Sunday, July 14, 2024

Leinster Rugby vs Connacht Rugby Predictions, Betting Tips, and H2H 31/05/2024


Leinster Rugby vs Connacht Rugby Preview

It’s another massive day in the United Rugby Championship. Leinster will host Connacht at the RDS on Friday, May 31st at 7.35 pm. This is a humongous game for the Westerners because they must win to make the playoffs.

Meanwhile, it will be fascinating to see how Leinster will respond after their traumatic Champion’s Cup defeat to Toulouse. Connacht will hope that they’ll show weakness. But perhaps Leinster will take out their frustrations on their fellow Irish province.

This rugby game has significant URC ramifications. Leinster is the big favourite again, but there’s an opportunity for Connacht to shock the competition.

Leinster Rugby vs Connacht Rugby Key Stats and Head-to-Head

These teams are no strangers to each other, but there’s no pretending this is an equal rivalry. Leinster has dominated over the years with Connacht’s most recent success in January 2021. They defeated Leinster 35-21 in Dublin on a famous day for the men in green. It was Leinster’s first Pro14 defeat in 27 games and Connacht pulled off a shock. They led 25-5 at half-time after scores from Jack Carty and Alex Wooton. It was a massive boost for the Westerners, as they even secured a bonus point.

These teams have played each other seven times since that victory, including postseason games. Leinster won each of these with their most recent victory in December 2023. Connacht suffered a tight two-point defeat as they went down 22-24 in Galway.

This game saw Jacques Nienaber’s first involvement as a senior coach. Connacht took an 8-7 lead into half-time, but they couldn’t hold it. J. J. Hanrahan missed a costly conversion early in the game after David Hawkshaw’s try. Charlie Ngatai and Harry Byrne equalised for Leinster in this tight but enthralling game. Then Leinster took the lead, with Jason Jenkins and Ronan Kelleher scoring. Byrne’s successful kicks further separated the teams.

But Connacht didn’t give up and came roaring back through Caolin Blade. The captain ran 30 yards to score a brilliant try, and this time, Hanrahan was successful with the conversion. They continued to push and an iconic win was in sight after Diarmuid Kilgallen dived across the line. However, Ciaran Frawley didn’t get the memo. The Leinster star snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the dying moments and broke Connacht’s hearts. This was a great rugby game, but a brutal loss for Connacht.

Leinster knows all about harrowing defeats following their exertions against Toulouse. They suffered a harrowing extra-time loss against French opposition as they went down 22-31 in London. Leo Cullen can rightfully say that James Lowe was unlucky to see his try ruled out. The referee also controversially sent him to the sin bin. But this doesn’t change the reality that Leinster made several key mistakes.

Will Connor and Ryan Baird didn’t impress against the French giants. Eventually, Cullen introduced Jack Conan and Josh Van Der Flier to stabilise their centre. There’s no pretending that Ross Byrne is an elite fly-half. He’s a good player, but not in the world rugby’s top tier.

This is a massive game for Connacht because they know they must win and achieve a bonus point. Even that might not be enough for the Westerners. They also know that a Champion’s Cup place is beyond them already.

Connacht will enter this game after two tough defeats to the Stormers and Munster. The former was frustrating because they could have won. Connacht led 7-3 at halftime after Caolin Blade scored a try. After the break, Angelo Davids helped his team take the lead, but Connacht answered back through Jack Aungier. In the end, Manie Libbok’s penalties were the difference between the teams as the South Africans won in Ireland for the first time.

Connacht will enter this game as big underdogs, but they have something to play for. It’s unlikely that Leinster will top the URC table now. They may also be vulnerable after the Toulouse defeat. Connacht could be the perfect rebound opponent.

Leinster Rugby vs Connacht Rugby Predictions

Correct Score Prediction: Leinster 30 – 10 Connacht

We predict Leinster will convincingly win this game. The Irish giants are in pain after back-to-back defeats against Ulster and Toulouse. Connacht will bring the fight, but ultimately they’ll fall short against a vengeful Leinster team.

