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PRO14 Rainbow Cup: Round 1 Friday Preview

Betting preview for the PRO14 Rainbow Cup matches between Edinburgh Zebre as well as Ulster vs Connacht.

PRO14 Rainbow Cup - First Round
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

After one of the craziest weeks in PRO14 history, it has been decided that the Rainbow Nations Cup will be split into two different competitions for the time being, with the four powerhouses of South African Rugby squaring off in the Rainbow Cup SA, while the remaining European PRO 14 sides will go head to head in the PRO14 Rainbow Cup. We take a look at the first two European fixtures below.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Edinburgh v Zebre

Friday 23 April
Murrayfield
20:15

To Win (80 Mins)

Edinburgh 2/10
Draw 25/1
Zebre 38/10

Handicap

Edinburgh (-10.5) 17/20
Zebre (+10.5) 17/20

We kick things off over in Scotland where Edinburgh will play host to Italian outfit, Zebre. The two teams had very poor PRO14 campaigns last season as Zebre finished at the foot of Conference A with only four wins from their 16 games while Edinburgh finished fifth in Conference B with only five wins from their 16 games.

In terms of the recent head to heads between the sides, Edinburgh have won four of the last five meetings between the sides with their last victory coming in January where they ran out 10-26 victors in Italy.

The Scottish side have opted to field a very young side with the likes of backrower Ben Muncaster (19), locks Jame Hodgson (23) and Marshall Sykes (21), centre Matt Currie (20) and halfbacks Charlie Shiel (23) and Nathan Chamberlain (21) all earning run-on starts.

Verdict: Zebre (+10.5) 17/20

I reckon that the Scottish outfit will get over the line, although it may be a close-run thing considering the inexperience in key positions for Edinburgh.

Ulster v Connacht

Friday 23 April
The Sportsground
21:15

To Win (80 Mins)

Ulster 27/100
Draw 22/1
Connacht 29/10

Handicap

Ulster (-8.5) 17/20
Connacht (+8.5) 17/20

We head to Ireland for our next fixture which is a derby between Ulster and Connacht. The two sides managed to secure second on their respective Conference logs last season with Ulster taking the runners-up berth in Conference and Connacht in Conference B.

Despite finishing in identical positions, Ulster were by far and away the better side as they managed 14 wins from their 16 fixtures, while Connacht could only secure eight wins from their 16.

The recent head to head results make for favourable reading for the hosts as the last five contest between the sides have gone the way of whoever was at home.

Verdict: Connacht (+8.5) 17/20

I think this handicap is just a smidge too big as I capped the game at around the 6.5 mark. I’m not confident of this tip, however, so I’ll just be having a real small strike on it for interest’s sake.

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