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Guinness Pro12 Predictions Thread 2014/15

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:13 am

Mentioned on another thread that might be a good idea to get one of these running in order for our prediction to be laughed at when we reach the end of the season.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:15 am

1. Leinster
2. Glasgow
3. Munster
4. Cardiff Blues
5. Ulster
6. Scarlets
7. Dragons
8. Edinburgh
9. Ospreys
10. Connacht
11 & 12. The Italians!!!
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Post by Notch Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:17 am

I'm going with;

1) Leinster
2) Ulster
3) Glasgow
4) Munster
5) Cardiff Blues
6) Scarlets
7) Ospreys
8) Edinburgh
9) Connacht
10) Dragons
11) Zebre
12) Treviso

Semi-finals

Leinster vs Munster- Leinster win
Ulster vs Glasgow- Ulster win

Leinster vs Ulster- Ulster win!

Wink

Now we'll go back in May and see how wrong I am.
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Post by thebandwagonsociety Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:20 am

My predictions for the pro12 are for the top 4 to stay unchanged but the seats to be rearranged. So Glasgow and Leinster to finish first and second respectively with Ulster 3rd and Munster in the 4 spot. Glasgow to go a step further with home advantage throughout the playoffs.

I will also go out on a limb and put the Blues and Connacht taking 5th and 6th respectively. I like the signings both sides have made and think they will kick on. I worry for Scarlets and Ospreys and think Dragons will finish above both of them and possibly could pip Connacht into 6th place if the odd result goes their way. Treviso could be bottom of the pile, and Zebre I think will end up 10th!!

Wishful thinking or a crystal ball? (wishful I think, but it would make for an interesting season).

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Post by George Carlin Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:39 am

Top 4 unchanged.

Don't know why but I get the feeling Munster could be the strongest Irish side.

Blues will be the highest place Welsh side and also the most improved.

I genuinely think Edinburgh could be a top 6 team this year.
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Post by The Saint Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:51 am

Ozzy3213 wrote:1. Leinster
2. Glasgow
3. Munster
4. Cardiff Blues
5. Ulster
6. Scarlets
7. Dragons
8. Edinburgh
9. Ospreys
10. Connacht
11 & 12. The Italians!!!

I'd say that's pretty close.

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Post by Guest Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:58 am

Leinster
Munster
Ulster
Cardiff
Glasgow
Scarlets
Ospreys
Dragons
Edinburgh
Connacht
Treviso
Zebre

Teams around our level beat us last season, by outmuscling us last season. With our signings I am more optimistic now. Still don't think we will finish above a region, but you never know. Dragons have a great opportunity to start this season well, but hopefully they won't have a wretched mid to end of season.

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Post by Notch Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:08 am

Cardiff Blues won't get into the Top Four. It takes time for a team to build and I'm just not convinced no matter how many players are signed a bad team turns into a good team overnight or vice versa.

They've done really well in bringing in a top coach and some very good players. I see them doing very well and making progress but within realistic parameters
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Post by Neutralee Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:20 am

Notch wrote:Cardiff Blues won't get into the Top Four. It takes time for a team to build and I'm just not convinced no matter how many players are signed a bad team turns into a good team overnight or vice versa.

They've done really well in bringing in a top coach and some very good players. I see them doing very well and making progress but within realistic parameters

Just took a little look at their squad, there is some real quality there, had they managed to keep Halfp, and Roberts theyd be looking at a seriously strong season, however they are still a centre, and a lock away from winning the big games. They don't have a HC to worry about though, and if they shift their focus to the league they will do well.

I think it'll go...

Leinster
munster
Blues
Glasgow
Ulster
Scarlets
Ospreys
Dragons
Edinburgh
Connacht
Treviso
Zebre

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Post by Notch Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:26 am

I think you're exaggerating. if they get all their best players on the pitch at the same time they have a good first XV but they don't have a particularly intimidating squad. They'll improve a lot I think, but they are not going to turn into title contenders over night.
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Post by Neutralee Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:38 am

Notch wrote:I think you're exaggerating. if they get all their best players on the pitch at the same time they have a good first XV but they don't have a particularly intimidating squad. They'll improve a lot I think, but they are not going to turn into title contenders over night.

