Into the second half of the Pool stages of the 2018-19 tournament before the tournament resumes in January
Friday 7.45pm Pool 4
Ulster v Scarlets
Ulster are in second place in the pool behind Racing with two wins and a defeat after their underdog exciting win against these same opponents 25-24 last weekend. Ulster have a great asset in these close games in world class finisher Jacob Stockdale plus a considerable home advantage in Belfast where a ferocious crowd whips up the atmosphere.
The Scarlets, last season’s semi-finalists are winless after three games including two home losses
Ulster are 4/11 outright and -6 points at 10/11 on the point spread with William Hill and I will be supporting them minus the handicap.
Saturday 5.30m Pool 2
Castres v Munster
Munster beat Castres 30-5 in Limerick last weekend as the first of their two game double header. This wasn’t a great surprise, Munster are formidable at home and Castres poor travellers. Of course those conditions are reversed this weekend so it’s a question of if Munster are superior to Castres in these circumstances. I like Munster to win narrowly here, overcoming Castres home advantage in what could be a defensive battle. Munster are experienced and level headed and with a good kicking game if required.
Munster are 4/7 and -4 points at 10/11 on the point spread.
Sunday 3.15pm Pool 5
Newcastle v Edinburgh
After a tight first half at Murrayfield last weekend Edinburgh pulled away to win with a bonus point, 31-13, and go to the top of this competitive pool, three points ahead of Newcastle with both having two wins and a draw, Edinburgh having earned more bonus points. This of course should be a closer match than last weekend on Newcastle’s turf. I like Newcastle’s prospects of overturning that result and winning outright
Newcastle are 8/11 and -3 at 10/11 on the point spread and both are worth supporting