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Preview: Pro12, Round 10

Fri, 30 Nov 2012 02:43
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The pick of the games in the Pro12 Round 10 will not take place until Sunday, when second placed Scarlets welcome table-topping Ulster to Llanelli.

Ulster are the only team with a 100% winning record still intact, although they were held close in their last two games in Italy, but Scarlets, having claimed the scalp of Munster in Cork last weekend, will be anxiousto add another Irish Province to their tally.

Ulster have already pulled out a 6 point lead over Scarlets at the top of the table, and should this result go their way could see that gap increase into double figures.

The round starts on Friday night with reigning champions Ospreys, facing Cardiff Blues at Liberty Stadium, where the visitors will need all their skills if they are to overcome the odds and return with the points, something they have only achieved once on Ospreys soil since the regions were formed.

The remaining four games are on Saturday, one in Italy and three in Ireland. Newport Gwent Dragons are the third Welsh Region to visit Stadio Monigo in Treviso this season, and none of them have yet come away with a win.

Zebre, make their first visit to the home of the European champions, Leinster. The Italian outfit lost by the slimmest of margins the last time they played an Irish province , the rearranged game against Ulster, but the RDS in Dublin will be a very hard place to go in search of a maiden win.

Edinburghy, having defeated champions Ospreys last time out, travel to the west of Ireland to face Connacht at the Sportsground. Always difficult place to visit, Edinburgh have not won in Galway since 2008.

And finally there will be a point to prove at Thomond Park when Munster take on Glasgow Warriors. Both teams weredefeated last time out, halting Warriors potential record breaking winning run and leaving Munster just outside the Play-Off zone in 5th spot, so both will be looking for the victory to get back on track.

All of the match details for Round 10:

Friday, November 30

Ospreys v Cardiff Blues
(Liberty Stadium, Kick-off: 19.05pm)

Ospreys last seven games in all competitions have all been won by the home side on the day. The Welshmen are unbeaten at Liberty Stadium since Glasgow Warriors were the visitors on 14 September.

Ospreys have won their last four matches against fellow Welsh regions, and have lost only once at home to such a side since 2007.

Cardiff Blues ended a four game losing run in the PRO12 with their 14-7 victory over Zebre in Italy on Sunday.

The Blues only win over a rival Welsh region in their last seven encounters was 16-5 at the Dragons on 15 September.

Ospreys are unbeaten in their last four fixtures with the Blues in all competitions, whilst the Cardiff based outfit have triumphed just once on Ospreys soil since the regions were formed in 2003: 28-9 at Liberty Stadium on 22 December 2005.

Teams:

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell 14 Tom Isaacs, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Jonathan Spratt, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Joe Bearman (captain), 7 Sam Lewis, 6 George Stowers, 5 James King, 4 Lloyd Peers, 3 Owen Williams, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Duncan Jones, 17 Matthew Dwyer, 18 Nicky Thomas, 19 Ian Gough, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Ross Jones.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Rhys Patchell, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Owen Williams, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Josh Navidi (captain), 6 Rory Watts-Jones, 5 James Down, 4 Michael Paterson, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Marc Breeze, 1 Sam Hobbs
Replacements: 16 Andi Kyriacou, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Andries Pretorius, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Jason Tovey.

Referee: Leighton Hodges (WRU, 22nd competition game)
Assistant Referees: Gwyn Morris, Wayne Davies (both WRU)
TMO: Paul Adams (WRU)

Saturday, December 1

Treviso v Newport Gwent Dragons
(Stadio Monigo, Kick-off: 15.00; 14.00 GMT)

Treviso are going for a trio of home wins against Welsh opposition this season, having already beaten Ospreys and Scarlets at the Stadio Monigo.

Treviso have lost just one of their last six home games against Welsh regions.

Newport Gwent Dragons ended a seven game losing streak in all competitions with their 14-3 home win over Connacht on Friday.

Dragons have not won on the road since they visited Edinburgh on 23 March.

Treviso have won three of the four previous PRO12 encounters they have played against the Dragons.

Teams:

Treviso: 15 Brendan Williams, 14 Luke McLean, 13 Christian Loamanu, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Ludovico Nitoglia, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Simone Favaro, 5 Corniel Van Zyl, 4 Antonio Pavanello (captain), 3 Lorenzo Cittadini 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Enrico Ceccato, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Ignacio Fernandez-Rouyet, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 20 Francesco Minto, 21 Paul Derbyshire, 22 Tobias Botes, 23 Luca Morisi.

Newport Gwent Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Will Harries, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Tonderai Chavhanga, 10 Dan Evans, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Tom Brown, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (captain), 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Dan Way, 2 Hugh Gustafson, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Steve Jones, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Ian Nimmo, 20 Ieuan Jones, 21 Wayne Evans, 22 Lewis Robling, 23 Jack Dixon.

Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU)
Assistant Referees: Stefano Penne, Stefano Marrama (both FIR)
TMO: Alan Falzone (FIR)

Connacht v Edinburgh
(Sportsground, Kick-off: 17.00 GMT)

Connacht's last six PRO12 fixtures have all been won by the home side on the day.

The Irishmen have won just one of their last five games against Scottish opponents: 26-13 over Edinburgh in this equivalent match last season.

Edinburgh's seven game losing streak in all competitions came to an end with their 23-13 home win over Ospreys on Friday.

