This weekend’s predictions

Date published: March 13 2015

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Scotland_scrum-half_Greig_Laidlaw_kicking

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

No Premiership or PRO12 this week but Six Nations and LV= Cup are more than worthy replacements to join the Top 14 and Super Rugby fixtures.

All three of the internationals from Europe have so much riding on them and the action kicks-off with arguably the big one between Wales and Ireland in Cardiff. England host Scotland later on Saturday before Sunday's lone Test match sees Italy look to put the squeeze on the French.

Let's get into it then, using Paddy Power's rugby odds for the weekend.

Six Nations

Wales v Ireland

Once again the bookmaker offers money back as a free bet should your first try-scorer not come in but he scores anytime during the game. We enjoy that one so why not have a go on Tommy Bowe at 17/2. There are big odds on Gethin Jenkins and Paul O'Connell, who are at a huge 80/1.

36.5 is the total points marker and while it will be a high-pressure game, let us extend that top end and take the 29 to 42 margin at 11/10.

Ireland of course enter full of confidence and in our preview we have plumped for them by 3 points, which on the 1-5 winning margin is 10/3.

England v Scotland

Straight away the 15 on Scotland looks tempting as while England are on home soil, do not expect it to be a breeze for them at Twickenham.

Out of interest, Scotland are 15/2 to cause a shock but the return of Finn Russell is offset with the injury to strong centre Alex Dunbar. His replacement, Matt Scott, is 25/1 to score the game's first try while we also like Luther Burrell as an anytime scorer, which is at 16/5.

Two man of the match shouts would be England number eight Billy Vunipola (10/1) and how about Dave Attwood (25/1) continuing his good form.

And finally, the kicker with the best percentage off the tee we are going for Greig Laidlaw, who has a 90 percent record in this year's Six Nations while George Ford is struggling on 75 percent. You can get on Laidlaw at odds of 5/6, which is good considering Ford is a 4/5 shot.

Italy v France

What a game this promises to be on Sunday. While it may lack in free-flowing rugby, the pressure on les Bleus to perform against an Italian side full of confidence after that away in against Scotland is going to be interesting to watch. Can Italy back it up? They are 9/4 to win.

However, we reckon that if you are going to get on the Azzurri, it's probably worth upping the odds to 3/1 on the 1-12 point victory margin.

On the other side, Gaël Fickou is a decent shout for a try anytime at 16/5 but if you fancy him as first try scorer on that money back as a free bet offer then he can be taken at 14/1. And in one of many markets let us opt for the first stoppage being for a scrum, which is 10/3.

Super Rugby

Reds v Brumbies

The visitors should triumph in Brisbane against this makeshift Reds line-up. Ben Tapuai is set for a busy afternoon at full-back if Brumbies Nic White and Matt Toomua do the right thing and work the usual centre around the paddock. They surely will and it could cost the Reds dear.

Stephen Larkham's men are -8 on the handicap, which we think they should beat and we also like Henry Speight (9/1) for first try-scorer and Robbie Coleman (17/10) and Jarrad Butler (3/1) to cross anytime. The Brumbies could cruise this and an alternative handicap is -10 at 12/5.

Other Superbru predictions:

Crusaders vs Lions: Crusaders by 12
Highlanders vs Waratahs: Higlanders by 3
Stormers vs Chiefs: Chiefs by 2
Cheetahs vs Sharks: Sharks by 6

Top 14 predictions

Clermont v Bordeaux: Clermont by 12
Toulouse v Montpellier: Toulouse by 4
Bayonne v Castres: Bayonne by 9
Brive v Racing-Métro: Racing by 3
La Rochelle v Oyonnax: La Rochelle by 5
Stade Français v Grenoble: Stade by 6
Lyon v Toulon: Toulon by 3

COMMENTS