Well Boys and Girls. Here we are again for another installing enthrallment of the Pro12 countdown.
This is the 7th year of this posting tradition. It having started in the countdown to the first set of playoffs in 2010
This season we will be concerned with the top 6 again because... While Cardiff and Connacht could possibly break into the top 6 they are unlikely to make the top 4.
Personally I think Leinster, Munster and Ospreys will be there (probably not in that order). Glasgow could either go on a run beating everyone to give Toonie a sendoff, or.... They could disappear in a puff of smoke with all their away top 6 fixtures. Scarlets or possibly even Ulster could replace them in the playoffs.
Top 6 Fix
Round 14 Friday 10 Feb 19:35 Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets Scotstoun Stadium
Round 15 Round 15 17/18/19 Feb Ospreys v Munster Rugby Liberty Stadium
Round 15 Saturday 18 Feb 15:00 Ulster Rugby v Glasgow Warriors Kingspan Stadium
Round 16 Friday 24 Feb 19:35 Munster Rugby v Scarlets Thomond Park
Round 16 Sunday 26 Feb 17:05 Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors Liberty Stadium
Round 17 Saturday 4 Mar 19:35 Leinster Rugby v Scarlets RDS Arena
W/E 30 March Euro Quarters
Round 19 07/08/09 Apr Munster Rugby v Glasgow Warriors Irish Independent Park
Round 19 07/08/09 Apr Ospreys v Leinster Rugby Liberty Stadium
Round 20 Saturday 15 Apr 15:00 Munster Rugby v Ulster Rugby Thomond Park
W/e 22 April Euro Semis
Round 21 28/29/30 Apr Ospreys v Ulster Rugby Liberty Stadium
Round 21 28/29/30 Apr Leinster Rugby v Glasgow Warriors RDS Arena
Round 22 Round 22 Saturday 6 May 17:15 Scarlets v Ospreys Parc y Scarlets
Round 22 Saturday 6 May 17:15 Ulster Rugby v Leinster Rugby Kingspan Stadium
Home and away for each team
Glasgow: Sca, Con, Zeb, Edi.
Leinster: Edi, Sca, Car Gla.
Munster: Dra, Sca, Gla, Uls, Con.
Ospreys: Mun, Gla, Lei, Uls.
Scarlets: Zeb, Edi, Tre, Osp,
Ulster: Edi, Gla, Tre, Car, Lei, Zeb*.
* Fixture not yet set.
Glasgow: Uls, Osp, Mun, Lei.
Leinster: Tre, Dra, Osp, Con, Uls.
Munster: Edi, Osp, Car, Zeb, Tre.
Ospreys: Zeb, Edi, Tre, Car, Sca.
Scarlets: Gla, Mun, Lei, Dra, Con.
Ulster: Zeb, Drag, Mun, Osp.
The final thing to look at is...
The Euro distractions.
Leinster and Munster look good for a CC QF with Glasgow, Connacht and Ulster having some chance probably in that order. Scarlets have a mathematical (but no realistic) chance.
In the other "CC" The Ospreys are nailed on for a QF with Cardiff also likely to get one. Edinburgh have a very good chance with the Dragons being outsiders.
Fairly impressive that only the Italians are definitely out after 4 rounds.
So at least 3 of the top 6 likely to have distractions and a couple of the lesser lights too.
Glasgow. Hard to know if they can stay in the top 4 would never bet against them as they came from a long way back to get third last season and were only a point off top. They have away fixtures v the other 3 top teams though and Ulster who have already beaten them.
Leinster. With distractions in Europe, a ridiculous last 4 games and the good form/fixtures of Munster and Ospreys, it will be a real slog getting a home semi. If we do not go into the last 4 games in top spot I would be surprised if we can do it.
Munster. What a difference a season makes! Really motoring in both Europe and League. Can they be stopped in their quest for a home semi? Ospreys their only top 6 away fixture. A lot can change in the next few months but they are in pole position now.
Ospreys. Missed Europe last year. Fairly guaranteed for that not to happen this year. Only top 6 away fixture left is Scarlets. All their home fixtures are v top 6 but... They have Glasgow at home during 6N. Munster too, and the chance to take points from ourselves and Ulster near the end of the season. Hard to see them not getting a home semi at this point.
Scarlets. Could get past Glasgow into the playoffs but have some horrendous away fixtures to contend with all during the 6N.
Ulster. Have fallen off a cliff form wise but unlikely to have Euro distractions and they have 6 home fixtures left including both Italians. Safe in top 6 and dark horses for top 4.
Last edited by johng
on January 9th, 2017, 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.