The URC games are coming thick and fast over the festive period, and Round 11 is another split over three days from Friday through Sunday. It is another round of derbies, with the Sharks hosting the Bulls and Munster traveling to Ulster, probably being the pick of the ties.
Here is a look at the games with odds from BetXchange.
Edinburgh VS Glasgow Warriors – Murrayfield, Edinburgh
The second leg of the 1872 Cup in consecutive weeks – the teams have to play back to back during derby weeks as the only URC teams in Scotland – sees tenth-placed Edinburgh as 6.5-point favorites to beat sixth-placed Glasgow at Murrayfield. This is largely due to the influx of Scottish internationals back in the team – the likes of Blair Kinghorn, Mark Bennet, and Sam Skinner – with Glasgow also bolstered by the return of Scottish and British Lions scrum-half Ali Price for this one. Glasgow held serve at home with a 16-10 win last weekend, but I expect the score to be reversed here, with Edinburgh winning in front of their own fans.
Sharks VS Blue Bulls – Kings Park, Durban
The Sharks are favorites by 5.5 points here after a convincing 371- win over the Lions last time out shows what good form they are in. The Bulls threw everything at the Stormers in Cape Town but couldn’t do enough in a 37-27 defeat. The stats skew in the Bulls’ favor here, with the away side leading the comp in points with 329 to just 225 for the Sharks. It could be an open game – these teams rank third and first in clean breaks, respectively, but (weirdly) the Bulls have only won one of their last four games in the comp away from home. I think this is where that changes, and they pick up only their second win in Durban since 2019 here as underdogs.
Stormers VS Lions – DHL Stadium, Cape Town
Stormers are massive favorites (16.5 points) over a Lions side that cannot be other South African teams in this comp. They sit third and fifth on the log, respectively, but were on different ends of results last time, with the Lions being pretty disappointing in how they folded against the Sharks. It is errors that have cost the Lions in these derby games, and Jaque Fourie – their defense coach – has rightly pointed out that they must be kept to a minimum against a Stormers team that has conceded the third-fewest points in the entire competition. If they can be within seven points at the break – as they were against the Sharks – then they will need better finishing power. I don’t think they will get it, and I expect the Stormers to win and cover.
Ulster VS Munster – Kinsgpan Stadium, Belfast
Munster might be eighth on the log, but their one-point defeat at home to mighty Leinster last weekend shows that this team can still compete against the best the URC offers. They get another Irish heavyweight, traveling to Ravenhill to take on Ulster. The problem they are about to have is that Irish internationals have strict match limitations ahead of the Six Nations, so the likes of Tadhg Beirne, Craig Casey, and Peter O’Mahony will have to take some matches off over the next month. The rotation will be key – it is something Ulster is facing too – but I think this lack of certainty and cohesion suits the home side more. They will win.