This weekend’s predictions

Date published: March 25 2016

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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.

Super Rugby has already kicked off and alongside that continued round there is Premiership, PRO12 and Top 14 on the schedule as the sprint for play-off places in Europe intensifies, with some big games this weekend.

Let's get into them then as we use Paddy Power as our rugby betting website to try and make some money.

Super Rugby

Chiefs v Western Force

Coming off the back of a heavy 41-6 defeat at the Hurricanes, the minus 15 point handicap for the Chiefs is tempting to back at 10/11. Or punters can reduce the risk by getting on the Chiefs to win by 13 or more points, which is 4/6.

Surely they should have too much class out wide and it could well result in Charlie Ngatai finishing off a score, with his price of 2/1 anytime a decent punt. James Lowe is the bookmaker's favourite to cross the line and can be taken at 6/5.

Rebels v Highlanders

This one should be an exciting 80 minutes in Melbourne and we think the Rebels will give the champions more than a decent game, meaning a plus 6 point handicap is a decent offering from Paddy Power. Fancy a Rebels victory? That's 2/1.

Could Adam Thomson come back to haunt his former charges? He is 3/1 to score a try but our pick is Highlanders full-back Ben Smith, who is always a threat with ball in hand. The All Black is on offer at 21/10, as is Malakai Fekitoa.

Sharks v Crusaders

Viewed as the game of the Super Rugby weekend, South African Group leaders the Sharks will be desperate to make a statement by beating the Crusaders on Saturday. The bookies have them as 8/13 favourites but it is going to be a tough ask.

Kieran Read is back for the Crusaders and despite the long trip to South Africa, we think they might sneak this one by 1-10 points (13/5), with Nemani Nadolo as always a decent shout to cross the whitewash. The Fijian is priced at 8/5.


Premiership

Saracens v Exeter

What a game this promises to be as second hosts first in a mouth-watering clash. Saracens welcome back plenty of England internationals as individual battles all over the field catch the eye, none more so than Billy Vunipola versus Thomas Waldrom.

Those two number eights are decent shouts to cross the try-line but we are more tempted by the winning margin here, with Saracens by 1-10 points probably the wisest bet to back at Allianz Park. Prices are yet to be confirmed by the bookmakers.

Other Premiership predictions:

Gloucester v Bath: Gloucester by 5
Worcester v London Irish: Worcester by 3
Sale v Leicester: Sale by 6
Newcastle v Wasps: Wasps by 2
Northampton v Harlequins: Harlequins by 3


PRO12

Glasgow v Ulster

Continuing the theme of big matches, the Warriors will be looking to continue their run of solid form when they host Ulster on Friday. The Scots are 4/9 favourites with Ulster offered at 15/8, resulting in a 6 point handicap at Scotstoun.

Glasgow's line-up looks impressive but writing off Ulster would be a mistake so we're taking the plus 6, with the likes of Iain Henderson, Nick Williams (7/2 anytime) and Stuart McCloskey capable of punching holes in this Warriors defence.

Other PRO12 predictions:

Munster v Zebre: Munster by 25
Cardiff Blues v Treviso: Cardiff Blues by 18
Ospreys v Scarlets: Ospreys by 7
Connacht v Leinster: Connacht by 3
Dragons v Edinburgh: Dragons by 5

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