Five rounds…five wins - Leo Cullen’s Leinster have been simply superb at the start of the 2019-20 Guinness PRO14 season.
Cullen’s men beat Dragons 50-15 at RDS Arena on Friday night, marshalled around the field by 20-year-old fly-half Harry Byrne, a display worthy of being the only unbeaten side left in the competition.
Could that run end in Round 6 though? Some are predicting so with the defending champions heading to Connacht for Friday night rugby this weekend. The men in Galway are in fine form themselves following their impressive 20-10 victory on the road at Ospreys last weekemd.
At the same time on Friday Dean Ryan’s Dragons will face another tricky away trip as they head to Richard Cockerill’s fortress Edinburgh, while the action on Saturday kicks off with two 3pm matches – Ospreys vs Isuzu Southern Kings and Zebre vs Glasgow Warriors.
That home fixture looks like a good opportunity for Zebre to get their first win on the board while Toyota Cheetahs still seek that elusive away win. They travel to Cardiff Blues after being narrowly edged out 17-13 by Scarlets, their second close defeat on the road in as many weeks.
There are two cracking fixtures still to come on Saturday, Benetton search for their third win on the spin, at Parc y Scarlets, and there’s a small matter of a superb-looking Interprovincial Derby at Thomond Park. Munster versus Ulster, both on four wins, both on 19 points, and local rivalries into the mix?
Edinburgh v Dragons
BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh | KO 19:35 |
Live on eir Sport 2, Premier Sports 1, SuperSport 1, DAZN, PRO14.tv
A word of warning to Dragons fans: Edinburgh has won both home games they have played this season in the Championship, scoring seven tries in each, against Zebre and Scarlets. Dean Ryan will be busy plotting a defence that can prevent the same happening but likely won’t be helped by Edinburgh coming off the back of 18-16 defeat at Benetton – exactly the type of match Cockerill would have wanted to win in super-competitive Conference B. Dragons will put up a fight and are in decent shape despite the loss to Leinster, winning three of their last six, and will be inspired by that 52-28 victory on the road at Zebre in early October.
Referee: George Clancy (IRFU, 118th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Ian Kenny, Graeme Ormiston (both SRU),
TMO: Colin Stanley (IRFU)
Citing Commissioner: Beth Dickens (SRU)
Overall Guinness PRO14 head to head record:
Played 32, Edinburgh won 17, Dragons won 14 with 1 game drawn.
Did you know?
- Edinburgh Rugby have lost two of their last three Guinness PRO14 matches, but both have been away from home, at Leinster and at Benetton.
- Edinburgh have won both home games they have played this season in the Championship, scoring seven tries in each, against Zebre and Scarlets.
- Edinburgh have won their last three matches against Welsh opponents.
- Dragons record in the last six rounds of Guinness PRO14 is won three, lost three.
- Dragons have won just once away from home in the Championship in the last six seasons: 52-28 at Zebre on 5 October, whilst Dragons most recent victory in Scotland was on a visit to Glasgow in November 2013.
- Edinburgh’s only loss in their last five fixtures against Dragons was 12-18 at Rodney Parade just under twelve months ago, whilst the Welshmen’s most recent victory at BT Murrayfield was in March 2012.