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European Challenge Cup Final Odds - Can the Sharks win their first European title?

ralph-staniforth
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Last updated: 21 May 2024
Ralph Staniforth 21 May 2024
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  • The Challenge Cup final is on Friday at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
  • Gloucester are aiming for their third Challenge Cup title
  • Sharks are the favourites to win the match
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Sharks favourites for Challenge Cup title (Getty Images)

The Sharks head into their first European Cup final on Friday night and should they win, they will be the first South African side to claim the second biggest prize in Europe. Gloucester, two-time winners before, however, stand in their way.

As a club, Gloucester have more experience in European Cup finals, albeit not many of the current players have featured in a final. The last time Gloucester made the Challenge Cup final was back in 2017/18 where they suffered a one-point defeat to Glasgow. The year before they lost the final to Stade Francais after winning the tournament in the 2014/15 season against Edinburgh.

Odds


The handicap for the final is set at three points in favour of the Sharks. Both teams should have decent support at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with many South Africans living in London.

Both sides are paying 1.90 to cover the handicap with the Durban-based outfit priced at 1.61 to win. Gloucester can be backed at 2.37 to win the match.

Teams
To Win
Handicap (-3)
Gloucester2.371.90
Sharks1.611.90
Odds correct as of 21 May 2024 with bet365

Gloucester Form


Gloucester are in decent form coming into the final although they have faced the consequences of keeping players fresh for this final.

On 11 May, away against Northampton in the Premiership, Gloucester picked a young side that was thrashed 90-0. They bounced back this past weekend to beat Newcastle 54-14. 

In the semi-final of the Challenge Cup, Gloucester beat Benetton 40-23 at home, a week before they lost at home to Exeter Chiefs and before that at Saracens.

Sharks Form


The Sharks have had a nightmare season in the URC where they have only managed four wins from 17 games. However, at the turn of the year their form improved drastically which coincided with the key Challenge Cup fixtures.

However, the Sharks do come into this final off the back of two home defeats. They lost by a point against Benetton and 36-14 to Cardiff last weekend. That said, the Durban side did field weakened sides in both games.

Taking the last two games out of the equation, the Sharks have won six of their last seven games, their only defeat came against Glasgow in mid-April.

Tournament History


This is the Sharks first voyage into the Challenge Cup and obviously their first final. Gloucester on the other hand are going for their third Challenge Cup title. They have also ended as runners-up on two occasions. 

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