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Saturday 3 December 2016

Pro 12 League: Unwritten rule is that home sides always win in semis

Anthony Foley
Anthony Foley

Since the advent of the PRO12 League play-offs in 2010, not one of the away clubs has made it out of the semi-finals.

There have been ten semi-finals and ten home winners.

This is good news for Munster; bad for Ulster.

Glasgow have made all the incremental improvements necessary to suggest their time is now.

They felt the power of The Ospreys (20-5) in the very first play-off in 2010, came up short against Leinster by four points in 2012 (19-15), by two (17-15) in 2013 and made their first final in Dublin last year.

Their coach Gregor Townsend was awarded the PRO12 'Coach of the Year' accolade last night to go with wing Tommy Seymour, centre Peter Horne and back rower Josh Strauss making the 'Team of the Year'.

Ulster's calculated gamble to rest a host of players against Glasgow on Saturday will be seen as a genius move by coach Neil Doak if they can buck the unwritten rule on Friday night.

When Munster made the breakthrough in their championship winning season of 2011, The Ospreys were their 18-11 victims in the last four.

Coach Anthony Foley would gladly settle for more of the same next Saturday.

Should Glasgow and Munster confirm the statistical slant, it will add to the argument about the unfair idea to list The Kingspan Stadium as the first pre-ordained venue for the Grand Final.

The Scottish club will rue the decision as they finished top due to more wins than Munster and would have had the right of home advantage for the final in the five previous seasons.

PRO12 SEMI-FINALS

Friday, May 22

Glasgow v Ulster, Scotstoun, 7.45.

Saturday, May 23

Munster v The Ospreys, Thomond Park, 2.30.

PRO12 League

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