Connacht Rugby vs Leinster Rugby Preview
The United Rugby Championship continues this weekend, and we have another exciting rivalry to enjoy. Second in the division, Leinster travel to seventh-placed Connacht in an Irish grudge match. After six league games this season, six points separate the sides. Leinster is on a five-game winning streak after recovering from behind to defeat Munster last Saturday. Connacht needs to pick themselves up after a blistering defeat on the road to the Bulls.
This rugby match will take place on Saturday, December 2, at 7:35 PM. Connacht has the home advantage as fans will flock to the Galway Sportsgrounds for an important game of rugby. Leinster is in fine form this season, having recovered from their opening-day defeat to Glasgow. Connacht, who enjoyed a brilliant start to the URC this year, stalled on the road against the Bulls and Edinburgh. Could this test have come too soon for the Westerners?
Connacht Rugby vs Leinster Rugby Head-To-Head and Key Stats
Connacht vs Leinster has taken place 103 times since 1946 and it has been a one-sided affair over the years. Leinster is the dominant force in this fixture with 80 wins. Connacht has 19 victories of their own and there have only been four draws in 77 years. Leinster has won the last seven meetings in a row dating back to the Rainbow Cup fixture in the 2020-21 season.
The most recent match between these Rugby Union clubs was in January 2023. Leinster were the hosts, and they dominated Connacht in the second half. The match started with a score for the home side by Liam Turner within three minutes. The visitors responded with a try but still went in 19-12 at halftime. An early score from Jordan Larmour tipped the game in Leinster’s favour, and a yellow card to Jack Carty all but sealed Connacht’s fate. Three more tries by the home side were enough to blow Connacht away 41-12.
In 2022, the sides faced off in mid-October, this time at Galway Sportsgrounds. The match also featured a yellow card to Connacht, but it came late in the day after the 75th minute. It was another dominant display from Leinster, who held the opposition to a scoreless game. The score finished 0-10, showing a clear gulf in class between the two Irish clubs.
There has been at least one yellow card in the five most recent matches between the two teams. Out of those five matches, Connacht is the only side to receive a red card. In March 2022, Leinster’s O’Brien was sent to the sin bin with the first tackle after kickoff. Two minutes later, Connacht levelled things up with a red card to Daly. It was a close first half with Connacht leading 8-7 after 40 minutes. But a rampant display from Leinster saw them demolish the opposition 8-45 at the final whistle.
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) November 27, 2023
Historically, Leinster is the better side in this fixture, and they regularly win by an obscene scoreline. Some of the recent victories include 41-12, 56-20, and 8-45. Each of those matches has taken place in the last year or two, showing that a repeat is not out of the question this weekend. Looking at how the clubs have performed this season in the URC, both have put in at least one worrying performance. Leinster started the season on the back foot against Glasgow but found their way in the next four games. The last game against Munster ended up as a victory, but they were not the better side for most of the game.
Connacht started this season fantastically, outperforming expectations especially after dispatching Irish rivals Ulster 22-20. Since then, Connacht has slipped back into the form we have seen in previous seasons, losing to Edinburgh and the Bulls on the road. Connacht needs a result today to resume what has already been an impressive season in the United Rugby Championship. However, Leinster is finding a way to win games, which is all that matters this early in the season.
Connacht Rugby vs Leinster Rugby Predictions
Unsurprisingly, you will find online betting platforms have Leinster as the favourite to win this week. The bookie has Leinster at 2/7, which would return €12.86 from a ten-euro wager if they are victorious. Connacht to win after 80 minutes of rugby is worth 14/5. That would yield €38 if you placed a wager of €10. Betting on a draw in this Rugby Union game does not seem worthwhile, as the odds are 22/1.
Leinster being the favourites makes perfect sense given how the teams have performed this season. However, one thing to note is that Connacht is unbeaten at home, and Leinster’s only defeat has come on the road. The performance from Leinster last weekend against Munster was not good enough, and maybe without the support from the home crowd, they could have lost that game.
Even with the wobble, we predict Leinster will be the dominant side and will secure the bragging rights this Saturday against Connacht. Looking at the past fixtures between these clubs, a winning margin of 30 or more points has been a regular occurrence. It seems likely that this game will see a lot of points scored hopefully by both sides. We think the gap between the two has narrowed, and we expect Leinster to win by 15 points or more.