Not title contenders no, like I said I don't think they have the personell to turn over the likes of Leinster or munster, but they don't have HC games to worry about.

At home they should be pretty good, on their own surface, this should be the season they start to see benefits like Sarries have last season. They could then nick a fair few points from the bigger boys, or away games when others rest players going into or coming out of big european games. I was looking at the fixture lists of everyone and I think Blues could benefit most...

Their start couldn't be better...

Zebre away, Glasgow home, Ulster home, 3 winnable games. Then they go to the Liberty 5 days before the Ospresy play their opening Euro game.
They play at home to Treviso 6 days before their Euro game, then a week after the Scarlets have played a double header they travel to Cardiff.

Throughout November Cardiff have 2 home games and will probably only lose their front row and Warburton to Wales, their only away game being at Edinburgh.

See how the fixture list really does lend itself to Cardiff, I expect them to rack up points and ake the playoff, not win the semi but I see them getting there.

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Post by TJ Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:54 am

Blues will have to be much improved to be in the top four - but for me Leinster and Glasgow are the only two title contenders Glasgow finished last year well and have strengthened their squad since and have mad Matawalo. Scored two tries in the pre season match

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Post by George Carlin Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:58 am

Genuinely love the confidence for the Blues and as I say, I think that they stand a good chance of being the best Welsh region.

I think what Notch is getting at is that maintaining consistency across the entire season is very difficult and requires a strong aggregate squad. This is the reason that Blues finished last season 30 points and 7 wins away from a playoff slot.

Nothing to do with how strong their first XV is - they knocked Glasgow out of the Heineken Cup - I'll be the first to admit that when everyone is fit, they can be formidable. It's just that we need to see signs the second and third string can maintain that standard.
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Post by Neutralee Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:02 am

I think Glasgow are strong, and will come good eventually, but their starting fixtures are a horror show, they could conceivably go 1/5 before heading into 2 very difficult Euro fixtures.

They will also be decimated in November losing 14 players or so, teams like the Dragons, and Treviso (who have signed a lot of foreign players) could come and take points from them.

By the end though I expect them to be there or there abouts.

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Post by The Saint Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:03 am

Notch wrote:Cardiff Blues won't get into the Top Four. It takes time for a team to build and I'm just not convinced no matter how many players are signed a bad team turns into a good team overnight or vice versa.

They've done really well in bringing in a top coach and some very good players. I see them doing very well and making progress but within realistic parameters

They won't, but they're a team with heart and they've been there in the past. So they'll get there again. I think they'll do above average and do better the following season. They're capable of winning the challenge cup so long as we've got rid of that silly rule where the premier competition has-beens drop down into the play-offs.

Blues forward pack for next season:
Jenkins
Rees/Dacey
Mitchell/Jones
Hoeata/Dicomidis
Paulo
6s & 7s Warburton, Turnbull, Navidi, Jenkins
Vosawai

With finishers like Cuthbert outside of them, that team is going to do some damage at some point. I think there's more likelihood of Ulster going backwards with the loss of key players and coaches.

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Post by Neutralee Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:07 am

George Carlin wrote:Genuinely love the confidence for the Blues and as I say, I think that they stand a good chance of being the best Welsh region.

I think what Notch is getting at is that maintaining consistency across the entire season is very difficult and requires a strong aggregate squad. This is the reason that Blues finished last season 30 points and 7 wins away from a playoff slot.

Nothing to do with how strong their first XV is - they knocked Glasgow out of the Heineken Cup - I'll be the first to admit that when everyone is fit, they can be formidable. It's just that we need to see signs the second and third string can maintain that standard.

Thats where theyve strengthened though, a few foreign signings, and a few very canny signings from the other regions, Ieauan Jones is a very promising 8, and Ellis Jenkins was U20 captain 2 years ago, Then theres Patchell, Allen, Cook, Andrews, Dacey, Knoyle, mitchell, and Navidi, all on the cusp of the Welsh squad and eager to prove they should be there. I think Cardiff will have a strong consistent team, but not the quality to worry a lot of teams with their best out.

