Connect with us


United Rugby Championship Predictions – Round 6

The South African teams will be looking to get back on track in Round Six of the United Rugby Championship this weekend, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.


The South African teams will be looking to get back on track in Round Six of the United Rugby Championship this weekend, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

Following a winless weekend, the local sides are hell-bent on bouncing back and are back on home soil aside from the Stormers, who conclude their European tour against Cardiff on Friday night.

The Lions are the first South African team in action on Saturday, with the men from Johannesburg hosting Zebre, before the winless Sharks tackle the Dragons in Durban and the Bulls collide with Connacht in Pretoria.

Cardiff v Stormers

Friday, 24 November – 21:35

The Stormers are not a great travelling side. This has been evident from the inception of the URC and has been the case this season as well with three straight losses.

However, there’s reason to believe they’ll end their tour on a winning note. Defensively, they’ve been strong, and having kept Munster to a single try in last weekend’s 10-3 loss, Cardiff will find it tough to crack their defence.

The Welsh outfit have only registered one win and let a second slip last weekend, conceding a last-gasp try to leave Parma with a 22-all draw with Zebre.

With respect to Cardiff, nothing about their game strikes fear into the opposition and the Stormers have the necessary firepower, if they improve their decision-making, to head home with the win.

Prediction: Stormers by 6.

Suggested Bet: Stormers -5.5 at 1.82.

Edinburgh v Benetton

Friday, 24 November – 21:35

Edinburgh’s 31-23 win over the Bulls last weekend was their fourth in five games and put them fifth on the log. The return of their World Cup stars has further bolstered Sean Everitt’s side whose driving maul has been a particularly potent weapon and earned them two of their four tries last weekend.

Benetton finally suffered their first loss of the season last weekend, falling 26-12 to Glasgow on the first leg of their Scottish tour, and the second won’t be much easier. So far, the Italians have scrapped hard without setting the world alight, and with teams returning to full strength, their win-loss record will start to suffer.

The team with home ground advantage usually come out on top in this rivalry and based on their form to date, that should be the case again. 

Prediction: Edinburgh by 7.

Suggested Bet: Benetton +9.5 at 1.85.

Lions v Zebre

Saturday, 25 November – 14:55

No teams have greater fight in them than these two and they’ll go tooth and nail for victory at Ellis Park. The only two teams will five bonus points, they share a never-say-die mentality that’s made them competitive in most of their matches.

Back from a tour that saw them win one and narrowly lose their other three matches, the Lions are a tight-knit group full of grit who play for each other. The same can be said for Zebre, who broke their 18-month drought against the Sharks and salvaged a draw with Cardiff last weekend.

In what promises to be an action-packed encounter, the Lions should outgun the visitors on the Highveld.

Prediction: Lions by 9.

Suggested Bet: Zebre +15.5 at 1.86.

Bulls v Connacht

Saturday, 25 November – 17:00

Indiscipline cost the Bulls dearly in Edinburgh last weekend, but they nevertheless had a solid tour that saw them pick up two wins and 10 log points to go with their opening round bonus-point win over the Scarlets. Back at Loftus, they’ll look to prove a point. The shackles will come off and we should be in store for the running of the Bulls.

Rather ironically, it’ll be Connacht who’ll play the more conservative rugby that’s traditionally associated with the Bulls. As their 13-12 win over the Sharks last weekend showed, they keep it simple with their halfback combination steering the ship and their lineout being a good weapon. They might be a tad more expansive but playing at altitude, they run the risk of gassing out if they do so.  

The Bulls are a different beast at home, and they should bounce back from the loss to Edinburgh with a solid win.

Prediction: Bulls by 10.

Suggested Bet: Connacht +14.5 at 1.86.

Sharks v Dragons

Saturday, 25 November – 19:05

Basic mistakes once again undid the good work the Sharks managed to do last weekend and played a pivotal role in their homecoming heartbreak against Connacht.

Patience is starting to wear thin and this a match where victory is non-negotiable. The Dragons might’ve come good last weekend, beating the Ospreys 20-5 for their first win of the season, but they’re not a side the Sharks should lose to at home.  

Lukhanyo Am made a big difference, both to the Sharks’ attack and defence in his comeback last weekend, and his influence will be even greater this weekend. Add a bit more simplicity and patience and the Sharks should finally get the monkey off their back.

Prediction: Sharks by 9.

Suggested Bet: Dragons +18.5 at 1.86.

Leinster v Munster

Saturday, 25 November – 20:30

A juicy Irish derby is on the cards. It’s always a colossal clash when these two rivals collide and with their World Cup stars back, this should be no different.

This one has particular spice to it considering Munster stunned their hosts 16-15 on their last visit to Dublin in last season’s semi-final. That’s not a loss you easily forget, and Leinster will be determined to set the record straight and make a statement that the Aviva is indeed a fortress.

Sitting at the top of the log, Leinster have shown a lot more than sixth-placed Munster have and want to win this one more than their visitors, so I see them getting the job done in a hard-fought contest.

Prediction: Leinster by 5.  

Suggested Bet: Munster +12.5 at 1.85.

Glasgow Warriors v Ulster

Saturday, 25 November – 21:35

The Warriors have been the business, from lashing Leinster in the opening round to their 26-12 win over previously unbeaten Benetton last weekend. In second place, this will be a good test of their championship credentials. 

Ulster weren’t at their best in their 24-17 win over the Lions last weekend and that’s been the story of their season so far. Their only solid performance came in the 21-14 win over Munster and yet, they boast four wins.

Franco Smith’s charges have more attacking synergy and with Ulster’s set pieces struggling, Glasgow should get the better of them at home.   

Prediction: Glasgow Warriors by 4.

Suggested Bet: Ulster +6.5 at 1.85.

Ospreys v Scarlets

Sunday, 26 November – 17:00

The round ends with a whimper as few casuals will tune into this Welsh derby. With the Scarlets coming off a 54-5 drubbing at the hands of Leinster and having a 1-4 record, it’s hard to see them springing an upset here.

The Ospreys are 2-3 and both of those wins came at home. Ten of the last 11 meetings between these teams were won by the home team so that’s who I’m backing. It should be close, though.

Prediction: Ospreys by 7.

Suggested Bet: Ospreys -5.5 at 1.82.

Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at and senior staff writer at, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

More in Rugby