7th April 2012
Heineken Cup Munster v Ulster Betting: In form Ulster to overcome 7pt handicap
With two teams from the RaboDirect PRO12 already through to the semifinals of the Heineken Cup Ireland and Munster will battle it out tomorrow and guarantee 3 semifinalists from the PRO 12. Just one point seperates these two sides in the PRO12 and Ulster already boast a win over Munster this season but that was against a much depleted Munster side at Ravenhill.
Both sides had a very decent qualifying campaign in the Heineken Cup especially Ulster who managed to qualify from a group that contained Leicester and Clermont. Munster qualified with a100% record yet they won all three opening fixtures by a mere 3 points a piece. Ulster go in to this fixture with undoubtebly the better form, unbeaten in their last four matches where as Munster have lost 2 from 3 and really struggled in their win against Connacht.
Munster make seven changes for this clash having rested several players last weekend and welcome back Irish internationals Donnacha Ryan and Paul O'Connel from injury which will certainly bolster the Munster pack. Denis Hurley also returns from injury and returns to the backline along with Conor Murray. Tommy O'Donnell is preferred to David Wallace at 7.
Ulster have a more settled side and have named just one change to the side that trounced Airioni last weekend with Dan Tuohy returning at lock.
This game looks to be a real close call and I could easily make a case for either side to win. Home advantage in a Heienken Cup fixture though really is such a big factor as Edinburgh demonstrated today and I would have to say that a Munster victory looks very much on the cards. Munster have such huge experience in this fromat and showed during the group stages that despite being sceond best during the opening few games they still had the knack of grinding out victories by the narrowest of margins.
I expect this to be a very tough game and it could very well be decided by the odd penalty, therefore I fancy Ulster on the handicap of +7. Munster have failed to score heavily in the majority of games this season and are still very much missing Doug Howlett who just seemed to give them that bit more of a cutting edge.
Recommended Bet: Ulster +7 to beat Munster at Evens with Bet365
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Author: The Hooker