Ospreys vs Leinster by Sebmc
Leinster is fourth in the RaboDirect Pro 12 with only two points ahead of the Ospreys. The problem is that the Irish have played nine home games and only 6 away. Their upcoming calendar is terrible, especially as Leinster has already moved to Zebra and Treviso, two of the weakest teams in the competition. Leinster must absolutely win one or two away games to stay in the race of the semi-finals. Away, except in Munster, they always have taken points: defensive bonus in Glasgow and Connacht, victory on the field of Zebre and Cardiff + draw in Treviso. For this meeting Matt O'Connor has made seven changes to the team that beat Zebre last week. Edward Byrne, Kevin McLaughlin, Jamie Heaslip, Shane Jennings are injured. Cronin, Reddan, Madigan, Murphy, Moore, McCarthy are on international duty. However, the team remains impressive with a huge back line which include Zane Kirchner, Fergus McFadden, Gordon D'Arcy, Dave Kearney and a solid 8 front from which we find Richardt Strauss, Jack Conan The bench is not bad with Luke McGrath or Dominic Ryan.
The Ospreys are fifth. They stay on two defeats: in Edinburgh and Glasgow. They are still unbeaten at home but have only received one of the first four teams of the rankings. They are always very weakened during the duplicates because the majority of their team plays for Wales national team. Thus, the pair of half-backs Webb - Biggar has a key role in the game Ospreys Jarvis, Baldwin, Tipuric and Alun Wyn Jones are on international duties. In addition, Ashley Beck, Rynier Bernardo, Andrew Bishop, Cai Griffiths, Jeff Hassler, Dafydd Howells, John Ben Ross Jones, Sam Parry, Lloyd Peers, Nicky Smith, Kock Steenkamp, Eli Walker are injured. So, only few players are available. For this meeting, the first row Ryan Bevington is back from injury. He will start for the first time of the season. Indeed, he played only 3 minutes this season and it was last week .. In hooker, the young Scott Otten start for the second time this season only. From 4 to 8 is not bad. The back line is correct. The big problem is the bench where there are only youngsters or usual third choice.
I think the Ospreys will suffer in scrum as they are used to. The problem is that the back line will not have its usual performance. The bench is very weak. They should also suffer in the second period.
Ospreys: Dan Evans; Tom Grabham, Jonathan Spratt, Josh Matavesi, Hanno Dirksen; Sam Davies, Martin Roberts; Ryan Bevington, Scott Otten, Dmitri Arhip, Tevita Cavubati, Tyler Ardron (Capt), Joe Bearman, James King, Dan Baker
Replacements: Matthew Dwyer, Marc Thomas, Daniel Suter, Rhodri Hughes, Olly Cracknell, Morgan Allen, Tom Habberfield, Richard Fussell
Leinster : Zane Kirchner; Fergus McFadden, Ben Te'o, Gordon D'Arcy, Dave Kearney; Jimmy Gopperth, Isaac Boss (capt); Michael Bent, Richardt Strauss, Tadhg Furlong; Tom Denton, Kane Douglas; Rhys Ruddock, Josh Van Der Flier, Jack Conan.
Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Peter Dooley, Royce Burke-Flynn, Ben Marshall, Dominic Ryan, Luke McGrath, Noel Reid, Darragh Fanning.
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|Leinster +2.5||Pinnacle||1.81||4||9-9 WON (+3.24 units)|