This weekend’s predictions!

Date published: October 31 2014

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

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

The end-of-year Test action kicks off in Chicago where the USA host the All Blacks. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean the Barbarians take on Australia at Twickenham in the weekend’s only other match involving a tier one Test nation.

The weekend’s last international takes place in Kobe, where Japan face the Maori All Blacks.

In Europe, there are full rounds of Top 14 and Pro12 matches to keep you occupied. Let’s begin.

Internationals

USA v New Zealand

Chicago’s 61,000-plus Soldier Field Stadium, home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears, is sold out for the Eagles’ historical clash with the current world champions.

Regardless of the outcome, it’s a milestone moment for a USA Rugby federation keen to raise the profile of the game in the crowded US sports landscape.

We all know which way this game is going. It’s only a matter of how big the All Blacks’ winning margin will be. While we expect the All Blacks to run away with it, but the USA could be worth a sneaky punt at 20/1 to score the first try! We expect New Zealand to win by 45.

Barbarians v Australia

The Wallabies start their end-of-year tour with what is set to be a high-scoring and entertaining encounter against the Baa-baas. This is traditionally a festival match but the Wallabies have plenty to prove after some rumblings in their camp in recent months.

Australia won the last two matches between these sides by 40 plus points, in 2011 and 2009, and also crossed the 50 point barrier on both occasions.

Although this weekend’s clash should dish up plenty of points, we expect it to be closer than those last two games. However, the Wallabies are still a good option for something like a 16-20 point win at 7/1. Former Wallaby Nic Cummins, who is in the Baa-baas’ starting XV is also a worth a flutter at 18/1 to score the first try of the match. The Wallabies should win by 16.

Japan v Maori All Blacks

Japan’s clash against the Maori All Blacks should be a close affair between two evenly matched sides. The Maori All Blacks team consists mostly of players from the ITM Cup competition while Japan have shown great improvement in the international arena in recent years. We think it’s worth it to place a bet on a win for Japan by between 1 and 12 points at 9/1. Maori All Blacks in a tight win by 5.

Pro12

Look out for our SuperBru predictions for the weekend, here.

Ospreys v Connacht

The Ospreys head into this clash at their Liberty Stadium venue full of confidence as they are the only side left in the competition with a 100 percent winning record. Although Connacht are fifth on the table, they have beaten the Welsh region just one since the 2007/08 season. The Ospreys are a handy option to win by between 1-5 points at 5/1, but we expect them to win by a little more by 10-12.

More SuperBru picks:

Leinster v Edinburgh – Leinster by 12
Glasgow v Treviso – Glasgow by 18
Cardiff Blues v Munster – Munster by 3
Scarlets v Zebre – Scarlets by 10
Ulster v Dragons – Ulster by 8

Top14

Lyon v Toulouse

It’s ninth against eighth when Lyon host Toulouse on Saturday. Toulouse turned things around – before the break for the European Champions Cup matches – after a slow start to the season. Lyon possess an excellent home record under coach Tim Lane, having not lost at the Matmut Stadium for 15 months.

Toulouse’s early season woes appear to be behind them following good wins in Europe, but form on the road in the Top 14 is a fickle thing. We expect Guy Nov

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