22-12-2023 Daily Predictions United Rugby Championship Ulster vs Connacht

Ulster vs Connacht  

In this derby weekend we have Ulster taking on local rivals Connacht at the Kingspan Stadium in round 8 of the URC. The home team put in their performance of the season last week when they easily saw off French giants Racing 92 in the Champions Cup. They looked like a well-oiled machine with their set pieces being particularly damaging to the Parisians. The same cannot be said of Connacht who have had a horrific two weeks in the Champions Cup, conceding almost 100 points in their two losses to Bordeaux and Saracens. They will need to fix their defence or face another points barrage against them.

TIP: Ulster showed great innovation in their last match especially when they were awarded penalties close to the opposition line. They turned the quickly taken tap penalties into mauls which were unstoppable so Connacht will need to be alert to this. The visitors looked good in attack in the last match with Jack Carty in the ten position but their defence was like a revolving door. The bookies have Ulster as favorites and I’m also tipping them for the win. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Betway 1.22, Gbets 1.22 and Hollywoodbets 1.22

HEAD-TO-HEAD STATS

Ulster vs Connacht 

  • Ulster have won three of the last five matches between the sides.
  • Connacht have won the last two matches between the sides.

Latest results for both teams

Ulster beat Racing 31-15 in their last match while Connacht lost 55-36 to Saracens in their last match.

PREDICTION

Ulster will be looking for revenge as Connacht came out victorious on their last visit to Belfast in the URC quarter finals earlier this season. The home side are at their best when they get off to a fast start and back their defence to keep the opposition out. One of the most pleasing aspects for Ulster has been the return to form of James Hume as he looked back to his best in the last two matches. The midfield battle between Hume and Bundee Aki promises to be one of the highlights of the match. The match will be decided in the forwards and this is an area the home side have the advantage. I am predicting an Ulster win by more than 12 points.

Probable Starting XVs

Ulster   

15 Mike Lowry, 14 Rob Baloucoune, 13 James Hume, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Billy Burns, 9 John Cooney, 8 Matty Rea, 7 Nick Timoney, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Iain Henderson (captain), 4 Alan O’Connor, 3 Tom O’Toole, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Connacht

15 Mack Hansen, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Cathal Forde, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Andrew Smith, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Caolin Blade, 8 Seán Jansen, 7 Shamus Hurley-Langton, 6 Cian Prendergast, 5 Joe Joyce, 4 Darragh Murray, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Dave Heffernan, 1 Denis Buckley

Odds for this bet

The best odds on the Ulster victory are as follows:

Betway 1.22

Gbets 1.22

Hollywoodbets 1.22

Odds comparison on the Ulster handicap:

The complete odds on the Ulster handicap:

Betway 1.90 (-10.5)

Gbets 1.87 (-10.5)

Hollywoodbets 1.89 (-10.5)

Predictions and Odds in details

There are poor odds on the Ulster outright win but if you are looking for better odds then we suggest backing the home team on the handicap. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Betway 1.90 (-10.5), Gbets 1.87 (-10.5) and Hollywoodbets 1.89 (-10.5)

Other tips for the weekend (Predicted winners are in BOLD text)

Newcastle vs Bristol

Bordeaux vs Lyon

Gloucester vs Northampton Saints

Toulouse vs Toulon

Stade Francais vs La Rochelle

Pau vs Clermont

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