CCLions21Ulster host the Lions in the United Rugby Championship in Belfast on Friday, a tough assignment for the South Africans against one of the tournaments early pace setters.




Ulster v Lions, Friday 15th October, KO 20:35 (South African time)


Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Robert O’Sullivan (Ireland), Dermot Blake (Ireland)
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)


Weather Forecast - Belfast




Ulster have a full house of 15 log points, one of 3 unbeaten sides after 3 rounds of matches. They were 28-8 winners at home to Benetton last week and in Round 2 they put another Italian side to the sword, coming away from Zebre with a 36-3 victory. Ulster started their tournament at home to Glasgow Warriors, a game they won 35-29.


Ulster are second on the log behind Munster on points difference and that pair are 1 point clear of Leinster. That trio head up World Sports Betting's outright market with Leinster odds on favourites at 0.66/1, Munster 3.75/1 and Ulster a 15/2 chance.




The Lions come into the game with 6 log points, the best tally of any of the South African sides. It could have been even better for the Lions who went down narrowly (13-9) away to Glasgow Warriors last week, a game they started as 14.5 point underdogs.


Earlier matches in Italy and Wales delivered mixed results. In Round 2 the Lions lost 36-13 to the Scarlets in Llanelli, failing to stay within a handicap line which ranged from +10.5 to +13.5 points. The Lions were slight underdogs for a Round 1 visit to Parma to take on Italian side Zebre but they came away with a 38-26 victory, racing into a 35-0 lead at half time before surviving a second half fightback from the home side.


Team News


Ulster: 15 Will Addison, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 James Hume, 12 Stewart Moore, 11 Ethan McIlroy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Nathan Doak, 8 David McCann, 7 Nick Timoney, 6 Matty Rea, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 4 Alan O’Connor, 3 Tom O’Toole, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Andrew Warwick.

Replacements: 16 Brad Roberts, 17 Eric O’Sullivan, 18 Ross Kane, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Sean Reidy, 21 David Shanahan, 22 Mike Lowry, 23 Ben Moxham


Lions: 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Sibahle Maxwane, 10 EW Viljoen, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Ruhan Straeuli, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Sithembiso Sithole.

Replacements: 16 Pieter Botha, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Emmanuel Tshituka, 21 Morne van den Berg, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Wandisile Simelane


The Betting,



Ulster -19.5 points at 9/10

Lions +20.5 points at 9/10


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


Betting Angle


I handicapped this game Ulster -14.5 and I must admit I was hoping for that line as would have been backing the home team. The -19.5 is less tempting though and I am going to turn to the points lines. Total points is set at 51.5 but my play is Ulster over 34.5 points. They play at a quick pace nd although the Lions did better than I (and many) expected last week I am not convinced they will be able to repeat that effort. 


Bet: 4 units Ulster 0ver 34.5 points at 0.81/1 at Sunbet 


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


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