Planet Rugby

This weekend's predictions!

07th March 2014 09:23

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France v Scotland Maxime Medard

Six Nations: Murrayfield lottery?

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

The Six Nations is back with a bang this weekend, as the penultimate round of the tournament gets underway. There's a crucial clash for Ireland in Dublin, a match that may spring a surprise in Edinburgh, and some old scores to settle down at Twickenham.

We also have a handful of Super Rugby matchups on show, sure to bring tries and entertainment in equal measure.

With all this high profile action come plenty of betting opportunities. PaddyPower offers a fine range of rugby markets, and many chances to win some cash.

Let's get started.

Six Nations:

Ireland v Italy: Joe Schmidt angered sections of the Irish support by naming a strong lineup to take on the tournament's basement boys, but with points difference so potentially decisive, you can't really blame the Kiwi. At home, and with the Azzurri resting Sergio Parisse, back Ireland to rack up the points - PaddyPower's 5/1 payout on a winning margin of 21-25 is a good option. We'd also advise backing Andrew Trimble to dot down first at 13/2, but it may be worth sacrificing a few bucks to bet on a few of the home backline. For the Italians, 20-year-old Michele Campagnaro is 9/1 to score anytime, and 10/1 to bag the visitors' first try. We can't see anything other than a one-sided affair, in spite of Italy's recent improvements: Ireland by 23.

Scotland v France: This is a tougher one to call, as matches involving France often are. The hosts received a major confidence boost from their narrow win in Rome, while the visitors were trounced in Cardiff, and are without five of their top players. Of course, you can never really tell with France, but backing the Scots to win by 1-5 is a potential money-maker at 11/2. Likewise, France by 6-10 is a good option to back paying out just over three times your stake at 7/2. In the try-scorer markets, Yoann Huget (15/2) and Stuart Hogg (16/1) are the obvious choices to dot down first, but supersub GaŽl Fickou is most definitely worth a punt to cross the line last at 11/1. This one could go either way depending on which team wants it more, and fronts up on the day. We're sticking our necks out and backing a home win by three points.

England v Wales: This one could be the tightest game of the lot. England are playing with confidence, and hurting from last year's 30-3 drubbing. Wales have been inconsistent, but there are signs they are beginning to move past the off-field nonsense and are all the better for it. Form is temporary and all that. A simple outright bet on the visitors pays pretty well at 6/4, while backing a narrow 1-5 point winning margin for either side pays 7/2 and 9/2 respectively. Mike Brown (12/1) and Danny Care (14/1) are excellent first try-scorer prospects for the hosts, but we also like the look of Wales' Jamie Roberts to crash over at 25/1. Much will depend on which pack can dominate the contact area and the tight exchanges, but we're backing England to banish their demons with a four-point win.

Super Rugby:

Bulls v Blues: If it was a dry track, which unfortunately the weather forecast does not predict, we would have been expecting plenty of points in this Loftus clash. There may well be a good scoring return as the Pretoria pitch rarely cuts up, but to be safe we'll get on the +4 handicap given to the Blues. The visitors have a great deal of firepower in their team and should cross at least two times, with the likes of full-back Charlie Piutau (10/3) and right wing Frank Halai (11/4) set to be amongst the scorers on the day. George Moala for two or more tries is also tempting at 30/1.

Anytime treble: Frank Halai (11/4), Henry Speight (21/10) and Kieran Read (3/1) to score a try pays 45/1 with PaddyPower.

Superbru Super Rugby predictions:

Reds vs Cheetahs: Reds by 3 points
Crusaders vs Stormers: Crusaders by 10 points
Western Force vs Melbourne Rebels: Rebels by 8 points
Bulls vs Blues: Blues by 1 point
Sharks vs Lions: Sharks by 15 points

Forthcoming Fixtures
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Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London WelshSale vs London Welsh Preview
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Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
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Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
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Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
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Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
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Currie Cup
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
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Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
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Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
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Manawatu vs Southland19:35
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Recent Results
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Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
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Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
Connacht 10 - 9 LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Report
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Brive 13 - 53 ToulonBrive vs Toulon Report
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Currie Cup
Lions 29 - 15 Pumas
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Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
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Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
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Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
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Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
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Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
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Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
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Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
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Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
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Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter310
2Saracens29
3Bath29
4Leicester Tigers29
5Northampton26