Castres vs Harlequins
The English Champions travel to France to take on Castres in their opening round fixture. Travelling to France is always a difficult task in Europe but Harlequins have shown their ability to win anywhere. All French teams will try and test the opposition up front so Harlequins can expect a forwards barrage to start the match. Quins have shown that their pack can stand up to anyone. They must continue to play their running game as this will tire out the big Castres pack. The Castres team will not want an open game as this will suit the English team.
TIP: The player that is the obvious stand out in this match is new England wonder boy Marcus Smith. Everything good that Quins do has to pass through him and no doubt Castres will have him as a marked man. He has very little European exposure and this could be seen as a weakness especially when playing in front of a partisan French crowd. The bookies have Harlequins as favourites and I’m also tipping them for the victory. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.55, Playabets 1.50 and Sunbet 1.52
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Castres vs Harlequins
- They have met twice before with Harlequins winning both matches.
Latest results for both teams
Castres won their last match 25-3 against Racing while Harlequins lost 18-16 to Leicester Tigers
The Castres team knows only one way to play and that is to keep the ball between the forwards and when then kick for territory. They do not believe in running with the ball. The English team on the other hand can run the ball from anywhere especially fullback Tyrone Green. He is never afraid to chance his arm even from his own 22m line. The Castres team must be accurate with their kicking as the Quins back three are excellent at counter attacking. The match will be won by the flair of Harlequins and I predict an away win by 8 points.
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Thomas Larregain, 14 Martin Laveau, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Pierre Aguillon, 11 Filipo Nakosi, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Rory Kockott (c), 8 Teariki Ben-Nicholas, 7 Josaia Raisuqe, 6 Nick Champion de Crespigny, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 Théo Hannoyer, 3 Antoine Guillamon, 2 Paula Ngauamo, 1 Antoine Tichit
15 Tyrone Green, 14 Louis Lynagh, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Alex Dombrandt, 7 Tom Lawday, 6 James Chisholm, 5 Stephan Lewies (c), 4 Dino Lamb, 3 Will Collier, 2 Jack Walker, 1 Joe Marler
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 (-4.5) 1.90
Sunbet (-5.5) 1.88
Playabets (-4.5) 1.86
Predictions and Odds in details
The Quins team have some great attackers in the pack and none more so than new England international Alex Dombrandt. He is a beast of a player and if given space he will cause Castres problems all day. The scrum battle stands out for me with Joe Marler testing himself against a notoriously strong scrum. The winner at scrum time will win this match. The bookies are offering decent returns on the Harlequins win but I suggest the value bet of the away team on the handicap. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (-4.5) 1.90, Sunbet (-5.5) 1.88 and Playabets (-4.5) 1.86
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.