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
FixtureDetails
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Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs Australia08:35
Argentina vs South Africa20:40
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Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs CastresToulouse vs Castres Preview
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
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Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs GriquasPumas vs Griquas Preview
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
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ITM Cup
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Preview
Hawkes Bay vs TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Preview
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs Wellington14:35
Counties Manukau vs Otago16:35
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
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Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
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Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
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Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
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Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
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ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
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Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
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Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
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ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
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Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Pumas 28 - 21 CheetahsPumas vs Cheetahs Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
Friday , August 8
Eastern Province Kings 16 - 35 Western ProvinceEastern Province Kings vs Western Province Report
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