This weekend’s predictions!

Date published: May 22 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.

Strap yourself in for a nerve-racking weekend of action in the PRO12, Premiership, Top 14 and Super Rugby as final and knockout places are on the line.

Fear not about who to back as we have you covered in all rugby competitions, using Paddy Power's betting markets to find the best prices and options.

PRO12

Glasgow v Ulster

Semi-final number one takes place at Scotstoun on Friday where Glasgow will hope to secure a repeat result from last week's visit of the Irish.

Ulster welcome back a host of first-team regulars but we still fancy the Warriors to win this, with 8/13 the price given or -3 on the handicap.

Niko Matawalu makes the switch from scrum-half to wing this week and he is 17/2 to get the game's first try. However, we think the best bet is taking the win margin in what should be another tight fixture between these two. Glasgow to win by 1-5 is 7/2 while the same for Ulster is 4/1.

Munster v Ospreys

What a game we have in store in Limerick on Saturday as plenty of excitement surrounds a fixture that should be thrilling from start to finish.

Munster are slight favourites with Paddy Power, who give the visiting Ospreys a 5-point start at Thomond Park, which we think is worth taking.

Ospreys to win the game outright is 15/8 and if they do manage to shock their hosts, it won't be by more than 7 points so a 1-7 margin is tempting at 3/1.

On the try-scoring front the bookmakers are wise to the form of Munster number eight CJ Stander and Ospreys scrum-half Rhys Webb, who are 10/1 and 11/1 respectively for the game's first try. The same pair are 6/4 and 13/5 to cross anytime, with the latter a decent price being offered


Premiership

Bath v Leicester

Leicester go into Saturday's semi-final as 9/4 outsiders after being defeated 45-0 on this same ground in the regular season, but the play-offs are a different animal. 

Look out for a Double Result with Leicester leading at half-time but Bath winning the game at 5/1, while a Bath try as the first score of the clash is 4/1. 

No yellow card is available at 2/1, with the chance of a drop goal at 11/10, in what is expected to be a tight affair. 

Bath's home record is certainly persuasive and this feels like their chance with so many young stars in their ranks like George Ford. Bath to win by 6-10 points at 7/2 feels about right to us.

Northampton v Saracens

The champions face last season's beaten finalists in a re-match from the 2014 classic, when Northampton lifted the Premiership trophy after extra-time. 

Saracens are 11/8 outsiders and 2/1 to win by a margin on 1-12 points. Northampton to lead by 8-14 points at half-time catches the eye at 4/1, with Saints at those same odds to win by 6-10 points and 7/1 to win by 11-15 points. 

Look out for a Saracens penalty as the first points of the match at 13/8, while the chance of a red card between two fiery opponents is 14/1. 

As for a prediction, we think it will be very tight, so Northampton to win by 1-5 points at 7/2 feels like the right move.


Top 14

Brive v Stade Français

One team fighting relegation hosts another chasing a top two spot in arguably the game of the round at Amédée Domenech.

A win will be enough to keep Brive up, but they come into the game off the back of two big losses, and against an in-form Stade team. 

While they might do just enough, and their home record is certainly very good, Brive's handicap seems very high so take Stade plus 8 here.

Toulouse v Bordeaux-Bègles

This game at Ernest Wallon pits two play-off contenders against one another, but while Bordeaux desperately need a win, Toulouse seem almost certain to finish with a home ‘barrage’ whatever the result here.

That being said, they are at home, and will have been given a roasting after last week's poor display at Grenoble so should be fired up.

Still, Bordeaux have caused them a lot of problems in recent years, and should pick up at least a losing bonus point so take the plus 7 handicap.

Other Top 14 predictions

Bayonne v La Rochelle: Bayonne by 9
Lyon v Grenoble: Grenoble by 3
Montpellier v Clermont: Montpellier by 3
Racing-Métro v Castres: Racing by 8
Toulon v Oyonnax: Toulon by 30


Super Rugby

Waratahs v Crusaders

The re-match of last year's final will hopefully be packed full of drama when the 'Tahs host the Crusaders, with great attacking threats on display. 

Taqele Naiyaravoro and Israel Folau are both 15/2 to be the first try-scorer and would be wise to back, with Nemani Nadolo on the other side at 17/2.

A Waratahs try for the first score of the game is 4/1 and they are 4/6 favourites take the win, while a Double Result of the Crusaders leading at the break before a Waratahs win is 6/1. 

Look out for Bernard Foley as well as an anytime try scorer at 9/2.

Stormers v Rebels

With wet weather expected, the Stormers pack should rumble over Rebels in Cape Town so we think the Stormers to win by 11-15 points on Saturday.

Given that, why not look at Duane Vermeulen (18/1) or Schalk Burger (20/1) as first try-scorer, as both a brusing with their carrying ability.

On a similar tack, the first try-scorer to be a forward is very tempting at 15/8.

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