Ulster to upset the odds in the RaboDirect PRO12 Final

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Victory in the European Challenge Cup final saw Leinster emerge as favourites for the RaboDirect PRO12 title, with the Boys in Blue priced at 4/7 to win next weekend.

Les Bleus put in a strong first-half performance against Stade Francais with three first-half tries and a trio of conversions from key man Jonathan Sexton effectively killing off the game.

Leinster have made a habit of flying out the blocks, scoring the majority of their points in the first half of three of their last four competitive matches, which makes them a good pick to go in leading at half time with odds of 4/6 available through Ladbrokes.

But while the Boys in Blue may be a good pick for being ahead at the midpoint, it would be foolish to discount Ulster who are on at 13/8 to claim victory.

The Ulstermen finished three points clear of their Irish rivals with a key factor in that gap being two wins over Leinster and they will have little fear going into this game at their opponents’ home the RDS Arena.

Last time these two met there the hosts took a 12-8 lead into half-time only for Ulster to turn it on in the second period with kicks from Ruan Pienaar and an Ian Henderson try that saw them leave with a 22-18 win.

With the potential for a repeat this time around, odds of 8/1 are available on Leinster to be ahead at half-time with Ulster claiming victory at full time.

Leinster haven’t lost since that game, claiming eight wins on the trot and though both teams enjoyed healthy campaigns in Europe, Leinster’s success could ultimately prove their downfall.

While Les Bleus were dispatching Stade Francais in the European Challenge Cup, the Ulstermen’s exit at the hands of Saracens in the more senior competition has seen them enjoy an additional seven days of rest.

It could be a close game, with odds 5/1 on Ulster winning by a margin of one to five points, but the shock could be on.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.