Munster vs Cardiff Blues

Munster will be smarting from their last match where they were surprised at home by Connacht. They were in pole position on the log before the shock defeat. Cardiff Blues come into this match full of confidence after beating Scarlets away from home. This is the first of the cross country matches in the Rainbow Cup and Munster will be keen to stamp the Irish authority over the Welsh teams. Munster will welcome back Joey Carbery and Connor Murray for this match and they will need a bonus point victory to stand any chance of finishing top of the log. There is the added incentive of a final match that will feature the top team from South Africa against the top European team. The Blues have shown that they are an excellent attacking team led by the Welsh Internationals Josh Adams and Willis Halaholo. The Munster team is littered with international players and should have the beating of the Blues. The Blues have strength in their backline but the forwards will be dominated by the likes of CJ Stander and Peter O’Mahony. The home team tried to be too expansive in their loss to Connacht and I’m certain they will revert back to the forwards in this match. Munster without Carbery and Murray lack direction and end up making too many unforced errors but with the halfback pair returning there should be fluency in the team. Cardiff have shown plenty of enterprise in their matches especially their backline but they can expect Munster to starve them of any possession. They will need to treasure possession when they get the ball.

TIP: The defeat in their last match will ensure that there is no complacency from Munster in this match. They will need to cut down on their errors as the Blues are excellent on turnover ball. For Cardiff to have any chance in this match they will need to match the physicality of Munster which I cannot see happening. The Munster team not only possess physical players in their pack but also have dangerous runners in the backline like Springbok Damian de Allende who has been a tower of strength this season. The bookies have Munster as favourites and I agree with that therefore I’m tipping Munster for a comfortable victory. The best odds on the Munster outright victory are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.20, Playabets 1.18 and Sunbet 1.16

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

Munster vs Cardiff Blues

  • In the last five matches between the teams there has just been one Blues victory while Munster have won four.
  • The last seven home matches against the Blues have seen just one away victory.
  • The last time Munster lost at home to Cardiff was in 2016.

Latest results for both teams

Munster lost their last match against Connacht 24-20 while Cardiff beat Scarlets 29-28 in their last match.

PREDICTION

There is much to play for in this match as both teams have the same number of points on the log and are chasing the top spot. Munster will want to show their loss in the previous match was just a blip in the season and Cardiff will feel the wrath in this match. The Munster team will dominate the forwards battle which will lay the platform for the like of De Allende and Andrew Conway to shine. The Blues will want to run the ball and won’t want an arm wrestle with the strong Munster pack yet this could back fire as any errors will be punished by Munster. CJ Stander in his final season will want to leave with some silverware and his teammates will be fired up to see him achieve this. The powerful Munster pack and classy halfback pairing will prove too much for Cardiff therefore I predict a Munster win by more than 14 points

  • Probable Starting XVs

Munster

15 Matt Gallagher, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Dan Goggin, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Shane Daly, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Connor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Peter O’Mahony (captain), 6 Gavin Coombes, 5 Billy Holland, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 John Ryan, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 James Cronin.

Cardiff Blues

15 Hallam Amos, 14 Jason Harries, 13 Willis Halaholo, 12 Ben Thomas, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 James Ratti, 7 Olly Robinson, 6 Josh Turnbull (captain), 5 Cory Hill, 4 Seb Davies, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Rhys Carré.

Odds for this bet

The best odds on the Munster victory are as follows:

Worldsportsbetting 1.20

Playabets 1.18

Sunbet 1.16

Odds comparison on a Munster handicap victory:

The complete odds on the Munster handicap victory:

Worldsportsbetting (-11.5) 1.80

Sunbet (-12.5) 1.87

Playabets (11.5) 1.89

Predictions and Odds in details

The strength of the Irish teams was plain to see in the Pro 14 with none of the Welsh teams able to match them and I see this trend continuing in the Rainbow Cup. This is strange as the Wales national team is so strong yet the clubs are poor. This Munster team will have the better of most teams and the Blues will do well do stay in the match till the last quarter. Munster has bench strength that includes international players, they will pull away in the last quarter even if Cardiff is still in the game by that stage. Munster will need to show their ruthless side and when given penalties they must use their rolling maul to score tries. They will have to chase tries in this match to gain the bonus point which will be crucial in this shortened tournament format. I expect Munster to stroll to a comfortable victory. The odds on the Munster victory are not great but there is good value on the Munster handicap. The best odds on the Munster handicap victory are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (-11.5) 1.80, Sunbet (-12.5) 1.87 and Playabets (-11.5) 1.89

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