Leinster looks like the only bet to win the 2022/23 United Rugby Championship

The 2022/23 European rugby season is underway, and after a disappointing end to the 2021/22 season, Ireland’s Leinster team will be looking to make amends over the coming season. Here we look at what their chances are, and decide if they are a good value rugby betting pick to win the competitions they are competing in.

At the start of the season, the Irish provincial champions set their stall out to win the two main competitions they compete in, the United Rugby Championship, and the European Rugby Champions Cup.

2022/23 United Rugby Championship Winner BettingBetOnline Review

Last season Leinster were favorites to win both, and this year is the same. If anything, Leinster are more fancied to win. In the betting to win the United Rugby Championship, they are -180, already. Odds that say it’s theirs to lose. While in the European Champions Cup, the Irish side are +250 to win a record equalling fifth Cup.

But as we’ve already alluded to, this was the case last season, and they fell just short on both occasions. So why would we trust them at such short prices again this season? And what can possibly be the justification for installing Leinster as favorites, at such short prices?

Leinster dominate the United Rugby Championship

The United Rugby Championship uses a playoff system similar to the top American sports. Using this system, the top 8 teams (the league has 16 teams) qualify for the playoffs, which start at the quarter-finals stage. So it’s as close to an absolute certainty as possible that Leinster will qualify for the playoffs.

Last season Leinster topped the league table, finishing six points clear of the second placed Stormers. But as we all know, in one off knock-out matches, anything can happen.

Sadly for Leinster, it did. The defending champions lost 27-26 to the Bulls at the semi-final stage, in an extraordinary match. And with that, they were out of a competition they had dominated all season, and one they had won for the previous four years.

But when you see that Leinster have dominated the competition for four years, and probably would have won it for a fifth time but for a freak result, you can see why they are such strong betting favorites to do it again.

In two of those four years of winning the United Rugby Championship, 2018, and 2019, Leinster didn’t top the table. They did win the playoffs though. But in 2020, and 2021, they both topped the table and won the championship.

Why Leinster are worth backing to win the URC

So, to recap, Leinster has won the United Rugby Championships playoff in four of the last five seasons, and they have won the points table in the championship for the last three years. Oh yes, I nearly forgot – they also have a side full of Ireland internationals (Ireland are the current world number 1 ranked rugby team in the world).

This is why they are -180 to win the United Rugby Championship again with the best rugby betting sites. Yes, it’s a short priced bet, but it’s obvious why they are this short. And it looks as solid a betting pick as you will find.

LeinsterTo Win 2023 United Rugby Championship
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2022 European Rugby Champions Cup – The One That Got Away

As the European Champions Cup is a short group format, followed by a knock out competition, the odds on Leinster are longer. The four times winners are the +250 favorite to win it again this season.

Leinster were the dominant side in this competition last season, and will feel that they should have lifted the trophy (eventually won by La Rochelle) for a fifth time.

Leinster were even closer to winning this title than they were the URC. They were seconds away in fact. Leading 21-17 they conceded a last minute (converted) Try scored by Arthur Retiere, to eventually lose the match 24-21.

A win would have seen them join Toulouse on five cup wins, the most by any side.

This was a major kick in the teeth for Leo Cullen’s team, who – like in the United Rugby Championship – had again been the best team in the tournament. To lose in the dying seconds like they did, was a sickening loss.

And although it was never used as an excuse, it must have played a part in the team losing to the Stormers in the semi-final of the United Rugby Championship two weeks later (although they did thrash Glasgow 76-14 in the quarter-finals the week after losing the Champions Cup).

Why did Leinster fall short in 2022?

In all honesty, the thing that probably cost Leinster in the end was fixture fatigue. They were in effect, victims of their own success. They were at the death end of both competitions. Playing high intensity rugby week in, and week out. And eventually, it proved to be too much.

So, how do Leinster combat that problem this season? Well, it’s going to be extremely difficult, and the short answer is, they probably can’t. They have signed Jason Jenkins and Charlie Ngatai. But the squad was already bloated, and it could end up being a bigger job keeping everybody happy and interested.

Ultimately, the squad could have been better rotated earlier in the season, to keep players fresher for the run-ins. It takes a brave or stupid coach to leave players out for one-off knock out games at the end of a season. By that stage, the damage is already done if they haven’t been sufficiently rotated. Maybe that is an accusation that is fair to level at Cullen.

But on the whole, it’s just something that rugby betting punters are going to have to live with if they are betting on Leinster again this season. Leinster are simply victims of their own success, and that has to be factored in, for future bets.

I certainly wouldn’t bet against Leinster winning the European Champions Cup. Would I make them my rugby pick? For now, I’m going to leave them. But if you think they can do it again, they are +250 with Bovada.

LeinsterTo Win 2023 European Champions Cup
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Dean Etheridge

Hailing from Coventry, England, Dean brings his British wit to every piece he pens. A true lover of a good wager, Dean's passion for both sports and writing has merged into the world of sports betting. Dean is the mastermind behind his very own soccer and cricket betting platforms. As the owner and editor of a renowned football betting website, Dean has established himself as a force within the industry. His expertise as a freelance content writer is centered in the realms of football, cricket and Formula 1. From breaking down odds to unraveling strategies, Dean's writing radiates an unmatched love for sports. When he’s not immersed in sports betting, Dean enjoyes exploring new culinary delights, conquering the latest car racing video games, or getting lost in the pages of a novel.