The fifth ‘Big Weekend’ will be packed with action and tribal rivalries as the Guinness PRO12 enters the final laps of the season.
Derby games will grab the headlines in Ireland and Wales, particularly in Cardiff where the Principality Stadium plays host to Judgement Day V where all four regional teams will compete.
Teams are running out of time to reach the Guinness PRO12 Final Series, earn home Semi-Finals, qualify for the Champions Cup or secure their seeding, which makes the final three rounds of Championship action incredibly tense.
With so much at stake it makes for another unmissable round of action on the road to the Guinness PRO12 Final on May 27.
What’s at Stake?
Zebre Rugby arrive in Scotland coming off two consecutive wins (against Connacht and Dragons) to face a Glasgow Warriors team whose ambitions of reaching the Guinness PRO12 Final Series remain mathematically possible. Warriors’ defeat to Munster in Round 19 makes maximum points a must, however, the visitors will be buoyed by their recent run of form which has coincided with the return of their Italian international players.
Judgement Day V will grab all the headlines in Wales for the now traditional East versus West battles between Cardiff Blues against Ospreys and Newport-Gwent Dragons against Scarlets. The Principality Stadium is looking to host another record crowd but beyond the big event the teams from the west – Ospreys and Scarlets – need victories in order to remain on pace to reach the Guinness PRO12 Final Series.
In Galway, Connacht may not retain the title they won in such thrilling fashion last season but their game against Leinster will provide them with the opportunity to have an impact on who succeeds them as champions.
Depending on results Leinster could lock up either a guaranteed Semi-Final place or even a home Semi-Final. Finally, Edinburgh Rugby travel to face Benetton Rugby in Italy where the hosts shocked Ospreys only a couple of weeks ago.
Friday, April 14: Glasgow Warriors v Zebre Rugby (7.35pm).
Saturday, April 8: Cardiff Blues v Ospreys Rugby (2.45pm); Munster Rugby v Ulster Rugby (3pm); Newport-Gwent Dragons v Scarlets (5.15pm); Connacht Rugby v Leinster Rugby (7.35pm); Benetton Rugby v Edinburgh Rugby (8.05 CET).
CARDIFF BLUES v OSPREYS RUGBY
At Principality Stadium, 2.45pm.
Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU, 22nd competition game)
Assistant Referees: Sean Gallagher (IRFU), Gwyn Morris (WRU)
Citing Commissioner: Dennis Jones (WRU)
TMO: Neil Hennessy (WRU)
Overall Guinness PRO12 head to head record:
Played 27, Blues won 7, Ospreys won 19 with 1 game drawn.
Did you know?
- Cardiff Blues are without a victory since beating Edinburgh 18-17 at Myreside in round 16 of the Guinness PRO12.
- Blues only previous win on “Judgement Day” was when they beat Scarlets 17-13 in 2014.
- Cardiff Blues have won just one of their last six encounters with fellow Welsh regions – at home to Newport Gwent Dragons on Boxing Day.
- Ospreys have slipped to three straight defeats in all competitions but have not lost four in a row in the same season since 2014/15.
- Ospreys only defeat in their last thirteen encounters with fellow Welsh regions was at home to Scarlets in the PRO12 in March 2016.
- Ospreys have played seven previous matches at the Principality Stadium in all tournaments with their only defeat being in their most recent visit, two weeks ago against Stade Francais in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup.
- Ospreys have won their last eleven fixtures against Blues in the Guinness PRO12 since their 21-all draw at Liberty Stadium in April 2011, whilst the capital side’s most recent win over Ospreys in the PRO12 came at the Cardiff City Stadium on New Year’s Eve 2010.
For more Opta statistics visit http://www.pro12rugby.com/powered-by-opta/
The Guinness PRO12 Final takes place at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin on May 27, 2017. Tickets for the Guinness PRO12 Final are available via ticketmaster.ie with a limited number of great value €35 tickets still remaining. Or get in at the top level with Premium, starting at only €70. www.pro12rugby.com/final