Final round preview: PRO12

Date published: May 14 2015

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After 21 rounds of action, one point separates the top four teams in this season's PRO12, with home comforts in the semi-finals are on the line.

Ospreys currently head the table, with Glasgow and Munster below them on points difference and number of wins respectively. Ulster's solid recent form keeps them in the hunt one point below the trio as they travel to the Warriors for what's the stand-out showdown of the final weekend in the PRO12 campaign.

It's not just league finishes that are going down to the wire as the player points ladder sees Munster's Ian Keatley (160) and Ospreys' Dan Biggar (154) battling to be the top dog. Meanwhile, Ulster winger Craig Gilroy (11) currently edges Ospreys scrum-half Rhys Webb (10) on tries scored in 2014/15's season.

Add in the Champions Cup qualification race and also the battle for Italian supremacy and we're all set up for plenty of 'as it stands' tables on Saturday.

PRO12 fixtures

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

With all the games kicking off at 15:00 BST, there promises to be a great deal of toing and froing in the standings, with Ospreys arguably entering the final round in the strongest position, despite travelling to Connacht. If they are to win, a home play-off will be secured. A bonus-point win would mean Glasgow would have to do the same against Ulster if they are to finish atop the standings after a long campaign.

Munster meanwhile will hope Ulster do them a favour against the Warriors so as to open up the door for them to host a semi at Thomond Park. However, one gets the feeling that Glasgow were eyeing this week's game as being their must-win rather than last Friday's clash in Swansea.

Speaking of Anthony Foley's side, he would be forgiven for looking back to Round One's home defeat to Edinburgh as being one of the reasons why his men aren't sitting top of the pile right now. How they had victory snatched from them late on at Ulster last week also didn't help.

Glasgow meanwhile have been superb throughout, having battled through international periods with so many of their personnel away playing for Scotland. Despite that, their impressive squad continued to rally and pick up wins, so they deservedly have their destiny in their own hands.

The same goes for the Ospreys who, despite missing key players such as Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar and Alun-Wyn Jones, continued to show up thanks to the likes of Tyler Ardron, Sam Davies and others putting their hand up. Centre Josh Matavesi has been one of their most consistent stars.

And finally to Ulster, who in all likelihood are set to be on the road next weekend. Their impressive form in 2015 has given them a chance, although slim, of hosting a play-off though, with the carrot of the PRO12 final being at Ravenhill another reason to dream for their fans.

Down at the other end of the standings there's a fight between Treviso and Zebre for a Champions Cup place, with the former currently three points ahead of their rivals in the table. Treviso have home field advantage against Scarlets while Zebre travel to Cardiff Blues to finish.

Both these basement sides have claimed just three wins from 21 games this PRO12 season and with the aforementioned Welsh regions looking to end their terms on a high note, it's difficult to see Zebre ousting Treviso for that coveted place in European club rugby's top competition.

Current standings

1. Ospreys 70
2. Glasgow 70
3. Munster 70
4. Ulster 69


6. Scarlets 53
7. Connacht 49
8. Edinburgh 48


11. Treviso 18
12. Zebre 15

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