Round 10 of the URC is split over three days. Friday and Saturday see five matches taking place – including the two headlining South African derbies – with a further three matches to be played on Boxing Day. Look out for a preview of those matches – including the heavyweight clash of Munster hosting Leinster – later in the week!
Here is a look at some of the games with odds from BetXchange.
Sharks VS Lions – Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban
The 10th-placed Sharks are heavy favorites at home in this contest against the 5th-placed Lions, with the line being set at 11.5 points in the host’s favor. However, it might be a hard target for them to hit, with a lineup missing several Springboks after back-to-back wins in the Heineken Champions Cup. Siya Kolisi will come off the bench as Sikhumbuzo Notshe moves into the No. 6 jumper, while Eben Etzebeth is entirely rested from the contest.
The Lions haven’t won against South African opposition all year, and I don’t really see that changing because the strength in depth that the Sharks have cultivated is impressive. The home side will win, but the Lions could sneak a cover with the line being high.
Stormers VS Bulls – DHL Stadium, Cape Town
This should be a good one as the third-placed Stormers host the second-placed Bulls in Cape Town. The winners will gain some needed ground on runaway (and undefeated) log leaders Leinster, while the loser will be looking over their shoulder at the chasing pack as we are halfway through the season, and positioning for a home final is on everyone’s mind.
The Bulls have loaded up with Springboks, bringing back the likes of Kurt-Lee Arendse, Canan Moodie, and captain Ruan Nortje. The Stormers have loaded their bench with a split of six forwards and two backs, showing that they expect this to be a game that is won up front. If it comes to a battle of turnovers, then the Bulls will like their chances. They are No. 6 in the comp with 57 turnovers won to just 34 from the Stormers. Expect the breakdown to be a key area in this one, and I actually like the Bulls to do enough to win here on the road in a minor upset.
Glasgow Warriors VS Edinburgh – Scotstoun, Glasgow
Ninth plays sixth at Scotstoun, but just three points separate hosts Glasgow and visiting Edinburgh. The traveling side would love to jump their fierce rivals on the log in time for Christmas with the 1872 Cup clash steeped in history and tradition.
The line is set at 3.5 points, and both sides have made five changes from their latest European adventure. The big news for Edinburgh is that Duhan van der Merwe is fit after missing out against Castres as a late injury withdrawal, while Glasgow recalls captain Kyle Steyn on the wing. One area to watch is the offloading game. Glasgow is third in the comp with 84 offloads to date, while Edinburgh has just 59 offloads (good for 13th) on the season. If this is a flowing game, then Glasgow gets the nod. However, I expect more of a grind, which makes me fancy Edinburgh away from home.