We look ahead to another exciting weekend of Guinness PRO14 action.
Round 4 of the Guinness PRO14 saw the Championship at its unpredictable best and with Round 5 approaching, only Ulster Rugby and Glasgow Warriors remain undefeated with the Scottish team sending out a serious message of intent after their resounding win over Munster Rugby.
The Cheetahs’ win over Leinster produced one of the weekend’s most exciting games and now sees the South Africans step up into the top three of Conference A, while in Conference B, Scarlets and Ulster are also setting the tone in the race to reach the Guinness PRO14 Final Series.
What’s at Stake
Benetton Rugby visit Scotstoun after back-to-back Championship victories and good away form (two wins from their last three), however, Glasgow Warriors have won 23 in a row against Italian opposition and it would take an incredible effort to upset them at home.
Edinburgh are another team with two wins from three on the road, but the RDS Arena is a fortress for Leinster who will aim to put things right after their tour to South Africa.
Scarlets and Connacht meet in a clash of the two most recent title winners at Parc y Scarlets where the hosts are unbeaten in 12 games. Both of these teams like to play with flair and this promises to be a fast-paced match-up. At Thomond Park, Munster will prepare for their trip to Leinster by taking on Cardiff Blues who have a decent record against the men in red in Ireland, while they also boast the best tackling success in the Championship (92%).
Finally, Zebre, having won two try-scoring bonus points in a row for the first time, host Ulster as their visitors look to remain unbeaten while Dragons face the Southern Kings aiming to earn their second home win of the season.
Pick of the Round Toyota Cheetahs v Ospreys
Four-time Championship winners Ospreys are the third European team to visit Bloemfontein in succession and all signs are pointing to another electric Guinness PRO14 clash involving the Toyota Cheetahs – fixtures involving the South African newcomers are averaging 10 tries and 70 points.
Ospreys have travelled south with key players such as Alun Wyn Jones, Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar and are fully aware of the threat posed by the hosts. In the Cheetahs last seven wins at Toyota Stadium they have scored at least four tries and although Ospreys arrive off the back of two defeats they held one of the tightest defences in the Championship last season and return to form would serve them well here.
TOYOTA CHEETAHS v OSPREYS
At Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein, 5pm (Local)
Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU, 8th competition game)
Assistant Referees: George Clancy (IRFU), Cwengile Jadezweni (SARU)
Citing Commissioner: Marius van Rensburg (SARU)
TMO: Johan Greeff (SARU)
Overall Guinness PRO14 head to head record:
First PRO14 meeting between the two teams.
For more Opta statistics visit http://www.pro12rugby.com/powered-by-opta/