Leinster should be capable of extending their huge lead at the top of the conference with a win over Zebre tomorrow afternoon.
The team’s backbone is filled with senior, experienced players such as Jack McGrath, Jamison Gibson-Park and Dave Kearney, and is captained by the wily Australian, Scott Fardy.
They should prove too much for Zebre, a poor team at the best of times, but now deprived of many of their starters who are away on international duty.
|Daniele Rimpelli||1||Jack McGrath|
|Oliviero Fabiani||2||James Tracy|
|Giosue Zilocchi||3||Andrew Porter|
|Samuele Ortis||4||Ross Molony|
|George Biagi||5||Scott Fardy (Captain)|
|Maxime Mbanda||6||Josh Murphy|
|Jimmy Tuivaiti||7||Max Deegan|
|Giovanni Licata||8||Caelan Doris|
|Josh Renton||9||Jamison Gibson-Park|
|Carlo Canna||10||Ross Byrne|
|Jamie Elliott||11||Barry Daly|
|Tommaso Boni||12||Conor O’Brien|
|Giulio Bisegni||13||Rory O’Loughlin|
|Gabriele Di Giulio||14||Adam Byrne|
|Francois Brummer||15||Dave Kearney|
|Luhandre Luus||16||Bryan Byrne|
|Danilo Fischetti||17||Peter Dooley|
|Dario Chistolini||18||Michael Bent|
|Apisai Tauyavuca||19||Mick Kearney|
|James Brown||20||Jack Dunne|
|Riccardo Raffaele||21||Hugh O’Sullivan|
|Oaula Balekana||22||Noel Reid|
|Nicolas De Battista||23||Jimmy O’Brien|
Away games can be tricky, but I expect Leinster to dominate this game, bullying Zebre at set piece and in broken play. They should dominate possession and territory and build a nice score.
Not to say that the home side will not have any teeth. The international break and frequently changing senior team means that this Leinster side has not had a chance to gel. Defensive lapses will be a possibility and we may let in a few scores.
The bookies are giving Zebre a 21 point head-start. It sounds about right, but I back Leinster to beat the spread. The danger will be if we let in some soft tries near the end when the game is beyond doubt.
Leinster will be eyeing a bonus point victory to put some distance on the chasing pack, freeing Leo Cullen’s hands to rotate the squad in the last few rounds of the regular season to keep the first team primed for action at the business end.