Saturday 25 November 2017

Pro12 play-off race going down to the wire

Munster's Dave Kilcoyne in Pro12 action against Connacht. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Munster's Dave Kilcoyne in Pro12 action against Connacht. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

John Fallon

Regardless of how Sunday's Heineken Cup semi-final goes in Marseille, Munster will need to switch focus very quickly to the RaboDirect Pro12 campaign next week.

There are two rounds of games left with five teams fighting for four places, with none of them yet guaranteed a home semi-final. Leinster, who lead the table on 74 points, are almost assured a home tie but with several matches to come between the top five, anything could happen.

No away team has ever won a Pro12 semi-final so the battle will go down to the wire between Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Glasgow and Ospreys.

Glasgow, beaten semi-finalists in three of the four years since the play-offs were introduced, have a home game in hand against Edinburgh which will take place tomorrow and which will make the picture clear for the final two rounds.

Munster, whether celebrating a high or dealing with a second Heineken Cup semi-final loss in France in a row, will have to turn their attentions to next weekend's away clash against Edinburgh before entertaining Ulster in their final game.

Leinster's run-in sees them travelling to Ravenhill next weekend before hosting Edinburgh in their final match.

Ulster have their fate in their own hands with those games against Leinster and Munster, while after tomorrow's clash with Edinburgh, Glasgow will conclude with a trip to Treviso before entertaining Zebre in their final match.

Ospreys travel to Zebre next weekend before concluding against Connacht, who have never won at the Liberty Stadium.

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