Planet Rugby

This weekend's predictions!

23rd May 2014 11:15


Juan Smith v Kelly Brown toulon saracens

Toulon by five?

It's that time of week where we put our heads on the chopping block with Planet Rugby's predictions from both hemispheres.

The Heineken Cup final is upon us! The biggest club fixture north of the Equator takes place in Cardiff on Saturday as Toulon battle Saracens, while it's little brother, the Challenge Cup, comes to a climax a day earlier.

We've got another cracking round of Super Rugby in the Southern Hemisphere too, with the Hurricanes taking on the Chiefs and the Force welcoming the Lions.

All in all, it's a brilliant weekend to bet on rugby results!

Let's get started.

Heineken Cup

Toulon v Saracens: For all that Sarries have caught the eye on their journey to Europe's biggest club stage, we rate the French giants and their galacticos as favourites, and we like Paddy Power's handicap of -3 for Bernard Laporte's side that pays out at evens.

If it's a winning margin you want, however, you can't go wrong with a Toulon 1-12 point victory at 13/10, nor 1-5 at 7/2.

Paddy Power will refund your try-scorer bets if Bryan Habana crosses the line first, and we think Matt Giteau and Chris Ashton are better options at 12/1 and 9/1 than the Springbok flyer.

This will be a real clash of the titans, but Toulon simply have too much. Toulon by five!

Challenge Cup

Bath v Northampton Saints: Friday night's all-English affair sees fifth in the Premiership standings take on second. Bath will be smarting after missing out on a domestic semi-final berth on the last day of the regular season, and desperate to send departing veteran Nick Abendanon off on a high.

But Saints are clearly up for this too - they have fielded a very strong side despite the Premiership final looming next weekend, and should be classed as favourites with a handicap of -7 an ambitious but nonetheless enticing option at 13/10.

We're fans of the 8/5 price you can take advantage of by backing Saints to win by 1-10 points, and we also rate game-breaker Ben Foden's 12/1 tag to score first as a great offer.

Saints should win this ahead of next week's big showdown, but Bath will ensure they head for Twickenham knowing they were in a game. Saints by six!

Super Rugby

Force v Lions: The high-flying Force need to keep up their playoff challenge with a decent win over the Lions in Perth, and we're backing them to do so.

Anything short of a victory is unacceptable, anything less than a four-try bonus disappointing. In that vein, we reckon you should be bold with your betting on this one, and opt for a -12 handicap that pays just under triple your stake at 11/4, and an 11-15 winning margin at 9/2.

As for try-scorers, well, you really can't look past a certain Honey Badger - Nick Cummins is rated 15/2 to touch down first, but we like Jayden Hayward's 10/1 tag too.

All in all, a routine win for the Force is on the cards here. Force by 13!

Superbru Super Rugby predictions:

Bulls v Brumbies: The Brumbies might have to settle for another losing bonus point as few things inspire the Bulls as much as revenge for being humiliated at home. Bulls to win it by five!

Hurricanes v Chiefs: There is literally nothing to choose between these sides. The average score when the Hurricanes play the Chiefs is...23-23. Overall they've played each other 22 times in Super Rugby since 1996 with ten wins apiece plus a draw. The Chiefs have been inconsistent this season though, especially on the road. The Hurricanes by five!

Highlanders v Crusaders: A tough one to call because no one wants to bet against a Crusaders side smarting from an upset, but it's equally difficult to ignore the Highlanders' eye-catching run of results. It'll be close. Highlanders by three!

Stormers v Cheetahs: This should be an entertaining spectacle as both sides are now exponents of the running game. The Stormers always look better in front of their home fans and will be victorious. Stormers by seven!

Good luck!

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Montpellier vs Bath19:45
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Sale vs Saracens13:00
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Bath 19 - 21 Toulouse
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