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Stormers v Connacht – Preview, Team News, Betting and Prediction

Stormers v Connacht Rugby, we have preview, betting and prediction. Kick off 1:30pm Saturday. Live on RTE2 TV.

Preview

It’s the second week of the URC and Connacht travel to South Africa to play the Stormers, we have a list of ten facts fans should know about the fixture.

1) Defending champions DHL Stormers begin their defence having won their last eleven URC matches.

2) The last team to beat the Stormers was Connacht, it was 17-19 on 26February.

3) Stormers won theonly previous URC fixture at Danie Craven Stadium 55-7 against Zebre in March.

4) Stormers have won their last three fixtures against Irish provinces, all played at DHL Stadium.

5) Connacht Rugby’s last twenty-four fixtures in URC have been evenly split with a dozen wins and a dozen defeats.

6) Connacht have lost their last two away games in the tournament, at Cell C Sharks in April and at Ulster last weekend.

7) Connacht’s 21-41 defeat to the Sharks in Durban on 30 April ended a nine-game winning run against South African opponents.

8) Connacht have won on four of their previous six visits to South Africa.

9) The two sides have met just once before, at the Sportsground in Galway inFebruary with the home side running out 19-17 victors

Team News

In total there are nine changes from the side that lost to Ulster, with six of those among the forwards. There’s a new front row of Denis Buckley, Dylan Tierney-Martin and Finlay Bealham, and a new second row partnership of Niall Murray and Josh Murphy who moves from blindside flanker.

Cian Prendergast and captain for the day Jarrad Butler come onto the flanks with Paul Boyle retained at number 8.

 

Caolin Blade is named at scrum-half with out-half Conor Fitzgerald for company, while the back line includes starts for Mack Hansen and Oran McNulty. Hansen starts on the left wing with John Porch on the opposite wing and McNulty at full-back, while the centre partnership consists of Tom Farrell and Byron Ralston.
The squad arrived in Cape Town on Tuesday and today travel to Stellenbosch where the game will take place. The squad will remain there until Thursday when they fly to Pretoria for the next week’s game with the Vodacom Bulls.
Commenting on the team announcement, Director of Rugby Andy Friend says:
‘We’ve had a positive week so far in South Africa. After arriving on Tuesday, we’ve managed to get the required training done and we’re in a good space heading into our game against the Stormers.
I don’t believe that our performance against Ulster was reflective of all the hard work we’d put in during pre-season, and I’m very confident that we’ll deliver a much improved performance on Saturday against last year’s champions.”


Betting

Match Betting
Stormers 1/7
Draw 18/1
Connacht 4/1

Handicap Betting
Stormers -14 10/11
Connacht +14 10/11

Prediction

It looks highly unlikely Connacht will stay within two converted tries, so the Stormers -14 against a very unjointed Connacht team looks a very safe bet.

Team News

There will be huge changes to both teams. The starting 15 will be announced at 12pm on Friday.

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