This weekend’s predictions

Date published: October 23 2015

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It is that time of the week when we put our heads on the chopping block with Planet Rugby's predictions.

Two massive semi-finals await this weekend in the Rugby World Cup and it's an all-Southern Hemisphere affair, with South Africa facing New Zealand and Argentina tackling Australia.

We'll look at plus the action in the Premiership, PRO12 and Top 14 – so strap yourselves in and pop over to Paddy Power for a look at the best odds.


Rugby World Cup Semi-Finals

South Africa v New Zealand

It's no surprise to see the All Blacks are 1/4 after they thrashed France in the quarter-finals, with South Africa at 10/3.

A winning margin for the Springboks between 1-5 points certainly catches the eye but if we've seen value anywhere from the Boks in this tournament it's come from their rolling maul, with Francois Louw the prefereed option at the tail.

The Bath man is priced at 33/1 for the first try and 6/1 anytime for Heyneke Meyer's side – definitely worth consideration. It's one area over the All Blacks where they may get an upper hand.

Julian Savea has never scored against the Springboks in a Test match but already has eight to his name so far in the competition. The giant winger is 13/2 to score the first try on Saturday, 5/1 for a double, 25/1 for another hat-trick.

Bryan Habana needs one more try to become the leading World Cup scorer and it's no surprise to see him as low as 11/4 to score anytime, 11/1 to score first.

We could see the Boks leading at half-time before New Zealand come through to win at 5/1 coming off, while the prospect of a red card is 19/2.

New Zealand were so impressive last week though that it would be wrong to look past them in this massive game, so we're backing the All Blacks by seven points.


Argentina v Australia

Straight off the bat we like the plus 6 handicap given to Argentina as they should be very much in this game throughout, with los Pumas definitely the form team out of these two. Those who think nothing will separate the nations at full-time, a draw is 18/1.

We're tempted by the 6/1 given for an Argentina win by 1-5 points and also the Pumas to be leading by 1-7 points at half-time. The latter is 11/4 and if you fancy Australia to respond in the second-half then a Argentina-Australia half-time/full-time is 11/2.

On the try-scoring front let's go for the dangerous Santiago Cordero as an anytime scorer at 12/5 and David Pocock at 2/1 as both are threats for differing reasons. His return to the Wallaby side is vital and he is 11/2 to be Sunday's man-of-the-match.


Premiership

Wasps v Bath

After losing to Harlequins, Wasps are now without a win in their last three Premiership fixtures and have not remained winless in four successive games since March 2014. We think they will end their drought on Saturday at the Ricoh Arena at odds of 8/11.

To improve those odds why not take Wasps to win by 1-10 points at 21/10 and we also like Christian Wade for first try at 17/2.

Other predictions:

Gloucester v Saracens: Saracens by 9
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors: Worcester by 3
Northampton v Newcastle: Northampton by 12
Wasps v Bath: Wasps by 5
Exeter v London Irish: Exeter by 9
Leicester v Harlequins: Leicester by 8


PRO12

Zebre v Edinburgh

Saturday's game in Italy gets our focus here and we expect Zebre to cause Edinburgh a few problems so we're on their plus 11 handicap. Boosted by returning internationals and on home soil, if you're feeling confident of a shock victory then Zebre are 4/1.

Edinburgh fans may laugh at the suggestion of an upset but travelling to Italy is seldom easy and that is why the handicap looks a decent bet. If you would rather get on Edinburgh to win this by a narrow margin then the 1-12 point option looks good at 15/8.

Scarlets v Munster: Scarlets by 5
Dragons v Treviso: Dragons by 8
Ulster v Cardiff Blues: Ulster by 10
Leinster v Glasgow: Glasgow by 2
Ospreys v Connacht: Ospreys by 3
Zebre v Edinburgh: Edinburgh by 15


ITM Cup

Canterbury v Auckland

Christchurch hosts what should be an absorbing final on Saturday with Canterbury the 2/5 favourites against Auckland (21/10).

Canterbury should have enough in their well oiled machine to win their seventh title in eight years and we think the 1-10 margin should be taken at 23/10, with Matt Todd an anytime try option at 3/1. So too is Auckland centre George Moala who is also 3/1.


Currie Cup

Golden Lions v Western Province

Despite being given a fright by the Free State Cheetahs last week, we think the Lions will come through this final with few issues on Saturday. They should cover the minus 7 point handicap and we like the 11-20 point win, which is priced at 3/1.

Half-time/full-time is a good way to increase your odds on the Golden Lions win from 2/5 to 5/6 and if prices do appear for anytime tries then it would be wise to back Jaco Kriel and Kwagga Smith, who will both be a threat to Western Province.

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