The 3 South African sides are all in European Champions Cup action this weekend and we have a look at their matches from a betting angle.
Leinster are the ruling favourites at 17/10 to lift the European Rugby Champions Cup and you can get 9/2 Toulouse, 11/2 La Rochelle, 7/1 Saracens and 14/1 and better the balance. As far as South African sides go the Sharks are 15/1, the Stormers 28/1 and you can get 45/1 the Bulls.
Sharks v Bordeaux – Click here to bet
The Sharks have won both their opening Heineken Cup fixtures, beating the Harlequins by 8 points in a high scoring game in Durban and then coming from behind to beat Bordeaux 19-16 in France. The Sharks kept their big players at home, to prepare for this match, last week in the URC and the second stringers were well beaten by Connacht.
Bordeaux have lost both of their opening games and their other match was a 22-17 away defeat to Gloucester. It was a particularly disappointing result for them as they led by 12 points, but couldn’t close out the match.
Handicap: Sharks -15.5
Suggested Bet: Half-Time Handicap, Sharks -7.5 at 1/1
The Sharks have been targeting this game and I expect them to come out firing and to take a comfortable lead into the break.
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Blue Bulls v Exeter Chiefs – Click here to bet
The Bulls won their opening game 42-36 against Lyon at Loftus, but they then rested a host of players going down by 44-14 away to Exeter. They are still travelling well in the URC where they are currently 3rd on the log. Exeter’s other match came away at Castres where they won 27-12.
Handicap: Blue Bulls -4.5
Suggested Bet: Exeter Win at 18/10
The Blue Bulls strategy as confused me in recent weeks, but it appears as if they are focusing on the URC. Exeter are a strong side and I think the value is to back them to win this game outright.
London Irish v Stormers – Click here to bet
London Irish opened their European Champions Cup campaign with a 27-32 home loss to Montpellier. They then travelled to Cape Town where the Stormers beat them 34-14. Last week they were at home to the Bears in the Premiership where they won 23-7.
The Stormers were beaten by Clermont in their opening game going down 24-14 in France, but as mentioned above they kept themselves in contention with a 20 point victory over London Irish in Cape Town. They will need to shrug off a disappointing 24-17 defeat to the Glasgow Warriors on the road in the URC last week.
Handicap: London Irish +2.5
Suggested Bet: Handicap, Stormers -2.5 at 19/20
London Irish can be a bit inconsistent and I feel the Stormers can take control up front and win this game by 3 points or more.
Note: All prices correct at the time of writing but are subject to change