Munster vs Ulster

This Irish derby always provides fireworks and this promises to be no different. The Munster team showed their title credentials in their first match when they totally outplayed Leinster albeit a second string Leinster outfit. Ulster will be kicking themselves after throwing away a commanding lead in their Challenge Cup semifinal before finally finding a way to lose. Munster has a star studded lineup with power and speed both in the forwards and the backline. I expect the Munster team to come out firing on their first match at home in the Rainbow Cup. The all Irish international backrow of Munster will make life difficult for the Ulsterman especially now that powerhouse flanker Marcell Coetzee has left the club. Munster traditionally likes to play a forward dominated game plan but they now have world class backline players like Damian de Allende who can rip through any defence. He was unstoppable in his man of the match performance against Leinster. Ulster seems to lack that attacking threat and rely too much on their forwards which will work when they face teams with weak packs. This will never work against Munster who has CJ Stander and Tadhg Beirne in their ranks. There Munster team will not only look for victory but will definitely be targeting the win plus the bonus point which could be vital in this closely contested competition. The halfback pairing of Conor Murray and Joey Carberry are excellent at controlling the tempo of the game and they certainly hold the advantage over their opposite numbers.

TIP: The Irish derbies are generally fiery affairs and both teams need to watch their discipline as giving away cheap penalties could cost more than three points. Both these teams use their rolling mauls to great effect and love to kick for touch with their penalties and then unleash their maul. Carberry and Stander are both playing their last season with Munster and will be looking to finish of their season with some silverware and that drive and desire was evident against Leinster. The bookies have Munster as heavy favourites and I agree that this will be a comfortable victory for the home team. The best odds on the Munster victory are: Worldsportsbetting 1.28, Playabets 1.25 and Sunbet 1.25

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

Munster vs Ulster

  • The last five matches between the two have seen Ulster win three and Munster win two.
  • The home team has won the last five encounters.
  • The last time Munster lost at home to Ulster was in 2014.

Latest results for both teams

Munster won their last match against Leinster 3-27 while Ulster lost their last game against Leicester Tigers 24-33.

PREDICTION

In seasons gone by I would normally predict victory by a single digit margin but this Munster team is so strong that the home victory will be convincing. Ulster seemed to have regressed as the Pro14 progressed and this lethargic showing was evident in their last two matches that they lost. Munster is playing with a new found confidence and superbly controlled by Conor Murray who seems back to his best. The backline was in great touch and along with probably the form forward pack in the Rainbow Cup, I can only see a resounding victory by Munster of more than 15 points.

  • Probable Starting XVs

Munster

15 Mike Haley, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Shane Daly, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Jack O’Donoghue, 6 Peter O’Mahony (captain), 5 Tadhg Beirne, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.

Ulster

15 Jacob Stockdale, 14 Rob Baloucoune, 13 James Hume, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Ethan McIlroy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 John Cooney, 8 Nick Timoney, 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 Matt Rea, 5 Iain Henderson (captain), 4 Alan O’Connor, 3 Marty Moore, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Eric O’Sullivan.

Odds for this bet

These are the best odds on the Munster victory:

Worldsportsbetting 1.28

Playabets 1.25

Sunbet 1.25

Odds comparison on a Munster handicap victory:

The complete odds on the Chiefs handicaps are as follows:

Worldsportsbetting (-9.5) 1.90

Sunbet (-9.5) 1.92

Playabets (-9.5) 1.82

Predictions and Odds in details

When Johann van Graan arrived at Munster as head coach he promised that he will win trophies with this team and although they haven’t been winning the trophies, they are finally closing the gap on champions Leinster. This season has shown the improvement in the team and no doubt will be eager to win some silverware and the Rainbow Cup is the perfect place to start. Munster has title ambitions while the Ulster team will need to find a way to get the best out Of Irish internationals Jacob Stockdale and Stuart McCloskey who have been a shadow of their former selves. The bookies are not offering great returns on the Munster outright victory therefore I suggest the home victory on the handicap. These are the best odds on the Munster handicap victory: Worldsportsbetting (-9.5) 1.90 Sunbet (-9.5) 1.92 and Playabets (-9.5) 1.82

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