Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Challenge Cup: Quarter-Finals Preview

Challenge Cup: Quarter-Finals Preview

Ben Meehan of London Irish

There's a bit of an English theme to this weekend's Challenge Cup with five of the participating teams being Gallagher Premiership outfits. While the English dominate the lineup, there's also Irish, Italian and French representation. 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Bath Rugby v London Irish
Friday 9 April
The Recreation Ground

To Win (80 Mins)
Bath 38/100
Draw 20/1
Irish 43/20

Our first fixture is one of the all-English affairs, which sees Bath take of Gallagher Premiership rivals, London Irish. 

Not much separates the sides on the domestic front with Irish lying sixth on the table, four points clear of Bath who are in eighth. 

Bath have endured some rather patchy form of late, losing two of their last five games. Their opponents have a very similar record over their past seven fixtures winning four and drawing one while losing two, They have also suffered two defeats in their last five games. 

Neither side managed to shoot the lights out in last weekend's Round of 16 Challenge Cup knock-out round as a late Curtis Rona try allowed Irish to sneak past the Cardiff Blues 41-35, while Bath scraped a 27-35 win over Italian minnows Zebre. 

Bath have enjoyed a really good time of it against Irish in the recent past winning four of the last five fixtures between the sides. They did lose the last meeting, however, going down 36-33 in an absolute thriller of a Gallagher Premiership game. 

Verdict: Bath 38/100
Generally, I'd be on the over the points markets here but with this one being a Friday evening game with some rain forecast, I'm going to wait for the Live In-Play stuff to open and assess the game and then have a punt. I reckon if we do get a bit of rainfall it should play into Bath's hands which is why I'm leaning towards the home side on. 

Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 10 April
Welford Road

To Win (80 Mins)
Leicester 26/100
Draw 22/1
Newcastle 3/1

Our second and final all-Gallagher Premiership affair pits the Leicester Tigers up against the Newcastle Falcons. 

Like Bath and London Irish, there's not much separating these two sides on the domestic standings with the Falcons, who lie in 10th spot, seven points off the Tigers who are in seventh.

The hosts have been in solid touch of late winning four of their last five fixtures across all competitions. One of these recent victories actually came against the Falcons whom they beat 26-12 a fortnight ago. 

Unlike their opponents, Newcastle head into this one off the back of a poor run of form, winning one of their last five fixtures. The aforementioned win came last weekend where they beat the Opresy 24-28 to reach this weekend's Challenge Cup quarter-final. 

While Newcastle scrapped a win, Leicester were far more impressive as they beat a decent Connacht side 48-32.  

Verdict: Leicester 26/100
Leicester have won four of the last five meetings between the sides and I reckon they'll make it five from six here. 

Montpellier v Treviso
Saturday 10 April
GGL Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Montpellier 1/11
Draw 33/1
Treviso 13/2

We move away from the al-Anglo theme now and on to continental Europe for a Frenco-Italian affair that will see Montpellier take on Treviso. 

The hosts have endured a horrid domestic campaign and currently reside 11th on the Top 14 ladder having only won seven of their fixtures.

Despite their underwhelming season as a whole, Montpellier have actually been in decent touch of late winning their last four fixtures across all competitions, with their most recent victory being last weekend's impressive 26-21 Challenge Cup win over a dangerous Glasgow Warriors side. 

Treviso have had an even tougher time of it of late as they head into this one off the back of a number of PRO14 defeats. They managed to snap a long-standing losing streak last weekend by scraping a seven-point win over French whipping boys, Agen. 

Verdict: Montpellier 1/11
Treviso didn't look flash last week and I can see them suffering a big defeat at the hands of a Montpellier side who have finally hit their straps. 

Northampton Saints v Ulster
Sunday 11 April
Franklin's Gardens

To Win (80 Mins)
Northampton 9/4
Draw 20/1
Ulster 38/100

We return to England for our final fixture of the weekend which sees the Northampton Saints play host to Irish province, Ulster. 

The Saints are having a decent time of it on the domestic front this season and currently lie in fifth on the Gallagher Premiership standings having won eight of their 15 games. 

Ulster recently brought their PRO14 campaign to a close as they just missed out on a play-off berth, despite finishing second on the Pool B log, due to the tournament going straight to the final last year.

Both sides were in cracking form during last weekend's first set of Challenge Cup knock-out fixtures with Northampton beating the Dragons 39-43 in Wales and Ulster hammering Harlequins 21-57 in London.  

Verdict: Ulster 38/100
I reckon we're in for tries galore here which is why I'll be having my main strike on the Overs Points markets once the Live In-Play betting markets open up. I also fancy the Irish side to take the spoils here. 

Written by Darry Worthington.

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