Before we move on, let’s talk about betting on the underdog in rugby. Usually, it is not worth an outright wager against the favourite, as it’s a risk that is not usually worth the reward. But there are a few aspects to consider in this fixture. Leinster is in cracking form, except for an average performance last week against Munster. Plus, they have won the last seven Connacht meetings in a row, the second-longest winning streak in this fixture since the 1980s. However, while we don’t think Connacht has what it takes this year to get the job done, it could still be worth a small wager given the returns.
A fixture like this is an excellent opportunity to sign up for an online bookmaker and claim a welcome bonus. If you are going to use your bonus, make sure you look at the other markets available. Just betting on the outright winner will not give you the largest returns. Instead, consider our other predictions, such as Leinster, to win by 15 or more points.
If you are going to wait until game day to bet, what do we predict will be a good live bet? If you look at the recent history of this fixture, yellow cards seem to come out regularly. Connacht is the more guilty party for sin bins, so betting on them to go down to 14 men is an interesting bet. In rugby betting, nothing is guaranteed, but the past five games have each had at least one yellow card.
Connacht Rugby vs Leinster Rugby Betting Tips
Betting on Leinster across any market is the most likely way to come away with a winning wager this weekend. However, that does not mean you are short of options to bet on. There are dozens of wagers to consider this week besides the outright winner, plus these bets all have better returns.
Before we continue, we have a word of warning. Every wager in favour of Connacht will have seductive returns. That means do not get carried away and wager on a long shot. Connacht to lose even within ten points is a rewarding bet this weekend.
Leinster to win the match on Saturday by any scoreline has odds of 2/7. This is the perfect opportunity to experiment with a handicap wager. A handicap applies a point spread to the underdog and favourite. Leinster receives a point deficit before the game even starts, which means they will need to win by a certain number of points. The larger the handicap you choose, the bigger your potential returns. Even betting on Leinster to win by three or more points has odds of 4/11, which means more profit compared to the outright market.
If you agree with our prediction for Leinster to run away with it against Connacht, look at the winning margin rugby betting market. This is where you can choose the number of points the away side will win by. Leinster to win the match by 15 points or more has odds of 2/1. A $25 bet on this market will return €75. Not too bad when you examine they have won by 15 or more points in five of the last seven meetings.
Betting on the United Rugby Championship has been exciting so far this season, and this match could be another surprise result. Leinster looked shaky at home and Connacht need a result or they will fall further down the table. Neither side will want to lose, and the form makes an upset seem unlikely, but strange things happen in rugby. Do not bet more than you can afford to lose this week.
Connacht Rugby Lineup
Any good caption for this return? 🤔
— Connacht Rugby (@connachtrugby) November 29, 2023
Great news for Connacht fans this week, as they announced that Mack Hansen is available for the derby game against Leinster. Starman Bundee Aki is still a few weeks away from making his first appearance of the season. In other team news, Jack Aungier is available to make his return this week following the return-to-play protocols. However, several players are still not ready for action. Santi Cordero, Gavin Thornbury, Oisin McCormack, Shayne Bolton, and Shayne Jennings are all still injured.
- Connacht Predicted Lineup: P. Dooley, T. McElroy, J. Aungier, D. Murray, J. Joyce, O. Dowling, S. Hurley-Langton, S. Jansen, C. Reilly, J. Carty, M. Hansen, C. Forde, T. Farrell, B. Ralston, and T. O’Halloran.
Leinster Rugby Lineup
Head Coach Leo Cullen issued an update on November 27 detailing the status of several key players. Cian Healy has stepped up his rehabilitation as he recovers from a shoulder injury. Michael Milne is being assessed by the medical team following his return from a shoulder problem. The last bit of good news is about Cormac Foley, who is also edging closer to playing for Leinster again. Ross Bryne is the latest player to make it on the injury list after picking up a knock last week. Luke McGrath, Tommy O’Brien, Alex Soroka, and John McKee will all miss this weekend’s game, and we are waiting for an update on their condition.
- Leinster Predicted Lineup: A. Porter, D. Sheehan, T. Clarkson, J. McCarthy, J. Ryan, M. Deegan, J, van der Flier, W. Connors, J. Gibson-Park, S. Prendergast, J. O’Brien, J. Osborne, G. Ringrose, J. Larmour, and H. Keenan.