Betting Preview for Toulouse vs. Ulster – ERCC Quarter Final, (Sep 20, 2020)
PRO14 losing finalists Ulster travel to the Stade Ernest-Wallon on Sunday, September 20 to take on French powerhouse, Toulouse.
Coming off their first appearance in a domestic final for seven years, the northern province can take heart from getting there. However, their performance against Leinster left a lot to be desired and doesn’t inspire confidence ahead of this crunch clash.
Toulouse, on the other hand, comes into this tie with their tails up. Not only do they boast some of the finest players in world rugby, but a perfect record of six wins from their six pool matches is the type of nerve-killing stat that will save a few fingernails from being bitten.
If Ulster is to get anything out of this game, they will need to bounce back from their PRO14 final loss with something special. That goes without saying. Toulouse, you would have to imagine, just need to turn up and do what they have been doing in Europe over the past couple of seasons.
Let’s see what the oddsmakers think of both teams’ chances before I analyze the match and end with my Toulouse vs. Ulster pick.
Betting Odds for Toulouse vs. Ulster
Toulouse is firm favorites to beat Ulster on Sunday with the top online sportsbooks. Unsurprisingly, their odds are as short as you will see in any game this weekend.
The French side is unbeaten at home since the start of last season in both the domestic and European championships. A major part of why they are so fancied here is for that reason.
But look at Ulster’s recent away form and you will find some worrying stats. Most notably, that they have just one away win in all competitions since December 13’s victory over Harlequins.
It’s backs against the wall time for Dan McFarland’s side in France. They will miss Marcel Coetzee, should the South African be ruled out with injury.
Toulouse is expected to feature a full-strength team and will be confident of keeping the 1999 winners quiet on French soil.
Toulouse vs. Ulster Preview
Despite having a wealth of talent at his disposal, consistency has been a problem for Ulster boss Dan McFarland.
Iain Henderson, John Cooney, Marcel Coetzee, Jacob Stockdale, Rob Herring, Stuart McCloskey, and Iain Madigan are all top-class players. But there appears to be something missing from the recipe, and this has led to a clear batch of bitter results.
There is no shame in losing to 2020’s version of Leinster, but the fact of the matter is that Ulster did not put in the performance expected of them. At points, they jabbed away at Leo Cullen’s men, but could not convert any openings into points.
Against Toulouse, who are a dominant force at home, it’s hard to see how they can get over the line. Naturally, anything can happen in a competitive game of rugby, but wouldn’t it be nice, as an Ulster fan, to rely on big-name players turning up?
Although their away form in the Top 14 is abysmal, Toulouse consistently wins in convincing fashion in their own back yard. They won’t fear this disjointed Ulster team, and the consensus is that they could come away with a big win on Sunday.
In Cheslin Kolbe, Toulouse has arguably the hottest property in rugby today.
The South African flyer, alongside the likes of Romain Ntamack, Rynhardt Elstadt, Jerome Kaino, and Charlie Faumuina, are big-game players. These are the guys that will send a message out to the rest of the teams left in the tournament.
Toulouse could land French opponents in the next round, with the winner of ASM Clermont vs. Racing 92 a potential sparring partner in the semis.
As it stands, the quality of this Toulouse outfit should have too much for the Irish province. Having put La Rochelle to the sword by 39-23 last week, I’m comfortable and confident in taking them to cover the 12.5-point spread.
Although Ulster has the players, they are some way off making it all click. I don’t think this weekend will be when everything comes together for them.
Toulouse -12.5 Points-112
Relatively speaking, Ulster faces the hardest task of the weekend in trying to get something from their visit to the Stade Ernest-Wallon.
Toulouse, on the other hand, will be happy to have what is the consensus weakest outfit left in the European Rugby Champions Cup. But don’t get me wrong, it won’t be an easy win. They will have to work for what they get, but the fact of the matter is that they have the players to accomplish the task.
Let me know your thoughts on Toulouse vs. Ulster by leaving me a line or two in the comments section, below. I’d like to get your opinion, especially if you are a supporter of either team.
Enjoy the rugby!