Thats why I think the Blues will do well, they'll rack up points when noones watching, or trying, the fixture list is very kind to them this year.

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Post by The Saint Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:10 am

George Carlin wrote:Genuinely love the confidence for the Blues and as I say, I think that they stand a good chance of being the best Welsh region.

I think what Notch is getting at is that maintaining consistency across the entire season is very difficult and requires a strong aggregate squad. This is the reason that Blues finished last season 30 points and 7 wins away from a playoff slot.

Nothing to do with how strong their first XV is - they knocked Glasgow out of the Heineken Cup - I'll be the first to admit that when everyone is fit, they can be formidable. It's just that we need to see signs the second and third string can maintain that standard.

I have to hand it to them, they have done some smart recruitment. The academy boys coming through are pretty good. If they lose Jones and Mitchell along with Jenkins (who is a certain call-up) they may find themselves in a spot of bother. On the bright side they'll be with some of their top players for most of the year. The weak point is no.9, they have the worst 2 players in Wales. I think fans are hopeful the new academy prospect can oust them.

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Post by Neutralee Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:11 am

The Saint wrote:
George Carlin wrote:Genuinely love the confidence for the Blues and as I say, I think that they stand a good chance of being the best Welsh region.

I think what Notch is getting at is that maintaining consistency across the entire season is very difficult and requires a strong aggregate squad. This is the reason that Blues finished last season 30 points and 7 wins away from a playoff slot.

Nothing to do with how strong their first XV is - they knocked Glasgow out of the Heineken Cup - I'll be the first to admit that when everyone is fit, they can be formidable. It's just that we need to see signs the second and third string can maintain that standard.

I have to hand it to them, they have done some smart recruitment. The academy boys coming through are pretty good. If they lose Jones and Mitchell along with Jenkins (who is a certain call-up) they may find themselves in a spot of bother. On the bright side they'll be with some of their top players for most of the year. The weak point is no.9, they have the worst 2 players in Wales. I think fans are hopeful the new academy prospect can oust them.

Williams and Jones aren't good, but I like Knoyle, and he'll be available all year round!

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Post by TJ Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:49 am

Whats Edinburgh odds of getting to the playoffs?

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Post by Notch Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:07 am

The Saint wrote:With finishers like Cuthbert outside of them, that team is going to do some damage at some point. I think there's more likelihood of Ulster going backwards with the loss of key players and coaches.

Yes, with finishers like Cuthbert. And the rest. Erm, well, just Cuthbert really. Just him and Cory Allen. Hope they don't get called up for any international matches or anything... look, I think the Blues will improve. But its worth pointing out that their two key signings in terms of their new Head Coach and their new flyhalf haven't arrived in the country yet, missing pre-season, and once a few key players drop out they have little in the way of quality back-up.

I actually think Ulster are stronger in terms of the coaching ticket this year compared to last year and the dressing room divide with Afoa going can only be good news. I think we're flying under the radar this year and I think we'll be in a stronger position as we have less stars but crucially more depth. Would be shocked if we don't make the playoffs.
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Post by The Saint Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:16 am

Fish, Patchell and Anscombe are also pretty good with ball in hand. Though when you put it like that, yes they'll have a difficult start to the season.

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Post by profitius Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:22 am

1. Leinster - They've a massive squad that will win them games when internationals are on.
2. Munster - Maybe bias but they were top for a lot of last season, semi of the HEC and made some good signings for this season like Copeland.
3. Ulster - They've a stronger squad this season and have some good player coming in like Olding etc.
4. Glasgow - They did well for the last 2 seasons but I don't know if they've strengthened much.

Those are my top 4. It wouldn't be a surprise to see anyone of those top the league but you'd have to make Leinster favourites. I also think Europe will play a massive part in deciding the final positions. Thats one thing that gave Glasgow an advantage last season.

5. Cardiff Blues
6. Ospreys
7. Scarlets
8. Connacht
9. Dragons
10. Edinburgh
11. Zebre
12. Treviso


The Welsh teams are very close now. There was over 30pts difference between Ospreys and Dragons last season, that gap will be lower this season.
Cardiff Blues are the team to watch. I don't think they'll break into the top 4 but they could become the top Welsh team. Hopefully they can challenge the top 4. Dragons look like they've signed solidly also.

