Preview – United Rugby Championship Round 7

 

After an exciting weekend of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, all eyes are now on Round 7 ahead of the Autumn International break.

Irish duo Leinster and Ulster continue to top the table after six rounds of the Vodacom URC. With defending champions, DHL Stormers and runners up the Vodacom Bulls making up the top four.

On Friday night, Leinster will make the trip to Scarlets while Glasgow Warriors are back on home turf as they welcome Benetton. Saturday will kick off with a South African derby as Emirates Lions host the DHL Stormers. Dragons RFC will take their winning momentum into Round 7 as they face Zebre Parma. Thomond Park will welcome the Irish derby this weekend as Ulster play Munster. Connacht makes the trip to Swansea as they face the Ospreys.

Sunday will see another South African derby as Vodacom Bulls welcome Cell C Sharks while Edinburgh Rugby travels to the Arms Park to face Cardiff Rugby who is on a three-game winning streak.

Friday 28 November 2022

Scarlets vs Leinster at Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli, 20:35 (SA Time)

The Scarlets are currently 15th on the United Tugby Championship log with 6 log points while Leinster is still unbeaten with 28 log points at first on the log. Scarlets' only victory in their last eight United Rugby Championship fixtures was 36-12 at home to Zebre Parma on 15 October.

The Welshmen have not won back-to-back fixtures at Parc y Scarlets since beating Glasgow Warriors and Cardiff Rugby there in March and April. Leinster have won all six matches they have played in the BKT United Rugby Championship this season, four with a try bonus point.

Leinster have won their last three away games in the Championship, their best run on the road since May 2021 while the Scarlets' only victory over Leinster since 2017 was 23-21 in Llanelli in September 2018

Glasgow Warriors vs Benetton at Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow, 20:35 (SA Time)

Glasgow Warriors are currently 10th on the United Rugby Championship log with 10 log points while Benetton is placed 9th with 14 log points.

The Glasgow Warriors match last weekend at the Emirates Lions was postponed. The Warriors have won two of their last four United Rugby Championship fixtures and have won their last eight home fixtures in the Championship since Leinster beat them at Scotstoun twelve months ago.

Benetton Rugby has lost their last two United Rugby Championship encounters since beating the Dragons RFC 34-14 at Stadio Monigo in Round 4. Benetton have not won away from home in the United Rugby Championship since their trip to Zebre on Christmas Eve last year.

The last five matches between the two sides have all been won by the home side on the day whilst Benetton’s only previous victory on Glasgow’s soil was 15-13 at Firhill Arena in September 2011.

Saturday 29 October 2022

Emirates Lions vs DHL Stormers at Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg, 16:00 (SA Time)

The Emirates Lions are currently 8th on the United Rugby Championship log with 15 log points while the DHL Stormers are placed 4th, and have 19 log points. The Emirates Lions as well as the DHL Stormers have only played 5 matches in the 2022/2023 season of the United Rugby Championship while most of the other teams have already played 6 matches.

Emirates Lions' home match with Glasgow Warriors last weekend was postponed, their most recent match being a 37-39 home defeat to Ulster on 15 October. The Emirates Lions have lost three of their last four home games in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship at Emirates Airline Park.

The Emirates Lions have recorded just two victories against fellow South African opponents in the United Rugby Championship, beating the Vodacom Bulls in Johannesburg 34-33 in the Rainbow Cup in May 2021 and a 37-19 win over DHL Stormers in Cape Town in December 2021.

DHL Stormers' fifteen-game unbeaten run in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship ended with their 24-30 loss in Cardiff on Saturday. The DHL Stormers are unbeaten in their last six fixtures against fellow South African opponents since their loss to today’s opponents, the Lions, at DHL Stadium on 4 December 2021. This is the Emirates Lions' only victory over the Stormers since a 41-22 win in Super Rugby at Johannesburg in June 2019. The DHL Stormers have won on their last three visits to Emirates Airline Park in all competitions.