Edinburgh's solo away victory since January remains the 21-19 win at Cardiff Blues on 7 September.

Edinburgh have lost their last 11 encounters with Irish provinces since they beat Munster 29-14 at Murrayfield on 30 September 2011.

The last seven clashes between the two teams have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst Edinburgh's most recent victory in Galway came on 24 October 2008.

Teams:

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Tiernan O'Halloran, 13 Danie Poolman, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Gavin Duffy (captain), 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Johnny O'Connor, 5 Andrew Browne, 4 Mick Kearney, 3 Ronan Loughney, 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 JP Cooney, 19 Danny Qualter, 20 Dave Gannon, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Fetu'u Vainikolo.

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Tom Brown, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 9 Richie Rees, 8 Stuart McInally, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 David Denton, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Perry Parker, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Andy Titterrell, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Alun Walker, 17 John Yapp, 18 Lewis Niven, 19 Robert McAlpine, 20 Izak van der Westhuizen, 21 Chris Leck, 22 Gregor Hunter, 23 Dougie Fife.

Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR, 14th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Leo Colgan, Eddie Hogan-O’Connell (both IRFU)

Leinster v Zebre
(Royal Dublin Society, Kick-off: 20.00 GMT)

Leinster's only loss in their last six games in all competitions was 10-19 at Ospreys in the PRO12 on 4 November.

The Leinstermen have a 100 percent winning record at home in all tournaments this season.

Zebre have picked up three of their four league points so far in the PRO12 in the last two games, gaining two points in their narrow defeat to Ulster and another losing bonus point at home to Cardiff Blues on Sunday.

The two sides have never met before.

Teams:

Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Gordon D'Arcy, 12 Andrew Goodman, 11 Fergus McFadden, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Sean O'Brien, 7 Rhys Ruddock, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Damian Browne, 4 Leo Cullen (captain), 3 Michael Bent, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Fionn Carr.

Zebre: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Gonzalo Garcia (captain), 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Daniel Halangahu, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Filippo Cristiano, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Nicola Cattina, 5 Josh Sole, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 David Ryan, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Carlo Fazzari, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Nicola Belardo, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 David Odiete, 23 Paolo Buso.

Referee: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Stuart Gaffikin (Ireland), Richard Kerr (Ireland)
TMO: Alan Rogan (Ireland)

Munster v Glasgow Warriors
(Thomond Park, Kick-off: 21.45 GMT)

Munster's three game winning run in all competitions ended at home to Scarlets in Cork on Sunday.

The Munstermen's only defeat at Thomond Park in the PRO12 in the last twelve months was 18-9 to Leinster on 31 March. Munster
have lost just one of their last dozen games against Scottish opponents.

Glasgow Warriors' record breaking run of six straight PRO12 victories ended in a 0-6 defeat at home to Leinster on Friday -
only the second time in the history of the tournament that the Warriors have been 'nilled'.

Glasgow's only win in their last 14 visits to Ireland since 2009 was 23-19 at Leinster on 17 September 2011.

Munster have won their last five encounters with Glasgow, whilst the Warriors have not won at Thomond Park since 18 February 2006.

Teams:

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett (captain), 13 Keith Earls, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Donnacha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 David Kilcoyne.
Replacements 16 Damian Varley 17 Wian Du Preez, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Casey Laulala.

Glasgow: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Peter Horne, 11 DTH Van Der Merwe, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Henry Prygos, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 John Barclay, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Al Kellock, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Mike Cusack, 2 Dougie Hall, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Moray Low, 18 Gordon Reid, 19 Josh Strauss, 20 James Eddie, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 Scott Wight, 23 Byron McGuigan.

Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher (Ireland), John Carvill (Ireland)
TMO: Dermot Moloney (Ireland)

Sunday, December 2

Scarlets v Ulster
(Parc y Scarlets, Kickoff: 16.00 GMT)

Scarlets have won their last four games in the PRO12, whilst their only defeat in the tournament at Parc y Scarlets in their last 13 fixtures was 16-23 to Ospreys on 21 September.

No Irish province has won at the stadium since Leinster were the visitors on 24 September 2011.

Ulster’s superb unblemished start to the 2012/13 campaign continues apace with eleven straight wins in all competitions.

The Ulstermen are attempting to complete a clean sweep of victories away from home to the Welsh regions this season.

The last three matches between the two sides have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst Ulster’s only win in Llanelli came on 18 February 2011.

Teams:

Scarlets: 15 Dan Newton, 14 Kristian Phillips, 13 Gareth Maule, 12 Gareth Owen, 11 Andy Fenby, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Kieran Murphy, 7 Johnathan Edwards (captain), 6 George Earle, 5 Richard Kelly, 4 Johan Snyman, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John.
Replacements 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Shaun Hopkins, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Craig Price, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Adam Warren, 23 Nick Reynolds.

Ulster: 15 Peter Nelson, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Roger Wilson , 7 Robbie Diack, 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Nigel McComb, 4 Johann Muller (captain), 3 John Afoa, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Callum Black.
Replacements: 16 Rory Best, 17 Tom Court, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Dan Tuohy, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Niall O'Connor, 23 Tommy Bowe.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU, 43rd competition game)
Assistant Referees: James Jones, Chris Williams (both WRU)
TMO: Nigel Whitehouse (WRU)

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