Leinster, Glasgow Warriors and Munster are through to the Guinness PRO14 final series but there is still plenty to play for across the rest of the league as teams scramble for places in next week’s semi-final qualifiers.
Conference winners Glasgow (A1) and Leinster (B1) are already assured of a semi-final on the weekend of May 18-20 but they will have to wait another week to discover which teams they will be facing in the last four, although Leo Cullen’s men need a point at Connacht to deny Scarlets and ensure a home semi.
The semi-final line-up will be determined by the qualifiers, otherwise known as quarter-finals.
As Conference A runners-up, Munster have a home quarter at Thomond Park next Saturday at 3:15pm against whichever of three Conference B sides finds itself in third place by this evening.
With just five points between Scarlets in second and Ulster in fourth, the race in Conference B is far from run. Scarlets face the Dragons, Edinburgh in third play Glasgow and Ulster are at Munster.
As it stands, Edinburgh will be visiting Limerick, while Scarlets hold onto second in Conference B and a home quarter against either the Cheetahs or Cardiff Blues.
The situation is tight, however, with Cheetahs visiting South African rivals Southern Kings, the bottom club in B, protecting a five-point cushion over Cardiff, who will need a bonus-point win over derby rivals Ospreys and hope the Kings upset the odds by denying their visitors even a losing bonus point.
Also up for grabs, the final Champions Cup slots will be claimed today.
The top three from each conference will go into the pool draw, except South Africa’s Cheetahs in A. Their place has gone to fourth-place Cardiff.
The seventh and final European spot from the PRO14 will be decided by a mid-May play-off between the two eligible fourth-placed teams in each conference, currently Ospreys (fifth in A) and Ulster (fourth in B), with the Irish province looking good for home advantage in that game with a superior match points total.
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