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Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Connacht can find a way to stay in touch with Leinster

Ulster's Stuart McCloskey value for try against Munster

Stuart McCloskey scores for Ulster against Harlequins in the Champions Cup
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Leinster v Connacht
TG4, 3.15pm Monday
Ulster v  Munster
TG4 & BBC2 NI, 7.35pm Monday

Leinster have not lost a regular-season game at the RDS for nearly three years and bring back plenty of stars rested for last Monday's wonderful 34-24 win at Munster for their clash with Connacht.

Before that they scored back-to-back European Champions Cup successes over English kings Exeter but Connacht with a handicap start of 15 points looks the value Pro14 bet in Dublin.

Wet and windy conditions could limit the ambitions of home half-backs Luke McGrath and Johnny Sexton and the Galway gang also enjoyed a healthy Christmas victory, a home 44-16 triumph over Ulster, after a pair of European Challenge Cup wins over Brive.

Connacht head coach Kieran Keane has named a pack and replacements bench that should stand firm for long periods and while last season Leinster avenged their shock 2016 Pro12 Grand Final defeat by Connacht at Murrayfield, both victories were by a margin below the start given this time.

So too were their January 2016 and December 2014 RDS battles. Connacht sneaked victories in weather-affected March 2016 and September 2014 meetings at the Sportsground.

Munster have won their last two visits to the Kingspan Stadium but bookmakers are probably right to think that Ulster are the more likely to put their defeat last time out behind them in Belfast.

Home director of rugby Les Kiss welcomes back high-quality southern hemisphere trio Charles Piutau, Christian Lealiifano and Jean Deysel among his changes, while Red Army counterpart Johann van Graan has decided to use his wider squad.

Twice-capped Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey looks worth chancing at 9-2 for a fifth try of the season. He has crashed over in home European wins over Wasps and Harlequins and league triumphs over the Cheetahs and Dragons.   

Recommendations
Connacht +15
1pt 5-6 bet365
S McCloskey to score a try in Ulster v Munster
1pt 9-2 Betfair, Paddy Power


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He has crashed over in home European wins over Wasps and Harlequins and league triumphs over the Cheetahs and Dragons
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