This weekend’s predictions!

Date published: August 15 2015

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It's that time of the week when we put our heads on the chopping block to bring you Planet Rugby's predictions.

There's plenty of action to choose from on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with international fixtures, the Currie Cup and ITM Cup keeping it busy.

As always we've selected the best rugby bets from Paddy Power's markets.

Internationals

New Zealand v Australia

Expect the All Blacks to bounce back from last week's defeat and we like the 11-20 point win which is 13/5. Australia have not selected their strongest team which is a surprise and with Quade Cooper set to get the treatment from the home crowd, his performance has too many question marks surrounding it. The bookmakers clearly agree as they are given an 11-point start but the positive of that is that their anytime scorer prices are high. Our eyes were immediately drawn to flanker Michael Hooper at 15/2. On the All Black side, Dane Coles (11/2) is also tempting.

Argentina v South Africa

The plus 7 alternative handicap start for the Pumas is worth taking as South Africa's last three trips to Argentina have seen them draw, win by 5 and most recently come away with a 2-point victory. Add in the Pumas being full of confidence after their Durban success and we'll take the 8/13.

We quite like the 'first try-scorer for their team' bet of Jesse Kriel for South Africa as he returns to thirteen, a position he impressed at during his first two Tests. That is priced at 9/1 while we also feel that with Juan Martín Hernández and Nicolás Sánchez in the same line-up, a drop-goal will be scored during the game. Paddy Power are offering 5/6 for that one which isn't to be sniffed at in what should be a tight game.

Ireland v Scotland

After last week's comprehensive dismantling of Wales, Ireland have changed 14 players, but still look very strong. Scotland have gone with a very experimental side so Ireland to win by 13 or more looks good value at 8/15.

In terms of try-scorers, there aren't too many options, with a high-scoring game expected, but Sean O'Brien at 9/4 any time could be worth a punt, while Peter Horne at 10/1 for Scotland also appeals.

Currie Cup

Golden Lions v Pumas

Last year's losing finalists looked deadly in week one and while the Pumas were solid in victory over the Sharks, it is tough to see anything other than a home win on Friday. A Golden Lions half-time/full-time punt is 4/11 while we like 'position of the first try-scorer' to be 9, 10, 12 or 13 which is 15/8. Harold Vorster is a threat while Howard Mnisi, Stefan Watermeyer and Faf de Klerk's qualities add weight to that one.

ITM Cup

Otago v Canterbury

We pick out this game because of the -9 handicap on offer for Canterbury. Scott Robertson's side should have too much for their hosts as their backline will cause Otago plenty of problems. Expect fly-half Richie Mo'unga and Tom Taylor coming into the line from full-back to create space for the likes of Patrick Osborne and Johnny McNicholl to cross. Matt Todd is also a threat in ITM Cup rugby and if try prices appear, back him.

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