke Charteris and they have already bitten the dust in Wales this month, in Cardiff a fortnight ago.

Connacht v Edinburgh, The Sportsground, kick-off 7.35pm

Pat Lam’s dismissal of the notion that the champions are in crisis needs backing up on the field as a matter of urgency. Edinburgh, with ex-Scotland fly half Duncan Hodge at the helm instead of Alan Solomons, have won just once in the Guinness PRO12 outside BT Murrayfield in 12 months.

Saturday

Munster v Zebre, Thomond Park, kick-off 5.00pm

Munster expect Simon Zebo to be resuming normal service following his recovery from a rib injury which is not exactly what Zebre want to hear. On their last two trips to Limerick, the damage inflicted by Zebo ran to five tries – two at Thomond Park last March and three at the same venue the previous season.

Ulster v Ospreys, Kingspan Stadium, kick-off 6.30pm

Ospreys won’t be one bit surprised if they find a familiar figure lining up against them, Tommy Bowe who helped the Welsh birds of prey win the PRO12 title before returning home. He, along with fellow Ireland wing Andrew Trimble, are ready to reinforce Ulster’s position at the top.

 Cardiff Blues v Leinster, BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, kick-off 7.35pm

The Blues have to go back a very long way to find their last win over Leinster, to May 2007 when they scuppered the Irish province’s title bid only to leave the way clear for the Ospreys to take it instead. After a flying start, the unbeaten Blues know this is the acid test of their ability to go all the way.

Benetton Treviso v Scarlets, Stadio Monigo, kick-off 8.05pm

Despite their troubles last season, Treviso still managed to achieve a Welsh double – beating the Blues and Dragons in successive weeks last February for two of their three wins throughout a difficult campaign.    Having seen the Dragons off last week in convincing fashion, they are now in position to attempt another Welsh double.