Ulster's clash with Leinster in Belfast is the pick of URC round three action.
Friday 30 September
Bulls 1/20 | Draw 33/1 | Connacht 9/1
The Bulls have named a side with a back three of Springbok trio Kurt-Lee Arendse, Canan Moodie and Sbu Nkosi for this one, while Johan Goosen returns to the No 10 jumper for the first time since returning from his long-term injury. Jake White’s men are two from two and last week edged a good Edinburgh side but should claim a more comprehensive win on Friday. Connacht could struggle at altitude and should be 0 from 3 by the end of the weekend.
Cardiff 38/100 | Draw 20/1 | Lions 9/4
Following a great win over Munster in the first round, Cardiff’s expectations were tempered somewhat after they copped a heavy loss in Glasgow last week. On Friday they face a Lions outfit that earned a morale-boosting one-point win at Ospreys in round two and will be eager to make it two on the road after their opening loss against the Bulls. Back the Joburgers to maintain their upward trend by collecting another away victory here.
Ulster 1/1 | Draw 18/1 | Leinster 17/20
In the game of the weekend, both Ulster and Leinster will be out to keep intact their winning starts to the campaign. The visitors can lay down an early season marker by knocking over their fierce rivals at the Kingspan, while a win for Dan McFarland’s charges would set them up superbly with a series of away games on the horizon. It’s going to be a close one, but the Ulstermen should just about have enough here.
Saturday 1 October
Stormers 1/4 | Draw 28/1 | Edinburgh 3/1
The Stormers should maintain their winning ways against Edinburgh here despite the Scottish outfit’s valiant effort at Loftus a week ago. The Bulls edged them by two, and while that will give them some momentum to take into this one, the Cape side are a real force at home and should stretch their overall winning run to 12-matches. Some of the attacking footy John Dobson’s men produced last week was spectacular and Edinburgh’s D will be stretched.
Ospreys 73/100 | Draw 20/1 | Glasgow 23/20
Ospreys will be out to claim a first win of the season on Saturday after a draw and defeat in the opening two rounds. They salvaged a 23-all draw in Llanelli thanks to a last-gasp converted score and would have expected to open their account last week if not for a heroic performance by the Lions, who managed a one-point win. The Warriors bounced back from a loss at Benetton with victory at the Scotstoun over Cardiff but could face another L on the weekend with Ospreys desperate to get their campaign off the ground.
Munster n/a | Draw 50/1 | Zebre 15/1
Two opening losses means Munster are suffering their worst start to a campaign since the first season of the Celtic league way back in 2001. It’s been far from a fairytale start to Johann van Graan’s tenure at the helm, but that should change at Thomond Park here. As good as Zebre have been, coming within a whisker of knocking over both Leinster and the Sharks in the past fortnight, the Red Army should hit back with a vengeance on Saturday.
Benetton 6/10 | Draw 20/1 | Scarlets 29/20
Benetton kicked off their season with a great win over Glasgow before being outgunned by Leinster. They should fancy their chances here against a Scarlets outfit that drew with Ospreys first up before being thoroughly beaten by Ulster in round two, though desperation may play a role for the visitors. It’ll be a tight one, but Dwayne Peel’s boys should have the edge in Treviso.
🦁 Sabato sera a Monigo si giocherà #BenettonRugby 🆚 #Scarlets— Benetton Rugby 🦁 (@BenettonRugby) September 28, 2022
📽️ Nel 2019 i #Leoni sconfissero i gallesi per 25-19 di fronte ai propri tifosi
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Dragons 28/10 | Draw 22/1 | Sharks 29/100
After a fast start against Benetton a week ago, the Sharks nearly bottled it with the hosts hitting back hard to almost snatch the win. The Durbanites ended up holding out, but this week come up against a confident Dragons team fresh off a win against Munster. It won’t be easy for Sean Everitt’s men, but if they stick to their structures they’ll come away with the spoils.