Round Four of the Magners League kicks-off on in Italy on Friday night, when Benetton Treviso welcome Cardiff Blues to Stadio Monigo. With a two from two success rate Treviso are building an impressive home record having taken the honours against Scarlets and Leinster so far.
Friday night also sees the two Scottish teams in action, both against Irish opposition. Glasgow welcome table-topping Munster, one of the only two remaining teams with a 100% winning record, to Firhill Stadium, whilst Edinburgh face Leinster at Murrayfield, where both teams will be looking to improve their starts to the season
having chalked up just one victory between them so far.
The remaining game on Friday night is an all Welsh affair with Newport Gwent Dragons, hosting Scarlets.
Scarlets are having a good start to the season with two wins out of three so far, picking up a bonus point in every game and are the League’s top try scorers with 13.
The action continues on Saturday with Aironi Rugby, still looking for their first ever Magners League victory, the visitors to the Liberty Stadium, where Ospreys’ home record will make it a hard task for their guests.
The round concludes with the only other team with a 100% record, Ulster, in action at the Sportsground, Galway where Connacht are assembling an impressive home record having lost only one of their last seven Magners League games at the venue. This all Irish encounter has the makings of a fitting finale to the weekend.
For live scoring from all Magners League matches click onto www.magnersleague.com
But what do you think? Let’s have your predictions…
Friday 24 September
BENETTON TREVISO v CARDIFF BLUES
At Stadio Monigo, 7.05pm local Time (6.05pm UK & Ireland) Live on
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (SRU, 1st League game).
Assistant Referees: Mauro Dordolo, Francesco Lento (both FIR).
TMO: Stefano Marrama (FIR).
Benetton Treviso continue to be formidable at home gaining a seventh straight win in all competitions against Leinster on Saturday evening. Treviso’s overall record at home against Welsh teams is won 3, lost 3.
Cardiff Blues’ only defeat in their last eleven encounters in all competitions was 23-34 away to Leinster in the Magners League on 11 September. The Blues have visited Italy on three previous occasions and won all three.
The two teams have never met before.
EDINBURGH RUGBY v LEINSTER
At Murrayfield, 7.05pm Live on
Referee: Tim Hayes (WRU, 29th League game).
Assistant Referees: Iain Heard, Bob Nevans (both SRU).
TMO: Ian Ramage (SRU).
Edinburgh Rugby slipped to an unwanted seventh straight Magners League defeat in Ulster on Friday evening. The Scotsmen have lost their last two home games against Ulster and Munster but have not lost three in a row in the Magners League since 2005/06. Leinster’s only win in their last four games in the Magners League was 34-23 at home to the Blues in round two. The Leinstermen have lost their last four away matches since beating Munster 16-15 at Thomond Park on 2 April.
Edinburgh have beaten Leinster just once in their last six encounters in all competitions.
GLASGOW WARRIORS v MUNSTER
At Firhill Stadium, 7.30pm.
Referee: Carlo Damasco (FIR,8th League game).
Assistant Referees: Andy Ireland, Graeme Marshall (both SRU)
Glasgow Warriors’ only win in their last four Magners League matches was 22-19 at home to Leinster in round one. The Warriors will be anxious to avoid a second successive home defeat to an Irish side, having lost 17-19 to Connacht last Friday.
Munster’s 100% winning start to the season continued with their 22-10 victory over reigning Magners League champions, Ospreys, on Saturday evening. The Munstermen have won their last three encounters against Scottish opponents.
Glasgow have won just one of their last four clashes with Munster, whilst the Irishmen have been victorious only once on their last five visits to Glasgow.
NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS v SCARLETS
At Rodney Parade, 7.05pm Live on
Referee: James Jones (WRU 41st League game).
Assistant Referees: Hugh Watkins, Phil Connett (both WRU).
TMO: Neil Ballard (WRU).
Newport Gwent Dragons’ only victory in their last five Magners League encounters was 23-11 over Glasgow at Rodney Parade in round two. Dragons have won four of their last five home matches. Scarlets have won their last two games in the Magners League, but both matches were played at Parc y Scarlets.
The West Walians have slipped to five straight defeats on the road in the Magners League since they beat the Dragons at Rodney Parade on New Year’s Eve.
Scarlets have won their last four matches against Newport Gwent Dragons. Scarlets, along with the Blues, have the best record of teams visiting Rodney Parade in the Magners League, each having achieved four previous victories.
Saturday 18 September
CONNACHT V ULSTER
At Sportsground, 7.30pm Live on
Referee: Alain Rolland (IRFU, 44th League game).
Assistant Referees: John Lacey, Peter Roche (both IRFU).
TMO: Dermot Moloney (IRFU).
Connacht have lost just one of their last seven home games at the Sportsground in the Magners League, but their only victory over a fellow Irish province since December 2008 was against Leinster in Galway on 21 April.
Ulster have won their last five Magners League matches and another victory would represent their best ever start to a Magners League season. The Ulstermen have lost their last two away games played at a fellow Irish province.
Connacht’s only win in their last 13 encounters with Ulster since 2003 was 22-12 at the Sportsground on New Year’s Eve 2005.
OSPREYS v AIRONI RUGBY
At Liberty Stadium, 6.30pm Live on
Referee: Andy Macpherson (SRU, 29th League game).
Assistant Referees: David Bodilly, Huw David (both WRU).
TMO: Tony Rowlands (WRU).
Ospreys’ three games so far in the Magners League this season have all been won by the home side on the day. The Welshmen are unbeaten in their last nine encounters at Liberty Stadium in the Magners League, since Leinster won there, 18-11, on 18 September 2009. Ospreys have won all seven previous games they have played
against Italian opponents. Aironi Rugby are still to open their winning account in the Magners League, with their single league point so far coming courtesy of a 15-22 defeat at home to Ulster in round two.