Ulster vs Lions
The Irish giants have started the season of with three wins and sit in second place on the log while the Lions have a solidary victory. They can count themselves unlucky in their last match as they narrowly lost to the Warriors. The Warriors were awarded a try that should not have been allowed as there was no clear grounding. Ulster have looked like the complete side in their last two matches and the Lions will have to be at their very best to cause an upset. The home team is missing a number of first team regulars but the replacement players have been brilliant none more so than Nathan Doak. The young number 9 has become a crowd favourite and has scored 31 points in his last two games. The Lions have persisted with EW Viljoen at 10 although they do have Fred Zeilinga on the bench as back up. Viljoen normally a full back played well in his first outing at flyhalf but this will be a much more difficult test.
TIP: The Lions have been dominant at scrum time in all their matches but winning penalties in the scrum can’t win you matches. They need to use their possession better and cut out the silly unforced errors. There was a noticeable improvement in their defence in the last match therefore I feel this match will be closer than most bookies are predicting. The Lions star player on tour has undoubtedly been number 9 Andre Warner. He has been involved in everything good that has happened to the Lions from being a lynchpin on attack to making try saving tackles. His battle with opposite number Doak stands out for me. The bookies have Ulster as heavy favorites for this match and I’m also tipping them for the win. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.07, Playabets 1.04 and Sunbet 1.05
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Ulster vs Lions
- This is the first meeting between these two sides.
Latest results for both teams
Ulster beat Benetton 28-8 in their last match while the Lions lost 13-9 to the Glasgow Warriors.
The Lions have need to watch the Ulster halfback pairing of Billy Burn and Doak very closely as they have had a fantastic start to the URC. Burns in particular is an instinct player and on his day can destroy the opposition with his superb attacking play. The Lions will need to pressure him into mistakes as he is known to crack under pressure. The gamble of persisting with a makeshift flyhalf in Viljoen could backfire especially if the Lions find themselves on the back foot. A huge avenue of scoring for the home side has been their driving maul. They are unstoppable so the Lions must be disciplined and avoid giving away penalties in their own half. The overall quality in the Ulster side makes me predict a home win by less than 15 points
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Will Addison, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 James Hume, 12 Stewart Moore, 11 Ethan McIlroy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Nathan Doak, 8 David McCann, 7 Nick Timoney, 6 Matty Rea, 5 Sam Carter (c), 4 Alan O’Connor, 3 Tom O’Toole, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Andrew Warwick
15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 EW Viljoen, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Ruhan Straeuli, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Reinard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sti Sithole
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Ulster victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Lions handicap :
The complete odds on the Lions handicap:
Worldsportsbetting (+20.5) 1.90
Sunbet (+20.5) 1.82
Playabets (+20.5) 1.81
Predictions and Odds in details
The Lions are a team that loves to run the ball while Ulster are known for their resolute defence especially at home. Players like Rabz Maxwane are brilliant when given space so the Lions will need to lay the platform so that the backs can be launched. Another player that is key to the Lions is skipper Burger Odendaal and he will need all of his experience to guide this fairly young Lions team. The Ulster team have experienced players like Nick Timoney and Rob Herring within their ranks and these are they guys that drive the Ulster forward pack. The Lions must have a solid maul defence or else this match could be over as a contest fairly early on. There is no money for punters backing Ulster on the outright victory therefore I suggest a value bet on the Lions handicap. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+20.5) 1.90, Sunbet (+20.5) 1.82 and Playabets (+20.5) 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.