BULLSThe United Rugby Championship semi finals take place this weekend and the Bulls are very much the underdogs for their trip to Dublin to take on Leinster on Friday.

 

 

 

Leinster v Bulls, Friday 10th June, Dublin, KO 20:35 (South African time)

 

Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy)
Assistants: Craig Evans (Wales), Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)
TMO: Matteo Lipperini (Italy)

 

Weather Forecast - Dublin

 

Leinster:

 

Even pre-tournament Leinster were trading as short price favourites to win the URC title and they have maintained that position right throughout the regular season and into the play offs. They topped the standings with a record of 13 wins and 5 defeats, finishing 6 points clear of the Stormers, 8 in front of Ulster and 9 in front of the Bulls.

 

Last week's quarter finals went according to those final standings with the top 4 sides all progressing. Leinster thrashed Glasgow Warriors 76-14 at this venue in their last 8 match up and they started the regular season with a 31-3 win over the Bulls at the Aviva Stadium in Round 1.

 

Other matches against South African sides comprised of a 21-13 home win over the Lions and on tour when Leinster were juggling resources with a Champions Cup campaign to some degree they lost 28-23 to the Sharks in Durban and 20-13 to the Stormers in Cape Town.

 

Leinster are now 2/7 shots in the outright betting to win the tournament.

 

Bulls:

 

The Bulls (4.5 points favourites on the handicap) hosted the Sharks in their quarter final. They were in control of the scoreboard at 27-13 in front but the Sharks fought back to level the scores before Chris Smith's last gasp drop goal gave the Bulls victory, 30-27.

 

The Bulls finished the regular season fourth best with a record of 11 wins and 7 defeats. Aside from the opening round defeat to Leinster other matches against Irish opposition delivered a 34-7 loss at Connacht in Round 2, a 29-24 home win over Munster and 34-16 home win over Ulster.

 

The Bulls are now 17/1 shots in the outright betting to win the tournament.

 

Team News

 

Leinster: 15 Jimmy O’Brien, 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Rory O’Loughlin, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Caelan Doris, 5 James Ryan (captain), 4 Joe McCarthy, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Dan Sheehan, 1 Andrew Porter.

Replacements: 16 Seán Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Michael Ala’alatoa, 19 Ross Molony, 20 Ryan Baird, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Johnny Sexton, 23 Ciarán Frawley

 

Bulls: 15 Canan Moodie, 14 David Kriel, 13 Cornal Hendricks, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marcell Coetzee (c), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenekamp, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Herhard Steenekamp.

Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Robert Hunt, 19 Janko Swanepoel, 20 WJ Steenkamp, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Kurt-Lee Arendse

 

 

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Average early show, to be updated

 

Leinster -17.5 points at 10/11

Bulls +20.5 points at 17/20

 

Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change.

 

Betting Angle

 

The handicap has gradually shifted out from an opening call of -15.5 to -18.5 and -19.5 but as I write this betting angle there is still some -17.5 on offer. This Leinster team are pure class and while I have always felt they are vulnerable against a monster pack I don’t think the Bulls have enough firepower upfront to trouble them. I also expect the Leinster backline to be too strong.

Leinster on the minus for me.

The points line is 51.5 but I will wait to see pictures before getting involved.

 

Here is the video preview of the game where @ThoughtsOnSports & @TheCroweTips

Click here to see what other punters fancy as well as any points bets I may play closer to kick off

 

BET: 5 units Leinster -17.5 at 10/11 at Sunbet

 

Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change.

 

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