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Robin McBryde: Odds are stacked in favour of the Bulls

The mind games are continuing ahead of Leinster's BKT United Rugby Championship semi-final against the Bulls, with the province's forwards and scrum coach Robin McBryde passing the favourtes' tag onto their South African hosts.

Yesterday, Bulls director of rugby Jake While tried his best to heap the pressure on Leinster, declaring that his side had "no chance" in the eyes of the general public.

McBryde was quick to deflect that attention back on the South Africans, who previously caused a big shock to defeat Leinster in the semi-finals two years ago. More recently, Leinster were resounding 47-14 winners when the sides met at the RDS in March.

On that occasion, the Bulls gave Leinster real issues at the scrum in the opening half of the game, but McBryde didn't appear too concerned about his side's struggles at the set-piece.

"I felt we had to work very hard to make the referee see things our way," McBryde said of the scrum penalties they conceded that night.

"I was talking to a good friend of mine and he said, irrespective of all the preparatory work you do and the detail you go into, when you step onto that field, sometimes it's like stepping into a casino. You lose a lot of control."

Sticking with that analogy, McBryde (above) showed a remarkable poker face as he declared his side underdogs at Loftus Versfeld, despite the bookmakers installing them as six-point favourites.

"I would put them down as favourites, yeah. When you consider the number of internationals in their squad, the proud home record they've got.

"They've obviously had a better preparation time than we've had with regards to playing a home game after playing Benetton last week. I think the odds are stacked in their favour," he added.

Leinster have been handed a