Leinster vs Ulster
The defending champions Leinster face their toughest test of the competition this weekend as they come up against Dan McFarland’s well-organised Ulster.
Ulster are impressing domestically and in Europe this season, and came within a whisker of beating Leo Cullen’s men at the Aviva back in April in the Champions Cup quarter-finals.
Although last year things got really close, the reality is that Leinster have not lost to Ulster or indeed any Irish province at the RDS since 2013.
The reigning champions have scored the most tries this season after seven rounds, conceded the fewest and come into the clash on an 11-match winning streak.
Ulster are certainly up against it this weekend but one should still expect a cracker of a game as both teams are well in-form at this stage.
Players To Watch:
Leinster — Ross Byrne
The flyhalf has scored 61 points for his team until now and has really done a great job deputising for Jonny Sexton in the competition. Byrne has one try to his name, has made six clean breaks and has assisted in three tries.
Ulster — John Cooney
The No 9 has been in exceptional form this year and no matter the competition he always seems to pitch up for his team. Cooney has scored three tries in the Pro 14 this season and has two tries assists to his name already. He is also the tournaments leading points scorer with 68.
Connacht vs Munster
Pool B is currently separated by just a point, as first-placed Munster travel to second-placed Connacht and in a conference where there are just four points between the top four, every game counts.
The sides are coming off contrasting European results against English teams last weekend as Connacht kept their Champions Cup qualification hopes alive with a dramatic late win over Gloucester, while Munster suffered a narrow defeat at Saracens.
Munster’s recent record against Connacht will give them something to cheer about having lost just one of their last six fixtures but Connacht have also only lost just once in the last six rounds of PRO14 action.
Players To Watch:
Connacht — Caolin Blade
The No. 9 has scored five tries for his side in the Pro 14 this season and has gained over 450 metres with ball in hand. He also has 15 clean breaks and has beaten 24 defenders along the way.
Munster — Andre Conway
The Irish winger is someone to keep a close eye on as he is a player that can make something out of nothing. Conway has one try in the competition until now, but we expect him to up this tally in the coming weeks.
Glasgow Warriors vs Edinburgh
Glasgow Warriors will be desperate to get back to winning ways after they have lost their last two home games. The Scottish giants are currently in fourth position in Conference A, where they already trail leaders Leinster by 18 points.
A victory over Edinburgh won’t be straightforward however, with Richard Cockerill’s men lying just two points off the top spot in Conference B and having not tasted defeat in their last six matches.
Glasgow were 34-10 winners in the teams’ last encounter, while they have won 17, lost 16 and drawn one of the previous 1872 Cup meetings.
Edinburgh however do hold the advantage in the all-time battle for the 1872 Cup — with 82 wins, 61 losses and 22 draws.
Players To Watch:
Glasgow — Matt Fagerson
The flanker has made a total of 54 tackles this season and has found himself making over 200 metres with ball in hand. Fagerson has also found himself crossing the white line and has one try assist.
Edinburgh — Duhan van der Merwe
The Winger has been amazing with ball in hand and has scored 20 points (five tries) for his team already this season. He also has 15 clean breaks and one try assist to his name.