Connacht have made some very good signings but they've still problem areas. They don't have a good kicker and they're lacking some punch in their pack. When the weather is good I think they'll score plenty of tries. Edinburgh some be a little better, who knows??

Zebre will overtake Treviso. Treviso made big changes and lost a lot of talent.
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Post by The Saint Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:30 am

Ulster must have made a few signings then? I haven't really been paying attention. I thought they'd be weaker after losing Afoa, Muller...

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Post by Notch Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:41 am

Afoa, no. Definitely not weaker. We've got a tight head who doesn't want a week off for every week he plays. When you've got a guy who is basically part-time and is on one of the biggest salaries, thats dressing room poison. We are well rid of him. I'm actually very relieved he's gone. Wiehahn Herbst looks extremely promising.

Muller is a massive loss, we've replaced him with a player who is as good or better but we'll not replace his leadership. So thats a setback but I still think Franco van der Merwe is one of the better signings in the league this year. Lock is an area of strength for us.

I think overall our squad is stronger. The Afoa saga has been ended, we have more depth at 10- we just have better depth throughout the squad. But the big change is I think Les Kiss is a big upgrade on Mark Anscombe. I'm confident we'll improve under him.

It's a bit of a transition year with changes in Captaincy and coaching but the squad is still in a very good place. I would be disappointed if we are not back contesting the Final again. In Europe, I expect us to not excel as we have done in the past but in the league we should be aiming for Top 2.
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Post by VinceWLB Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:49 am

1. Leinster
2. Glasgow
3. Munster
4. Ospreys
5. Ulster
6. Blues
7. Edinburgh
8. Scarlets
9. Dragons
10. Zebre
11. Treviso
12. Connacht

I did this about a month ago assuming Adam Jones would be with the O's, now i'm not sure they will finnish in the top 4 and the Blues could well overtake them.
I put Connacht last as i don't think they have enough quality in the pack to deal with their atrocious weather.
Edinburgh and the Dragons could be surprise packages but it's a long season.

Anyway, exciting times ahead Cool

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Post by Sin é Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:07 am

Stuart Barnes is backing Munster (kiss of death) Sad Sad and Cardiff as an outside bet.

http://www1.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12325/9441057/guinness-pro12-stuart-barnes-backs-munster-to-end-leinsters-run
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Post by The Saint Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:17 am

Laugh

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:27 pm

Glasgow
Leinster
Munster
Ulster
Scarlets
Ospreys/Dragons
Blues/Edinburgh
Connacht
Zebre
Treviso.

Hedging bets on a few, really can't decide

Edit on previous attempt, to include Connacht Doh


Last edited by ScarletSpiderman on Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by George Carlin Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:12 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:Glasgow
Leinster
Munster
Ulster
Scarlets
Ospreys/Dragons
Blues/Edinburgh
Zebre
Treviso.

Hedging bets on a few, really can't decide
To be fair to Connacht, I think that they will finish somewhere.
Run
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Post by George Carlin Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:16 pm

Oh, all right then:

01. Munster
02. Leinster
03. Glasgow
04. Ulster
05. Blues
06. Edinburgh
07. Scarlets
08. Ospreys
09. Treviso
10. Dragons
11. Connacht
12. Zebre

Although my predictions are typically about as accurate as that 'Rolecks' watch I saw on sale in Malaga.
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Post by Cyril Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:44 pm

1. Leinster
2. Glasgow
3. Munster
4. Ospreys
5. Blues
6. Scarlets
7. Ulster
8. Dragons
9-12 Edinburgh, Zebre, Treviso, Connacht (in any order of ineptitude)

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Post by funnyExiledScot Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:52 pm

George Carlin wrote:Oh, all right then:

01. Munster
02. Leinster
03. Glasgow
04. Ulster
05. Blues
06. Edinburgh
07. Scarlets
08. Ospreys
09. Treviso
10. Dragons
11. Connacht
12. Zebre

Although my predictions are typically about as accurate as that 'Rolecks' watch I saw on sale in Malaga.

