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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Leinster in the winning groove for visit of Ulster

Ospreys eight-point favourites for derby clash with Cardiff

Leinster's Jordan Larmour in action against Munster
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Ospreys v Cardiff
Sky Sports Action & S4C, 3.15pm Saturday
Leinster v Ulster
Sky Sports Action, BBC1 NI & TG4, 5.35pm Saturday

Ulster fans are still coming back down to earth after their team's brilliant fightback from 17-0 down at half-time to beat Munster 24-17 on New Year's Day, but they face another huge challenge at Leinster.

That second-half fightback - against 14 men - was a complete turnaround from their first-half showing and from their heavy defeat at Connacht the previous week.

And back-to-back European triumphs over Harlequins may have glossed over unconvincing Pro14 form before that, which included a draw at Dragons and a one-point home win over Benetton when they were 20-point favourites.

Leinster won the reverse fixture 25-10 in Belfast in October and have lost just once since - at runaway leaders Glasgow - and buoyed by inter-pro wins over Munster and Connacht they look primed for another comfortable victory.

Rory Best is back for the Ulstermen but the skipper and hooker may take time to get up to speed after a month on the sidelines.

It's derby day in Wales too as Ospreys and Cardiff clash at the Liberty Stadium and both sides have enjoyed similar form over the holiday fixtures, with a win over Dragons and narrow defeat to Scarlets each.

The Blues, who haven't won at the Liberty since 2005, are given an eight-point start.

Leinster to win by 11 to 20 points
1pt 5-2 Betfair

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Leinster won the reverse fixture 25-10 in Belfast in October and have lost just once since then
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