PREVIEW: Leinster v Scarlets

Thu, 18 May 2017 14:15
Large scarlets v leinster 2016 800

PRO12 SEMIFINAL: The Pro12 semifinals kick off this week with Leinster the only returning team from last season's knock-out stages.

The four-time Championship winners host the first semifinal on Friday when they face Scarlets while Munster also face Welsh opposition with Ospreys making the trip to Limerick on Saturday.

Unbeaten in Pro12 games at their Dublin home since February 2015, Leinster also boast a formidable record of having never lost any of the six semifinals that they have played at the RDS Arena. 

The Blues set new Championship records this season for the most tries scored by a single team – 91 – and most points - 674 – as their attacking play set the bar for others to follow.
 
However, their opponents, Scarlets, have also lighted up the Championship with their exciting play lethal counter-attacking off stolen ball as they lead the Pro1212 rankings in turnovers. 

Their 17 wins this season is also a highest-ever total for the region as they plot to be the first away team to win a semifinal in the Championship.
 
The game will a host players selected for the British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand with Leinster calling upon five squad members: Sean O'Brien, Tadhg Furlong, Jack McGrath; Johnny Sexton and Robbie Henshaw while Scarlets include Jonathan Davies and Liam Williams.


 
Prediction: Leinster have played in seven previous Pro12 semifinals, all at home (six at the RDS Arena), and winning them all. The Leinstermen's 13-17 reversal in Ulster in Round 22 ended a ten game winning streak in the Pro12. Leinster have not been defeated at home in the PRO12 since Newport Gwent Dragons won 16-14 at the RDS Arena in February 2015. Leinster's only defeat to a Welsh Region this season came when they visited Parc y Scarlets in November. Scarlets have reached the semifinals only once before, losing 17-28 at that stage to Ulster in Belfast in 2013. Scarlets only defeat since Round 11 of the Pro12 was 9-45 against Leinster at the RDS Arena in March. The last seven matches between the two sides have all been won by the home team on the day, whilst Scarlets only previous victory y at the RDS Arena came on their first ever visit in October 2007. Leinster have a formidable record and they should win by at least 10 points. 

Teams:

Leinster: 15 Joey Carbery, 14 Adam Byrne, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Isa Nacewa (captain), 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Ross Molony, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 James Tracy, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Dan Leavy, 21 Seán O’Brien, 22 Jamison Gibson-Park, 23 Zane Kirchner.

Scarlets: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 John Barclay (captain), 7 James Davies, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Tadhg Beirne, 4 Lewis Rawlins, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Rob Evans.
Replacements: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 David Bulbring, 20 Will Boyde, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Hadleigh Parkes, 23 DTH van der Merwe.

Date: Friday, May 19
Venue: RDS Arena, Dublin
Kick-off: 19:45 (18:45 GMT)
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Mike Adamson (Scotland), Simone Boaretto (Italy)
TMO: Alan Falzone (Italy)

Bulls vs Hurricanes
sast: 17h15 | local: 17h15

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
Crusaders v Stormers 06h35 Christchurch
Sharks v Waratahs 13h05 Kings Park
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Lions v Jaguares 47 | 27
Waratahs v Stormers 34 | 27
Crusaders v Chiefs 45 | 23
Sunwolves v Brumbies 25 | 32
Fri, 23 February 2018
France v Italy 34 | 17
Leinster v Kings 64 | 7
Dragons v Edinburgh 12 | 25
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 21 | 10
Rebels v Reds 45 | 19
Highlanders v Blues 41 | 34
Mon, 19 February 2018
NWU-Pukke v UJ 18 | 15
Maties v CUT-Ixias 75 | 12
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 27 | 32
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 29 | 32
Sun, 18 February 2018
Dragons v Treviso 15 | 18
PRO14
MORE LOGS
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 16 13 1 2 65
Munster 16 10 0 6 53
Cheetahs 15 8 0 7 41
Cardiff Blues 15 7 0 8 33
Connacht 15 5 0 10 28
Ospreys 15 5 0 10 26
Zebre 15 4 0 11 21
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 16 13 0 3 61
Scarlets 15 11 0 4 54
Edinburgh 16 11 0 5 51
Ulster 15 9 1 5 46
Treviso 15 8 0 7 38
Dragons 15 2 2 11 17
Kings 16 0 0 16 4