Get ready for an epic South African derby in Round Seven of the United Rugby Championship this weekend!
This is the last round before the European break, and the URC is going out with a bang. The Bulls and the Sharks will face off at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday for a match you won’t want to miss.
But the action doesn’t stop there. After the clash in Pretoria, the Lions will take on the Dragons at Ellis Park. And to wrap it all up, the Stormers will go head to head with Zebre in Stellenbosch.
United Rugby Championship Round 9 Live Stream
UK: LIVE on Viaplay Sports 2
South Africa: LIVE on SuperSport Rugby (please check your local area for coverage time)
Ireland: LIVE on RTE2 and Premier Sports (Ireland)
Italy: LIVE on Sky Italia (please check your local area for coverage time)
USA: LIVE on FloSports (please check your local area for coverage time)
Canada: Sportsnet hold the broadcasting rights to show URC games in Canada, however, 4 games
per round featuring the Irish Province teams will be available through URC TV as well should you
wish to use our service instead.
Australia: URC TV
New Zealand: Spark hold the broadcasting rights to show URC games in New Zealand, however, four games per round featuring non-South African teams will be available through URC TV as well should you wish to use our service instead.
Benetton v Zebre
Saturday, 30 December – 15:30
Benetton continued their dominance of the Italian derby with a 31-24 victory last weekend, but they won’t be entirely satisfied with their performance.
While they were always in control, they leaked tries too easily and the focus going into the rematch will be to plug those holes. Therefore, expect a more convincing win this time around.
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors
Saturday, 30 December – 17:00
Glasgow have one hand on retaining the 1872 Cup – the silverware on the line in the Scottish rivalry decided on aggregate over two legs – following their 22-10 win at home last weekend.
They have a number of stars out injured and a yellow card in the 65th minute swayed a tight contest in their favour. With better discipline, I fancy Edinburgh to turn the tables in front of their fans but not to the degree that they snatch the silverware.
Stormers v Sharks
Saturday, 30 December – 19:00
The season is not at all what these two sides expected. Inaugural champions in last season’s runners-up the Stormers endured a nightmare tour that put them on the back foot and they’re only now starting to make up ground and beginning to show signs of the world-class side they are.
The 26-20 win over the Bulls last weekend saw them break into the top eight and was their third victory in four matches in all competitions. The Capetonians are coming into their own despite a long list of casualties with their returning Springboks providing direction and inspiration.
The Sharks, meanwhile, are yet to emerge from their slump. The Durban outfit have been the biggest disappointment of the season so far, managing just a single win to find themselves second from the bottom. Their returning World Cup winners powered them to their sole win over the Dragons but not even they have been able to dig the team out of their hole.
The break they’ve had will serve them well and they’ll be full of fire but the cohesion they lack will be evident in Cape Town and will lead to another defeat with the hosts’ superior synergy and structures set to win them the day.
Connacht v Munster
Monday, 1 January – 17:00
The game in Galway is the toughest one to call of the round. Both teams are coming off narrow losses, Connacht away to Ulster (20-19) and Munster at home to Leinster (9-3).
Those games underlined the season-long trend that Connacht fire more shots than Munster and with them having home-ground advantage as well, I’m leaning towards them.
Ospreys v Cardiff
Monday, 1 January – 17:00
The two leading Welsh teams go at it. Ospreys, two places above their visitors in ninth position, picked up a 25-11 win over the Scarlets on the road while Cardiff crushed the Dragons 55-21 last time out.
Cardiff plays a more enterprising brand of rugby that makes them tough to handle if you give them time on the ball. Their offload game is far more prominent than that of their hosts and they have a strong scrum as well, so I can see them eking out the win.
Leinster v Ulster
Monday, 1 January – 19:15
Table-topping Leinster are such a complete side. They can play any style and adapt to any situation, as they showed at a wet and windy Thomond Park to take down Munster in a tryless tussle.
Jacques Nienaber’s influence is already bearing fruit as they conceded just three points and it’s that watertight cover and discipline on defence that’ll see them suffocate and send Ulster home in defeat.
Dragons v Scarlets
Monday, 1 January – 19:15
The Dragons have been dreadful this season. Dead last with just a solitary win, they’ve been off the pace and aren’t showing signs of improvement, going down 55-21 in their last game against Cardiff as previously mentioned.
The Scarlets, in 14th place, have been a bit more competitive and have more power up front and weapons at the back to add to the Dragons’ woes.