There are two local URC Derbies taking place on New Year’s Eve and we take a look at the games from a betting angle.
Let’s start with a look at the Outright Betting for the United Rugby Championship where Leinster, who are 10 from 10 at this point are trading as firm favourites at 5/10. You can get 8/1 about the Stormers and Ulster, 9/1 Munster and 10/1 the Bulls and the Sharks. Other sides are available at 40/1 and better.
SHARKS v BLUE BULLS
The Sharks currently sit 7th on the log with 5 wins and 3 losses in their 8 matches. They were pushed hard early by the Lions in Durban last weekend, but ended coming up trumps with a 37-10 victory comfortably beating the 12 point handicap. That win came on the back of an excellent start to their Heineken Champions Cup campaign where they beat Harlequins by 8 points at home and Bordeaux by 3 points on the road.
The Bulls beat the Sharks 40-27 at Loftus earlier in the season, but last season the Sharks won this fixture 30-16. The Bulls have dropped to 4th on the table after defeat to the Stormers last week. They have won 7 and lost 3 of their 10 matches.
Last week they travelled to Cape Town as underdogs, but were well-backed by punters likely on the basis that Jake White had targeted the match by resting players in the Heineken Cup the week before where they lost 44-14 to Exeter. Unfortunately for the Bulls though the Stormers were too strong and they ended up losing 37-27 with the score line flattering the Bulls somewhat thanks to a couple of late tries.
BETTING – Click here to bet
Blue Bulls 21/10
Handicap: Sharks -5.5
Suggested Bet: Handicap, Sharks -5.5 at 19/20
The Sharks have started to play some good rugby and they can take advantage of a Bulls side that does not appear to be firing on all cylinders at the moment.
Take a double with both South African derbies in week 11 of the URC, and if both your selections lose, we will refund 50% of your stake back in Free Bets.
STORMERS v LIONS
The Stormers are currently 2nd on the log with 7 wins, a draw and a loss in their opening 9 matches. They found themselves in a tough battle at home to the Bulls last week to score 13-13 at half-time, but the Stormers broke clear after the break to win 37-27.
The Stormers are coming off games in the Champions Cup where they had mixed fortunes, losing to Clermont on the road, but beating London Irish at home.
The Lions are currently 8th on the log with 5 wins and 4 losses in their 9 matches. Last week they travelled to Durban and things looked promising early as they trailed only 12-7 at the break, but the Sharks were too strong for them in the second-half and the Lions went down by 27 points in the end.
The Lions were in Challenge Cup action prior to that with a draw and a victory at home against European opposition.
The Stormers and the Lions met in Johannesburg earlier this season with the Stormers winning 31-22.
BETTING – Click here to bet
Handicap: Stormers -16.5
Suggested Bet: First-Half Handicap, Lions +7.5 at 9/10
The handicap for this game is a big one and while I think the Stormers are capable of covering it, the Lions started well last week against the Sharks whereas the Stormers were fairly slow out of the blocks against the Bulls and I am backing this Lions side to be within a score at the break.
Note: All prices correct at the time of writing but are subject to change