Dragons RFC vs Zebre Parma at Rodney Parade, Newport, 18:15 (SA Time)

The Dragons RFC is currently placed 13th in the United Rugby Championship with 10 log points while Zebre Parma is placed 16th with only 4 log points.

Dragons RFC doubled their tally of victories in the United Rugby Championship this season with their 32-25 win at home to Ospreys on Sunday. The Dragons have won two of their last three matches at Rodney Parade.

Zebre Parma has lost their last nine United Rugby Championship fixtures since beating their opponents, the Dragons RFC, in Parma last April and are still hunting for their first win in the 2022/23 season.

The last three fixtures between the two sides have gone the way of home team advantage, while Zebre’s only previous victory in eight visits to Rodney Parade was 39-12 in November 2019.

Munster vs Ulster at Thomond Park, Limerick, 18.15 (SA Time)

Munster is currently placed 11th on the United Rugby Championship log with 11 log points while Ulster is placed 2nd with 21 log points. Ulster has only played 5 matches in the 2022/23 United Rugby Championship competition.

Munster have won two of their last four United Rugby Championship matches and lost just once at home in any competition since May 2021 when Leinster beat them 19-34 at Thomond Park on 2 April.

Ulster Rugby’s match away at Cell C Sharks last weekend was postponed. Ulster’s only defeat in the 2022/23 United Rugby Championship was 13-20 to Leinster at Kingspan Stadium on 30 September.

Ulster’s 36-17 victory over Munster in last season's quarter-final at Kingspan Stadium ended a three-game losing run to the Munster. Ulster have not tasted success at Thomond Park since a 19-17 victory in May 2014, although they did draw there 24-all in April 2018.

Ospreys vs Connacht at Swansea.com Stadium, Swansea, 20:35 (SA Time)

The Ospreys are currently placed 10th on the United Rugby Championship log with 12 log points while Connacht is placed 14th with 9 log points.

The Ospreys' only victory in their last seven United Rugby Championship matches was a 32-17 win at home to Glasgow in Round 3. The Ospreys have lost only twice in their last ten home fixtures at Swansea.com Stadium in the United Rugby Championship, to the Vodacom Bulls in May and the Emirates Lions in September.

Connacht Rugby has won two of their last three United Rugby Championship fixtures, against Munster and Scarlets. Connacht’s most recent victory away from home in the United Rugby Championship was on a visit to the Emirates Lions in April.

Connacht’s only defeat in their last five encounters with Ospreys was 20-26 at the Sportsground in January 2021.

Sunday 30 October 2022

Vodacom Bulls vs Cell C Sharks at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, 15:00 (SA Time)

Vodacom Bulls are currently 3rd on the United Rugby Championship log with 19 log points while the Cell C Sharks are placed 7th with 15 log points. The Cell Sharks have played one match less than their hosts.

The Vodacom Bulls two game losing run in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship ended with their 44-22 victory over Benetton in Treviso last weekend. The Vodacom Bulls have won their last nine matches at Loftus Versfeld in the Championship since today’s opponents, Cell C Sharks, beat them there last February.

The Cell C Sharks game against Ulster in Durban last weekend was postponed. The Cell C Sharks' only defeat so far in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship was 34-54 to Leinster in Dublin in Round 4.

The two sides have met on five previous occasions in the United Rugby Championship with the Bulls having the slight edge by three wins to two and the Cell C Sharks have won just once at Loftus Versfeld in any competition since June 2011 with a 29-22 margin in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship on 12 February this year.

Cardiff vs Edinburgh at Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, 17:00 (SA Time)

Cardiff is currently placed 6th on the United Rugby Championship log with 17 log points while Edinburgh is placed 5th with 18 log points.

Cardiff Rugby has won their last three United Rugby Championship matches and has not won four in succession in the tournament since December 2019. Cardiff has lost only once at the Arms Park since April after the Emirates Lions have beaten Cardiff 18-31 on 30 September.

Edinburgh Rugby has won their last two United Rugby Championship matches and has not won three in succession in the competition since January.

Edinburgh lost just one of their last five encounters with Cardiff when Cardiff have beaten them 15-34 at the Arms Park in March 2021.