Thu 12 May 2022 | 03:06

URC Rescheduled - Teams and Predictions

URC Rescheduled - Teams and Predictions
Thu 12 May 2022 | 03:06
URC Rescheduled - Teams and Predictions
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PREVIEW: There are two rearranged derby matches in the United Rugby Championship this weekend.

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The Dragons and Cardiff collide in Newport on Friday before Benetton host Zebre Parma on Saturday.

Italian pair target derby delight

It has been a difficult campaign for Benetton, last season’s Rainbow Cup champions, and Zebre as they prepare to clash in their penultimate game of the United Rugby Championship season.

Benetton are without a win in their last eight URC fixtures since beating Zebre in Parma on December 24.

But the Treviso outfit, who have also won just three home games in the competition this campaign, do have a decent head-to-head record with Zebre, prevailing in 18 of their 25 meetings.

Zebre have claimed just one victory all season and have not triumphed away from home since overcoming Benetton at Stadio Monigo in January, 2021.

Benetton have won the previous three meetings with Zebre, who have prevailed in two of their last three visits to Stadio Monigo.

History favours Cardiff

While Cardiff’s form against Welsh regions this season does not make good reading, they will be encouraged by their head-to-head record against the Dragons.

Cardiff have triumphed in their last 13 encounters and have been beaten just twice in 10 previous matches played at this venue.

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After snapping their four-game losing run in the URC by beating Zebre Parma 42-14 at home last weekend, Dai Young’s side are now searching for back-to-back wins in the competition for the first time since October.

The Dragons have lost their previous three URC matches since winning at Scarlets on April 16 but they should be boosted by the fact Cardiff have lost their last eight away games in the championship.

Cardiff Rugby Director of Rugby, Dai Young, said: “We were pleased to secure a bonus-point victory over Zebre last week and we played really well in the first half.

” In the second-half we perhaps got a bit individualistic and drifted away from our structures, and we cannot afford to do that against the Dragons.

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“This is a massive game for them, on their home patch, and they will be desperate to get one over their nearest rivals. They are a very physical, abrasive team so we will need to be at our best if we want to back up last week’s win.

“We have some continuity in selection and the opportunity to finish the season on a high, which is exactly what the boys are determined to do as we continue to build.

“There is never any lack of motivation for a Welsh derby but we also want to play an attacking brand of rugby and perform for the full 80 minutes.”

The weekend’s teams and predictions are below …

Friday, May 13

Dragons v Cardiff Rugby
(Rodney Parade, Newport – Kick-off: 19.35; 18.35 GMT)

Prediction

@rugby365com: Cardiff by 10 points

Teams:

Dragons: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 Rio dyer, 13 Adam Warren, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Jared Rosser, 10 Will Reed, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou; 8 Ollie Griffiths, 7 Ben Fry, 6 Harri Keddie (captain), 5 Ben Carter, 4 Joe Davies, 3 Mesake Doge, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Aki Seiuli.
Replacements: 16 Taylor Davies, 17 Greg Bateman, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Huw Taylor, 20 Taine Basham, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Josh Lewis

Cardiff Rugby: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Owen Lane, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Max Llewellyn, 11 Theo Cabango, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 James Ratti, 7 Josh Navidi (c), 6 James Botham, 5 Matthew Screech, 4 Seb Davies, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Liam Belcher, 1 Rhys Carré
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Josh Turnbull, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Ellis Bevan, 22 Ben Thomas, 23 Mason Grady

Referee: Craig Evans (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Ben Whitehouse (Wales) & Tom Spurrier (Wales)
TMO: Sean Brickell (Wales)

Benetton v Zebre Parma
(Stadio Monigo, Treviso – Kick-off: 17.30; 15.30 GMT)

Prediction

@rugby365com: Benetton by 5 points

Teams: TBC

Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Filippo Russo (Italy) and Rosella Franco (Italy)
TMO: Matteo Liperini (Italy)

 

PV: 3
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