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Must wins now reality in URC

OPINION: The United Rugby Championship returns this weekend and with just FIVE points separating fourth and 11th place in the table – every game counts more than ever.

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Round 12 of the Championship gets underway this weekend and we’ve taken a look at some of the biggest game insights ahead of another cracking schedule of games.

Glasgow Warriors v Cardiff

Match-up Insight

– Glasgow Warriors and Cardiff are both in the top four teams for both clean breaks and defenders beaten this season.

Glasgow Warriors

– Glasgow Warriors have averaged 9.5 clean breaks in matches they’ve won this season compared to 3.7 in matches they’ve lost.

Cardiff 

– Cardiff are the only team that average over a kilometre of kick in play metres when they win; 188 more than their average when they lose.

Ospreys v Munster

Match-up Insight

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– This match is one of two in which both teams have over 20% jeopardy. If they win, Munster’s playoff probability will increase to 91% compared to 71% if they lose.

Ospreys

– Ospreys have made an average of 10.5 entries to the opposition 22 in matches they’ve won compared to 6.4 in matches they’ve lost.

Munster

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– Munster make more carries per 80 minutes than any other team (133), but average four more metres per possession when they win than when they lost (11.6 to 7.6).

Sharks v Ulster

Match-up Insight

Sharks

– The Sharks made an average of 95.6 carries per 80 minutes last season compared to 113.4 in this campaign.

Ulster

– Ulster have conceded an average of 8.6 penalties per 80 minutes in matches they’ve won this season compared to 11.5 in matches they’ve lost.

Scarlets v Benetton

Match-up Insight

– Benetton currently has a 47% chance of reaching the playoffs having been at 86% after Round 9. A win is predicted to see them bounce up to 63%.

Scarlets

– The Scarlets lineout success rate is 15.5% higher when they win than when they lose (91.8% compared to 74.4%).

Benetton

– When Benetton have lost this season, they have conceded an average of 19.8 turnovers per 80 minutes – more than any other team.

Stormers v Edinburgh

Match-up Insight

– These two sides are both in the top three offloading teams in URC 3: they’ve made an average of 11.2 (1st) and 8.6 (3rd) respectively per 80 minutes.

Stormers

– The Stormers have averaged double the number of offloads per 80 minutes in matches they’ve won than matches they’ve lost (14.5 to 7.2).

Edinburgh

– Edinburgh have scored a very similar number of tries in matches they’ve won and matches they’ve lost (averages of 2.4 and 2.3 respectively). In matches they’ve won, they’ve attempted an average of 2.75 penalty goals – and scored an average of 7.5 points – compared to 1.7 (and four) in matches they’ve lost.

Connacht v Lions

Match-up Insight

– This match has the highest total jeopardy in Round 12. This result of fixture is predicted to affect Connacht’s playoff probability by 26% and the Lions’ by 28%.

Connacht

– Connacht have made an average of 10.3 dominant tackles per 80 minutes when they’ve won this season compared to 6.3 when they’ve lost.

Lions

– The Lions have beaten an average of 8.6 more defenders per 80 minutes when they’ve won this season compared to when they’ve lost.

Dragons v Bulls

Match-up Insight

– The Bulls have scored more tries than any other team this season, a total of 51. The Dragons have scored fewer than all but one team (21).

Dragons

– The Dragons have averaged 889 metres from kicks in play in matches they’ve won this season compared to 636 in matches they’ve lost.

Bulls

– The Bulls have won an average of 2.4 scrum penalties per 80 minutes when they’ve won this season.

Zebre Parma v Leinster

Match-up Insight

– On average, Zebre Parma have made the second-fewest carries per 80 minutes this season (94.1). In contrast, Leinster have averaged the second-most carries per 80 minutes (126.8).

Zebre Parma

– When Zebre have won this season, their tackle success rate has been the highest in the league (88.7%).

Leinster

– Leinster made fewer carry metres than they have in any other match when they lost to Ulster (237). They have made an average of 414 per 80 minutes when they’ve won this season.

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