Connacht vs Ulster
The two Irish provinces clash in this contest with Ulster in red hot form having won four on the trot. Connacht was unlucky to lose their last match when they fell to a late Munster try. The matches between these sides are always titanic clashes with neither side giving an inch. The home team will be bolstered by the return of their British and Irish Lion Bundee Aki. His mere presence on the field lifts them as we saw in the match against Munster. Ulster has had a few regulars out with injury but their replacements have been nothing short of fantastic. A player like Nathan Doak was probably not heard of before this season but has been a revelation for Ulster and has amassed plenty of points in the last three matches. Connacht will be disappointed with their last home game when they lost to the Dragons and will want to give the home fans something to shout about.
TIP: The man that almost carried Connacht to an unlikely victory in the last match was Jack Carty. There has never been any doubt about his talent but it’s the consistency that lacks in his game. Having said that if he puts in another masterclass against Ulster then the home team will win. Ulster flyhalf Billy Burns is excellent going forward but has the tendency to make errors when placed under pressure and no doubt Connacht will have him as a marked man. The Ulster pack has been most impressive and don’t seem to miss their talisman Marcell Coetzee who left them last season. The bookies have Ulster as favourites in this Irish derby but I’m going for the Connacht upset victory. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 2.60, Playabets 2.65 and Sunbet 2.45
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Connacht vs Ulster
- In the last five meetings there have been three Ulster wins and two wins for Connacht.
- In five home meeting with Ulster, Connacht has only lost once.
- Ulster beat Connacht in their last visit to Galway.
Latest results for both teams
Connacht lost their last match 20-18 to Munster while Ulster won their last match 26-10 against the Lions.
The forward pack of Ulster has set up their victories but they won’t have it all their own way as the Connacht pack will be desperate to give their backs the platform to run. The major attacking weapon for the visitors is the rolling maul. If Connacht are able to defend the maul then they are well on their way to causing an upset. The home team have an elusive backline and if Carty can spark them then the likes of John Porch and Mack Hansen can cause real damage with their pace on the wings. Ulster will sorely miss the services of Will Addison who was injured in the last match. His replacement Mike Lowry is a handful especially if he is given any space. Playing Ulster always brings out the best in the home team therefore I’m going for the Connacht win by 4 points
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 John Porch, 13 Sammy Arnold, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Mack Hansen, 10 Jack Carty (c), 9 Caolin Blade, 8 Paul Boyle, 7 Conor Oliver, 6 Cian Prendergast, 5 Ultan Dillane, 4 Niall Murray, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Dave Heffernan, 1 Matthew Burke
15 Mike Lowry, 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
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Connacht victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Connacht handicap :
The complete odds on the Connacht handicap:
Worldsportsbetting (+3.5) 1.90
Sunbet (+3.5) 1.93
Playabets (+3.5) 1.89
Predictions and Odds in details
I’m excited see Bundee Aki in his first match in front of the home fans this season. He always plays his best rugby in the Irish derby games and Connacht will look to him to inspire the team. His direct running will get them over the advantage line and thus give the backline the impetus they need. Ulster has the much underrated James Hume at centre and the battle between the two physical players will be one of the highlights of the match. This match will be decided by a small margin and the desperation of Connacht will see them over the line. There are great returns for punters going for the upset Connacht win but if you are looking for a safer bet then I suggest the home team on the handicap. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+3.5) 1.90, Sunbet (+3.5) 1.93 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.