I think this will be close, although I'd put Leinster (1st) and Glasgow (2nd) ahead of Munster (3rd). Hard to predict the exact order of the top four teams though, but I do think it'll be the three Irish sides + Glasgow.

Regarding the bottom half my only quibble is Connacht, who I think will do better than the Dragons and Treviso.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:33 pm

I think Edinburgh will do much better this season. They were under some huge pressure from the Tigers on Saturday and shock upon shock the defence held firm.

Edinburgh of even 2 months ago would have dropped 50 points to that Leicester outfit.
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Post by profitius Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:37 pm

Looking at the ins and outs (http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,3551_9441572,00.html), it looks like Dragons and Connacht have strengthened the most.  


NEWPORT GWENT DRAGONS

Arrivals:
Aled Brew (Biarritz Olympique), Lee Byrne (Clermont Auvergne), Rhys Buckley (Moseley), Boris Stankovich (Leicester Tigers), Ian Gough (London Irish),Dave Young (Jersey), Rynard Landman (Cheetahs), Lloyd Fairbrother (Exeter Chiefs), Andy Powell (Wigan Warriors), Brok Harris (Stormers)

Departures:
Ieuan Jones (Cardiff Blues), Will Harries, Jevon Groves, Kris Burton (all released), Sam Parry, Dan Evans (both Ospreys), Steffan Jones (Bedford Blues), Robert Sidoli (retired), Darren Waters (London Welsh)


CONNACHT

Arrivals:
Tom McCartney (Blues), Finlay Bealham , Shane Layden, Darragh Leader, Jack Carty, Conor Finn (all Academy), Quinn Roux, John Cooney (both Leinster, loan), Ian Porter (Ulster), Bundee Aki, Mils Muliaina (both Chiefs), Shane O'Leary (Grenoble), Niyi Adeolokun (Dublin University)

Departures:
James Rael, Aaron Conneely, Frank Murphy, Paul O'Donohoe, Brian Murphy (all released), Brett Wilkinson, Craig Clarke, Kyle Tonetti (all retired due to injury), Dave Nolan (Bourgoin), Dan Parks (retired), Eoin Griffin (London Irish), Gavin Duffy (Mayo Football)
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Post by Notch Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:25 am

The best signings for the Dragons are Stankovich and Brok Harris. They'll get overshadowed by the signings of more high profile Welsh outside backs but they always been able to boast good, technically capable and creative backs, even though they may not be household names. Its their pack which has been sub-par.
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Guinness Pro12 Predictions Thread 2014/15 Empty Re: Guinness Pro12 Predictions Thread 2014/15

Post by Jenifer McLadyboy Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:46 am

Leinster to march on to a 3rd Pro12 in a row...... You heard it here first.

What would worry me is Munster and/or Ulster getting knocked out of Europe at the group stage. (They have harder groups than us)

That would make April very tough.

Playing Glasgow at home the week before a possible 1/4 final and Ulster away in between a possible semi and final of Europe. [/countingchickens]

If all 3 provinces are still in Europe after the group I will be doubly happy.

Glasgow could upset the apple tart for us too. Not sure a Welsh region will be strong enough yet to make a final.

Perhaps after a season or 2 of stabillity and better finances we could see someone Welsh other than the Ospreys in the final of the Pro12.

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Post by profitius Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:07 am

There's a new Guinness pro 12 app out on android now.
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Post by profitius Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:02 pm

6 games to go.

Its fair to say we got the Blues and Connacht wrong.

The battle for 6th place is hitting up. I think Scarlets will get it because they've an easier run in.

http://www.pro12rugby.com/matchcentre/table.php
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Post by profitius Sun May 17, 2015 9:04 am

Final standings

1 Glasgow
2 Munster
3 Ospreys
4 Ulster
5 Leinster
6 Scarlets
7 Connacht
8 Edinburgh
9 Dragons
10 Cardiff
11 Treviso
12 Zebre


Good season for: Ospreys + Connacht
Bad season for: Leinster + Cardiff
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Post by VinceWLB Mon May 18, 2015 12:18 am

Yes it's funny how Connacht's and Blues' season panned out, guess one team trusted the coaching staff the other didn't..

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