Eighteen short days ago we had Ulster at odds on to reach the league semi-finals at the end of the season. However with all but one of the catch up games now out of the way and with Round 18 completed the odds have switched significantly against Ulster being involved after the next four rounds are completed 😕
|RD19||CONNACHT (H)||TREVISO (A)||ULSTER (A)||MUNSTER (H)||LEINSTER (A)||CARDIFF (H)|
|RD20||ZEBRE (A)||SCARLETS (A)||MUNSTER (H)||EDINBURGH (H)||CONNACHT (A)||GLASGOW (H)|
|RD21||LEINSTER (H)||ZEBRE (H)||TREVISO (A)||ULSTER (A)||EDINBURGH (H)||DRAGONS (A)|
|RD22||OSPREYS (A)||CONNACHT (A)||GLASGOW (H)||TREVISO (H)||SCARLETS (H)||MUNSTER (A)|
The percentages, both over the last five games and over the season as a whole have moved in favour of Glasgow, Scarlets and Munster and against Ulster with our boys now supping at the last chance saloon with their remaining four games all “must wins” if they are to be in the mix after Round 22. Not only that, but at least one of the wins must be a five pointer!
Yep, the only option showing Ulster in the top four is our prediction of fairly favourable results for Ulster. The required run being home wins against Connacht and Leinster, a bonus point away win against Zebre and an away win against Ospreys.
This “best guess” gives Ulster a 3rd place finish and an away semi-final against Leinster.
Unfortunately when we make allowances for current form (last five results) and season form (all the results to date) Ulster drop to 6th, the main driver being their current form which is the worst, along with Edinburgh, of the top eight sides.
Combining all the options (predicted results, current form and season form) doesn’t make for any more comfortable reading for Ulster as they remain in 6th, as shown below.
There is one ray of light at the end of the tunnel; in that if they do make the play off it is likely that they will be the form team at that time having beat Connacht and Leinster in the run up!
Every game is now a play off as Ulster are only one loss away from dropping out of contention. However, to end on a positive note, six more wins and we’re the champions! 😀