Leinster and Ulster continue to lead the way in the URC entering Week 5. South African teams sit in third, fifth, and sixth, with Benetton continuing to surprise in fourth.
Here is a look at the matches this week with BetXchange. Be sure to check out our boosted odds R3000 special on the point spread for the match between Ospreys and Stormers!
Ospreys VS Stormers – Swansea.com Stadium, Swansea
The game of the week, and BetXchange is running a special for this one. The Stormers are -5 (at the time of writing), and taking them minus the points or Ospreys +5 has been boosted from 9/10 to 1/1. The reigning URC champions have started the season perfectly with three bonus point wins, but Swansea is a difficult place to visit, and the Welsh side will be getting back a number of their stars for this one. Eight changes in all see the returns of big hitters like Adam Beard, George North, and the inspiration Alun Wyn Jones, but the Stormers have won 14 on the bounce and will have absolutely no fear regardless of who the Ospreys start. The Stormers’ gainline success rate of 66.7% is the joint highest in the comp, and I think that physicality wears down the Welsh and allows them to cover the -5.
Lions VS Ulster – Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
The sixth-placed Lions have probably done better than expected in the comp, with three wins and one defeat from their four games. Ulster has been exactly as expected – one of the best sides in European rugby – with their lone defeat coming at the hands of arch nemeses Leinster in Round 3. Lions were impressive in winning in Edinburgh last weekend, while Ulster blew the doors off of Ospreys in a 30-point win. I think the Ulster attack is better than the Lions’ defense, but the thin air of Johannesberg is a leveler. The lean is Ulster -2.5.
Sharks VS Glasgow Warriors – Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban
Sharks are heavy (11.5 points) favorites here as they return to Durban and try to shake off the beating they took in Dublin last time out. Leinster is a machine at home, so the Sharks scoring 34 points was very impressive, but their defense was shocking as the Irish side scored 54 points. Glasgow beat the Bulls 35-21 at home in Round 4, but Scotstoun is a very different proposition than playing the Sharks in South Africa. This feels like a bounce-back game, and I expect the Sharks to come out firing. A big win for the home side is incoming here.
Munster VS Blue Bulls – Thormund Park, Limerick
The Bulls are another side looking to rebound, with the nature of that defeat against Glasgow being a little concerning. The Bulls just didn’t start well – they were 28-7 down at the half, but unlike the Sharks, they remain on their travels this weekend. Munster is in a weird spot, and the Irish side has just one win under new head coach Graham Rountree. They lost no less than ten players with the coaching change, and they are undergoing a rebuild. This is one that the Bulls could win