The Westerners also need a bonus point. This means that they need to go guns blazing from the very start. It could play into Leinster’s hands. Our rugby prediction sees the home side exploit the space caused by Connacht’s attacks.

Meanwhile, Leinster has a stronger squad of players than Connacht. Antoine Dupont stole the show in the Champion’s Cup Final. But his opposite number, Jamison Gibson-Park, was also brilliant at scrum-half. The New Zealand-born star became Leinster’s conductor after Jonny Sexton’s retirement.

Connacht suffered a massive blow ahead of this game. They hoped that Mack Hansen would be ready to return for the first time since New Year’s Day. The brilliant winger hasn’t been available since he dislocated his shoulder against Munster.

His inclusion would instantly inject quality into their attack. It’s a massive shame for Pete Wilkins and his team as they hunt for a URC playoff spot. However, Santiago Cordero’s return could make a difference. The Argentine has yet to start for the Westerners.

The fly-half battle will be fascinating too. Ross Byrne has been Leinster’s main starter this season, but they may opt for his brother Harry against Leinster. None of their options were convincing and some fans even want Leo Cullen to start young Sam Prendergast. A few months ago, Connacht tried to take the budding star on loan.

Jack Carty will play for Connacht after J. J. Hanrahan’s season-ending ACL tear. Hanrahan has the fifth most points in the competition, so his absence is a loss. It will be tough for Connacht to compete with Leinster’s bench. It’s worth monitoring in-game betting if Connacht takes a shock lead. They’ve blown great opportunities in the past and Leinster is a quality team. We expect Leinster to dominate this rugby match.

Leinster Rugby vs Connacht Rugby Betting Tips

Leinster are firm favourites to win this game. It makes little sense to bet on them at 1/20. A €10 stake would only see a 50c profit. Meanwhile, Connacht are massive 8/1 underdogs. This means that there’s the potential for a huge €80 profit. They can capitalise on Leinster’s current vulnerabilities.

Check our sports betting site for more lucrative markets. The winning margin is one of the most attractive. Betting on Leinster to win by 15 or more points could be a smart option. This is available at 2/5 with a potential €4 profit.

However, placing a bet on Leinster to win by 8 to 14 points could be more appealing. The odds are 14/5 with a potential €28 profit. Connacht could win this clash, but it’s unlikely to be by a wide margin. It’s 14/1 for them to win by 1 to 7 points. Betting on rugby is exciting because of the chance of high-scoring games.

It’s also worth looking at individual players. James Lowe is one of the most clinical wings in the game and a good scoring bet for Leinster. Meanwhile, it’s better to bet on them to win either half instead of the game as an entity.

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Leinster players smiling at the camera

Leinster Rugby Team News and Predicted Line-Up

Leo Cullen has some big decisions after a tough extra-time defeat to Toulouse. Jack Conan and Josh van der Flier will probably return ahead of Ryan Baird and Will Connors. Meanwhile, he may take Ross Byrne out of the spotlight and start his brother Harry. Hugo Keenan is unavailable after joining Ireland’s Sevens squad. Garry Ringrose remains a major doubt.

  • Leinster Predicted Line-Up: Charlie Ngatai, Jordan Larmour, Robbie Henshaw, Jamie Osborne, James Lowe, Harry Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park, Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong, Joe McCarthy, Jason Jenkins, Jack Conan, Josh van der Flier, and Caelan Doris.

Connacht Rugby Team News and Predicted Line-up

Unfortunately, Mack Hansen isn’t ready for this game. The Westerners hoped their elite winger would return to face their Irish rivals. Meanwhile, first-choice fly-half J. J. Hanrahan is out with an ACL tear for the season. Jack Carty will continue in his place. Andrew Smith is also playing for Ireland’s Sevens team. Santiago Cordero may make his first start for the province.

  • Connacht Predicted Line-up: Tiernan O’Halloran, John Porch, David Hawkshaw, Bundee Aki, Byron Ralston, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade, Peter Dooley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Joe Joyce, Darragh Murray, Cian Prendergast, Shamus Hurley-Langston, and Sean Jansen.