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PREVIEW | Dragons v Benetton

06/03/2020

Tonight’s game Dragons and Benetton Rugby will be the sole focus of the Guinness PRO14 and if recent events at Rodney Parade are anything to go by then this won’t be settled until the final whistle has been blown.

The last three games in Newport have been settled in the closing moments with wins over Scarlets, Ospreys and now the Toyota Cheetahs. The boot of Sam Davies has been hugely influential in all of those performances particularly when the pressure is on.

Sam was a breakthrough performer in the Guinness PRO14 when he was with Ospreys, now under Dean Ryan at he has become a leading figure for Dragons. Although he's missing tonight following his call-up to the national squad ahead of the England tomorrow there's a new belief at Rodney Parade.

In terms of a cross-Conference game, this fixture has a lot at stake. Benetton’s most recent trip to Wales ended in a very unlucky defeat to Cardiff Blues and with two games in hand to make up they really need to get back in touch with the Conference B Final Series spots.

Beyond Leinster’s rampaging form, Conference A holds a lot of intrigue with Dragons currently in position to win a place in the Champions Cup Play-Off game due to the Cheetahs ineligibility for EPCR competitions.

Another win and that will help keep a safe distance between Zebre and Ospreys, who themselves will believe that a run of form could allow them to creep into that spot.

Last weekend saw a couple of seismic results as teams continue to chase those vital places in the Guinness PRO14 Final Series. Leinster have now set the record for the longest unbeaten run in Championship history (15 games) but Ulster, Glasgow Warriors and the Cheetahs are all still in the hunt for the top three in Conference A.

Munster took a very useful bonus-point win over Scarlets in Conference B, but it is Richard Cockerill’s Edinburgh who remain top of the pile by just two points. As each week passes every game becomes more and more of a must-win no matter what your ambitions and it’s that type of competition that has really come to the fore since the introduction of the Conference format.

Off the field, our staff and management team are still working alongside the Chief Medical Officers of each of our participating unions to stay up to  date on the evolving situation with the Covid-19 virus. We must keep the health and welfare of our players, coaches, behind the scenes staff and fans as the absolute priority while also ensuring we adhere to all the directives and advice from national and local authorities.

The winter weather is hopefully about to dissipate and if you want a reason to look forward to the summer then visit www.pro14.rugby/final to get your ticket for the Guinness PRO14 Final in Cardiff on June 20. Last year saw yet another record attendance in Glasgow, but with limited availability in 2020 be sure to get booking now to ensure you get the best seat at the best price.

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