Harlequins vs Bristol Bears
This should be a cracker of a match as the Bears will want revenge for their semifinal loss last season. All teams will lose a semi at some point but the Bears lost after leading 28-0. That was the greatest comeback seen in the Premiership. It seems that they have not recovered from that as they have struggled in the new season. They started with two losses and scraped a win against Bath in their last match. Harlequins have no such issues and have won their opening two matches and more impressively they have won without their star player Marcus Smith. The good news for them is that their Lion will be available for this match. His partnership with Danny Care was one of the main reasons for Quins winning the title last season. The Bears are really missing their Fijian superstar Semi Radradra and received the bad news he is out for another four months with injury.
TIP: Quins have shown all of last season that they are the best attacking side in the competition but it was their defence that let them down at times. This season has again shown their attacking prowess but they seem to have fixed the defensive issues. We can expect a high scoring match as both these team enjoy running the ball from anywhere on the pitch. Bristol have struggled at set piece and especially at scrum time and this will be an acid test for them as Quins have arguably the strongest scrum in the league. The irrepressible Joe Marler has been dominant against all the opposition he has faced and this Bears front row will need a massive improvement or else this could be a long evening for them. The bookies have Quins as favourites and I am also tipping them for the win. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.45, Playabets 1.41 and Sunbet 1.44
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Harlequins vs Bristol Bears
- In the last five matches between the sides there have been three Bears wins and one for Quins with one draw.
- Harlequins have only lost once at home to Bristol in six meetings.
- The last time Bristol visited Quins they won 27-19.
Latest results for both teams
Harlequins won their last match 35-29 against Worcester while Bristol beat Bath 25-20 in their last match.
There are superstar players on both sides who love attacking but the player that I think will be the difference again is Tyrone Green. He will be up against the international star Charles Piutau but if he repeats his exploits from last season’s semifinal then Quins will win. He is a fearless runner and is the catalyst of many Quins attacks from their own half. The kicking from both sides need to be accurate as both team are filled with great counter attacking players. The halfbacks are from both sides are all international players but I feel Quins have the edge in this department as the England 10 Marcus Smith is more innovative than Bristol’s Welsh 10 Callum Sheedy. Sheedy has struggled to replicate his form from last year and this will be the perfect opportunity for him to regain his best form. The overall strength of the Quins team makes me predict a home win by 10 points.
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Tyrone Green, 14 Louis Lynagh, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Alex Dombrandt (c), 7 Jack Kenningham, 6 Tom Lawday, 5 Dino Lamb, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Simon Kerrod, 2 Jack Walker, 1 Joe Marler
15 Charles Piutau, 14 Ioan Lloyd, 13 Piers O’Conor, 12 Sam Bedlow, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Harry Randall, 8 Nathan Hughes 7 Steven Luatua (c), 6 Chris Vui, 5 Joe Joyce, 4 Ed Holmes, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Will Capon, 1 Yann Thomas
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Harlequins victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Harlequins handicap victory :
The complete odds on the Harlequins handicap victory:
Worldsportsbetting (-6.5) 1.90
Sunbet (-5.5) 1.92
Playabets (-5.5) 1.81
Predictions and Odds in details
I am looking forward to the battle between the two number 8s, Nathan Hughes and Alex Dombrandt. Dombrandt has finally been capped by England and he has now taken that spot from Hughes. It isn’t surprising as Hughes form has dipped while Dombrandt has been the standout 8 in the past two seasons. Their duel could be the highlight of the match for me. Harlequins not only have the edge in the halfbacks but also have an international midfield combination in Joe Marchant and Andre Esterhuizen. They complement each other perfectly as Esterhuizen is the physical ball carrier while Marchant has speed to run through any gap. The Bears will have to improve their tackling otherwise this Quins attack will have a field day with them. The bookies are offering decent returns on the Quins win but the value bet is on the home team to cover the handicap. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (-6.5) 1.90, Sunbet (-5.5) 1.92 and Playabets (-5.5) 1.81
Sports crazy fan that follows all major sport but the game with the oval ball is my real passion. Was an age level rugby coach and a huge supporter of the Springboks and diehard Liverpool man. I’m an experienced punter and sports writer whose predictions/tips are sure to stir up the emotions. I love the occasional wager on the underdog.