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United Rugby Championship: Round 1 Predictions

There’s both excitement and trepidation at the start of a brand new tournament, with URC stepping in as the shiny new replacement for Super Rugby, with teams squaring up in Round 1 having never played each other before.

When you add in to the mix that the Springboks are away in Australia, and some of the stars of the Lions Tour will be rested for the first few weeks, how this weekend will play out is anyone’s guess.

So with all those caveats and reasons to go easy on me, here are my URC predictions for Round 1, with a brief line of justification for each.

Zebre v Lions

Zebre are expected to finish last in the table, and whilst every team will be wary of facing them at their home ground, the Lions ought to win this. Lions by 6

Cardiff v Connacht

The home team has won this fixture on the last 6 occasions, and a home win is the sensible pick here. Cardiff by 3

Ulster v Glasgow

Glasgow have faded slightly in the last couple of years, and I would expect Ulster to be the stronger side here, having won home and away in the Pro14 last season. Ulster by 9

Benetton v Stormers

This is a really tough pick , because normally the Italians are useless, and yet they somehow beat the Bulls in the Rainbow Cup finale. I need a bit more convincing so I’m going with the Stormers. Stormers by 4

Edinburgh v Scarlets

The Scarlets will be missing a few key players for this opening match, and they have struggled against Edinburgh in the recent meetings, so I’m predicting a home win. Edinburgh by 3

Leinster v Bulls

I’m looking forward to this one, and it could set the tone for North v South clashes for the season. Some people are expecting the Bulls to steamroll everyone, but Leinster will win this opening match. Leinster by 11

Munster v Sharks

This is another good one, and another that should be a home win. Thomond Park will be very hostile, and it’s a tough place for any side to get a result. Munster by 13

Dragons v Ospreys

I don’t particularly rate the Dragons, but these two teams have played out some high-scoring matches in recent times - 119 points were scored across their last two matches. I think the Ospreys are likely to edge it. Ospreys by 2

Best of luck with your own URC picks!
7,382 caps
No ways I'm backing Lions and Stormers after their useless performace in the Currie Cup. Pumas should have been in the Semi's and not the Stormers. I'm backing a home win.
23 Sep 10:19
122 caps
FYI - The Pumas are a feeder team for the Lions for the URC and the Lions have 5 x Pumas players in their URC team. 24 Sep 10:24
36,863 caps
Not having a dig here but find it tough & borderline pointless to predict scores without knowing the lineups especially in nh rugby comps - long season, teams often resting key players, home vs away strategy plus it's a brand new comp plenty of players missing etc.
Reckon it's doable in football/soccer euro leagues, most nrl rounds, SR & RC not so much with premiership, top14 & pro14/ucl footy.
23 Sep 10:59
70,212 caps
You ought to know the lineups on the day of the match so there is plenty of time to do your research and make an educated guess. Hutch is going out on a limb here for our benefit so thanks for that 23 Sep 13:13
869 caps
Join souswurm
23 Sep 11:43
1,169 cap
Can’t find predictions
23 Sep 15:13
34,645 caps
in this column. slightly above our comments. team matches announced and predictions made. 24 Sep 07:26
7,334 caps
Picking bulls all the way,lions and stormers was very dissapointing
23 Sep 17:52
3,395 caps
Give this man a Bells. He knows his ruga!!!!! 24 Sep 10:14
54,987 caps
Bit a crap shoot picking winners for first round but certainly won't be picking any of the south African tra
24 Sep 09:11
48,197 caps
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25 Sep 16:37
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Good day Team. Why does the "Add to wish list" (star next to players names) function, no longer work in the rugby fantasies?
27 Sep 06:57
555 caps
Suid-Afrika 34 en A 38
29 Sep 11:40
23 caps
Hello from Dublin. Leinster are going to walk the league again.
30 Sep 04:54
5,347 caps
Where is the review for round 2?
1 Oct 04:53