This weekend’s predictions!

Date published: March 27 2015

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

The Six Nations might be over after last weekend's wacky finale, but that doesn't mean the rugby stops.

As we approach the end of the European season there's everything to play for in the play-off races and relegation battles.

Meanwhile Super Rugby is in full swing, with the potential for lots of tries and points this weekend.

Want to know where the best value is? Well have look at what we've picked out from Paddy Power.

Super Rugby

Waratahs v Blues

With his try-scoring drought finally ended, we're keen to back Israel Folau to follow that up against the Blues on Saturday and his anytime price is worth getting on. We are also interesting in him grabbing two or more tries in what should be an open Super Rugby match in Sydney.

Although experienced, the Blues have an untried half-back combination of Jimmy Cowan and Daniel Bowden which, going up against Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley, is expected to struggle. More chopping and changing in the Blues backline won't help the New Zealanders' cause as well, with the Waratahs surely set to succeed on the Will One Team Win Both Halves? option. Those odds are 8/13 so that's better than HT/FT (1/3).

Chiefs v Cheetahs

The Chiefs return from their tour after recent bruising games at the Stormers and Sharks. They were -14 with one bookmaker at the start of the week but have now been pushed back to -19, due largely to the fact the Cheetahs have rested Boks Willie le Roux and Coenie Oosthuizen.

However, one wonders what impact those games in South Africa have had on the Chiefs and we think they could be sluggish out the blocks, as the Cheetahs look to replicate their first-half performance against the Crusaders. The Chiefs to only be leading by 1-7 points at half-time is 13/5 while if you fancy the Cheetahs to go in ahead before crumbling then maybe you would like the Cheetahs/Chiefs HT/FT, which is 15/2.

Tries wise, if fit, Charlie Ngatai will be worth a punt as he feeds off Sonny Bill Williams while we also like Ben Tameifuna as an anytime.

Other Super Rugby predictions:
Highlanders v Stormers
– Highlanders by 9
Sharks v Force – Sharks by 12
Bulls v Crusaders – Crusaders by 3

Guinness PRO12

Leinster v Glasgow

The big match in the PRO12 on Friday comes from Dublin where Leinster will hope to topple the league leaders. Although it will not be easy for them.

Glasgow have been so impressive this season and even without over 20 players during the Six Nations due to injury, call-ups and suspension, they still find themselves four points clear at the summit. At 6 on the handicap and with players returning, the Warriors are worth a go.

The same goes for Niko Matawalu on the anytime try market (3/1) or you may fancy Scotland centre Mark Bennett (13/2) which is a huge price.

Other PRO12 predictions:
Ulster v Blues
– Ulster by 11
Scarlets v Edinburgh – Scarlets by 5
Munster v Connacht – Munster by 8
Ospreys v Zebre – Ospreys by 18
Treviso v Dragons – Dragons by 3

Aviva Premiership

Predictions to come when teams are released

Top 14

Toulon v Toulouse

Two giants of the French game meet at the Vélodrome in Marseille with Toulon eager to confirm their status as favourites to retain their title.

They have a good recent record at home to Toulouse, but last year they were pushed very hard before winning 32-28. On that day Frédéric Michalak was the star of the show, and he returns from a serious injury to start on Saturday.

The handicap is currently Toulon -11, and while they are tough to beat on home soil, Michalak will likely be a little rusty after five months out injured.

Even without Thierry Dusautoir and Yoann Maestri, Toulouse will look to keep it close, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see them beat that handicap.

Other Top 14 predictions:
Bayonne v Racing – Bayonne by 7
Stade Français v Clermont – Clermont by 3
Bordeaux-Bègles v La Rochelle – Bordeaux by 20
Montpellier v Lyon – Montpellier by 7
Oyonnax v Brive – Oyonnax by 15
Grenoble v Castres – Grenoble by 9

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