Benneton vs Bulls
The inaugural Rainbow Cup final is upon us and it features one very unlikely finalist. Benetton finished last in the Pro14 and now are the winners of the Pro14 Rainbow Cup Europe section. There are many reasons for this unique situation as they played all their games in Italy and had a walkover against the Ospreys in their only game away from Italy. The Bulls have been the dominant in SA for the past two seasons and it’s no surprise seeing them in the final. They will however be without their four Springbok players so this is a major loss. The Italians have no such concerns as they have a full strength team to choose from. Both these teams rely heavily on their forwards so we can expect a battle of attrition in the packs. The Bulls will look to Marcell Coetzee for his leadership as he is the only player in the Bulls who have played against the Italians. They were his regular opponents in his days at Ulster. I think the lack of quality opposition for Benetton will count against them in the final especially in the forwards. None of the teams that they faced will bring the physicality that the Bulls possess. The Bulls under Jake white stick to their tried and tested formula of playing for territory and expecting their defence to force errors. The Italians also have some dangerous backs and none more so than the electric Monty Ioane and he will need to be watched closely as he loves to run with the ball. The Italians will look to put pressure on the Bulls number 10 Chris Smit as he is inexperienced at this level. This will be a true test for the young flyhalf who will need assistance from his more senior halfback partner Ivan van Zyl
TIP: The scrum battle will be interesting to say the least as these are two teams that pride themselves on forward orientated play. The Bulls may continue using the tactic of keeping their first choice props on the bench as this has worked for them so far. The Bulls have shown that although they favour the forwards game they have fantastic runners in the backline. Cornal Hendricks may have moved from the wing to the midfield but showed against the Sharks that he has lost none of the pace that made him a Springbok winger. The other man that is lightning quick is Madosh Tambwe and if given space he will make the Italians pay. The bookies have the Bulls as slight favourites for this clash but I am tipping them to easily overcome Benetton. The best odds on the Bulls victory are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.65, Playabets 1.60 and Sunbet 1.50
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Benetton vs Bulls
- This is the first ever meeting between these sides.
Latest results for both teams
Benetton beat Connacht 20-12 in their last match while the Bulls beat the Sharks 34-22 in their last match.
The Bulls will be chartering into new territory but they are well coached and captained for this match in Italy. The Italians on the other hand have many international players in their ranks and this is a distinct advantage along with playing at home. The Bulls pack has been their major weapon all season and Benetton will do well to watch their discipline in this game. The visitors love the rolling maul and any penalties they receive, they won’t hesitate to kick for the corner and unleash their maul. The Italians are also a side that pride themselves on using the rolling maul to great effect. The half back pairing of Paolo Garbisi and Dewaldt Duvenage have been superb for Benetton with Duvenage having the advantage of knowing the Bulls very well as he played most of his rugby in SA. The overall power and bench strength will see the Bulls to victory and I predict a Bulls victory by 8 points.
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Edoardo Padovani, 13 Ignacio Brex, 12 Marco Zanon, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage (captain), 8 Toa Halafihi, 7 Michele Lamaro, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Niccolò Cannone, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Corniel Els, 1 Thomas Gallo.
15 David Kriel, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Stravino Jacobs, 10 Chris Smit, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 7 Ruan Nortje, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Janko Swanepoel, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Bulls victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Bulls handicap:
The complete odds on the Bulls handicap:
Worldsportsbetting (-4.5) 1.90
Sunbet (-3.5) 1.82
Playabets (-3.5) 1.89
Predictions and Odds in details
The Italians have shown in their matches that they enjoy the matches to be like an arm wrestle but if they try that tactic against the Bulls they are guaranteed to come of second best. The Bulls have gone back to the traditional way of rugby whereby the flyhalf looks for territory and they back their defence to do the rest. The big change has been that they now have real flyers in their backline so they are also a threat on counter attack. Benetton have a pack full with internationals but for me the man most dangerous is flanker Sebastian Negri. He is a tireless workhorse on both attack and defence and his battle with Coetzee will be on of the highlights. The bookies are offering decent returns on the Bulls outright victory but I suggest the Bulls on the handicap for better value. The best odds on the Bulls handicap are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (-4.5) 1.90, Sunbet (-3.5) 1.82 and Playabets (-3.5) 1.89
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.