Guinness PRO14 2017/18: Round 2 Predictions

Guinness Pro14 predictions

Leinster v Cardiff Blues
Leo Cullen’s side started the season with a convincing victory over the Dragons in Newport, and will be confident of continuing their wining start against another Welsh side in Round Two. The Blues were disappointing in losing their opener at home to Edinburgh and a trip to the RDS is a daunting prospect for Danny Wilson’s men. Expect class to tell. Leinster by 16

Edinburgh v Dragons
After an impressive away win in Cardiff last week, optimism is high amongst the Edinburgh faithful that new coach Richard Cockerill can revive a side that has struggled in recent times. The Dragons were well beaten up front against Leinster although there were hints of promise amongst the back-line, and if they are to end their wretched away form from previous seasons these are the type of matches they must target. Edinburgh by 4

Glasgow v Ospreys
The pick of the games from Round Two as two of the play-off hopefuls go head-to-head. Dave Rennie’s Glasgow reign got off to a strong start with a gutsy win away in Galway, and there should be a big home crowd to mark his first game in charge at Scotstoun. Ospreys looked very rusty last week as they got off to an unconvincing start with a narrow home win over Zebre, and a big improvement will be needed if they are to get anything from this match. Glasgow by 8

Munster v Cheetahs
With Munster having kicked off their league campaign with a big win over Benetton Rugby at Irish Independent Park, South African side the Cheetahs are the first visitors this season to Thomond Park. After their season opener, confidence is clearly high within Rassie Erasmus’ squad and a home match against a side still finding their feet in this competition represents a good opportunity to get some more points on the board. Despite going down to Ulster last week, the Cheetahs were impressive in attack although it will be a tough ask to get anything from this match. Munster by 23

Benetton v Ulster
The Italian side were well beaten on the road in Cork last week but are often a much tougher side to crack at home. Ulster took some time to get going against the Cheetahs before eventually securing a bonus-point victory at the Kinsgpan. The Irish province secured a comfortable victory in this fixture last season and expect more of the same this time around. Ulster by 12

Connacht v Southern Kings
Having been narrowly defeated by Glasgow in Round One, Kieran Keane’s Connacht side have an early chance to redeem themselves to their home support against the South Africans. The Kings were given as tough an opening as possible with a trip to West Wales to face last season’s Pro12 champions Scarlets, and despite a bright start faded in the second-half losing 57-10. Things do not get much easier with a trip to Galway this week and with the hosts hurting from defeat last week, expect a convincing home win. Connacht by 18

Zebre v Scarlets
After a promising display against the Ospreys last week, Zebre continue their start to the season against more Welsh opposition in the shape of the Scarlets. Wayne Pivac’s side began the defence of their title with a convincing win over the Kings, carrying on from where they left off last season with another wonderful display of attacking rugby. The Italians should offer up more resistance but with the Scarlets in this vein of form they will take some stopping. Scarlets by 20

By Jon Davies

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