Round 10 of the united Rugby Championship is going to be played over two weekends this season. That is because it is the first time in a few weeks where the South African sides are supposed to be in Europe. Those four games will all take place the weekend of February 25 and February 26. There were four games between European squads set to take place this weekend, but we have lost the Welsh derby that was to see Scarlets host Dragons to Covid.
There are, however, still games remaining on the schedule as of Thursday night. Here is a look at the three matches that look like they will go ahead.
Edinburgh VS Cardiff – Edinburgh Rugby Stadium, Edinburgh
Edinburgh had their matches hit by Covid at the worst time. The Scottish side had both traditional festive fixtures against Glasgow Warriors postponed due to the pandemic, taking them out of action when they were in impressive form. Their last outing was a mighty impressive win in the European Champions Cup over a Saracens’ side boasting a host of England internationals and they are actually unbeaten in six matches across all competitions, you just have to go back into October and November when those matches were actually played.
Cardiff was one of the squads hit hard and early by Covid. As a result, their Champion’s Cup matches from late last year are almost irrelevant. This is because they had to pool players from lower division clubs all across the region just to get enough players available to fulfill the fixtures against the likes of Harlequins. They haven’t played a URC game since back in October and they have actually won three of their five matches in the competition. Cardiff is still struggling and has no recent form at all. Take Edinburgh with a strong home win to cover the -9.5 spread.
Glasgow Warriors VS Ospreys – Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow
Glasgow was another Scottish side in fine form – their win over Exeter in the Champion’s Cup was an outstanding result – but as Covid cases in the club hit double figures they had no choice but to postpone their Scottish derbies against Edinburgh. This is a tricky situation for the Warriors because although they now have most of the squad back from isolation, those who were forced to stay home are in various stages of match fitness with this clash against Ospreys coming up quickly. Glasgow last played on December 18 and the likes of a returning Ryan Wilson will make Glasgow formidable here.
Ospreys have had a weird season. They lost by three points at Scarlets in their only January fixture thus far, While December saw a match against Dragons postponed, a walkover handed to Racing 92 in the Champions Cup, and a home defeat at the hands of Sale in the same competition. Their last win was way back in early December when they (impressively) beat Ulster in the URC. I like Glasgow to win, but don’t be shocked if Ospreys cover the -7.5 line.
Munster VS Ulster – Thomond Park, Limerick
This Irish derby should be a close and tight affair between a couple of the pacesetters in the URC. Ulster had matches over the Christmas period against Leinster and Connacht postponed due to Covid outbreaks in their camp and as a result, it is a little worrying that head coach Dan McFarland is delaying announcing his squad until Friday as he tries to get as many players back from Covid protocols as possible.
Munster have been outstanding at home this season and have won five on the bounce as they have made Thomond Park into a fortress. A visiting Ulster side that has won five of seven in the URC – and two of two in the Champions Cup – will present a formidable test. Munster has had Ulsters’ number – they have beaten them six times in a row – and given the Covid issues the visitors have that won’t change here. Take Munster -4.5 with BetXchange.