There are two South African, United Rugby Championship derbies taking place on Friday and we take a look at both games from a betting angle.
The United Rugby Championship swings back into action this weekend and we take a look at the Outright Betting to begin with, where we find Leinster as the 5/10 favourites ahead of the Stormers and Ulster 8/1, you can get Munster at 17/2 and Bulls and Sharks are both priced at 10/1 with 40/1 and better the balance.
THE SHARKS v LIONS
The Sharks will be looking to take some of their Heineken Champions Cup form into the URC. The last two weeks have seen them beat the Harlequins 30-31 in Durban and they then came from behind to beat the Bordeaux Bègles 19-16 in France last week.
They did win their last URC match against the Ospreys 25-10 drawing clear late, but before that were absolutely stunned 35-0 at home by Cardiff, a game where they started 15 point favourites.
Last season the Sharks did the double over the Lions winning this fixture 37-10.
The Lions are coming off 2 home matches in the European Challenge Cup where they drew 31-31 with the Dragons and then beat Stade Francais 31-12 last week.
Their most recent URC outing was a 32-15 victory over the Scarlets, a win that moved them up to 5th on the log, 5 positions and 5 points ahead of their opponents, the Sharks although the Sharks have played a game less.
BETTING – Click here to bet
Handicap: Sharks: -11.5
Suggested Bet: Handicap, Sharks -11.5 at 10/11
The Sharks seem to have turned a corner since parting ways with their coach and I am expecting them to be too strong at home for this Lions Team. Cullen Ross has offered me 100 Pounds to place on the game.
STORMERS v BLUE BULLS
The Stormers are currently 3rd on the URC log, level on points and one position behind the Bulls who are 2nd, the Stormers though have played 1 game less.
The Stormers have made a solid enough start to the Champions Cup and they looked like causing an upset against Clermont away in their opener before going down 24-14, but they saw off London Irish 34-14 in Cape Town last week. They are of course the URC defending Champions and they have a 100% record at home this season.
The Bulls won their opening Heineken Cup match 42-36 at home to Lyon and last week they sent something of a weakened squad over to Exeter where they were beaten 44-14. The Bulls finished runners-up to the Stormers last year. The Bulls have a 100% record at Loftus this season.
Last season the Bulls beat the Stormers 30-26 at Loftus and 19-17 in Cape Town in the regular season and the final as mentioned above went to the Stormers 18-13.
BETTING – Click here to bet
Blue Bulls 18/10
Handicap: Stormers -4.5
Suggested Bet: Handicap, Blue Bulls +4.5 points at 17/20
The Bulls are trying to manage their squad effectively and based on last week’s selections there is a big focus on the URC. This should be a cracking game and I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes down to the wire, but I will have to say at current handicaps I do fancy the Bulls.
Click here for betting on all the weekend’s URC matches
Note: All prices correct at the time of writing but are subject to change