Planet Rugby

This weekend's predictions!

03rd July 2014 15:57

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4/1 first try: Israel Folau

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

The June Tests are over, and for the briefest of periods, players north of the Equator are granted some much-needed respite in this era of relentless rugby.

In the Southern Hemisphere, however, things are seriously hotting up. The Super Rugby playoffs are fast approaching, and there are several teams outside the current top six who can force their way into the knockout stages with one final push, and the right results elsewhere.

"Must-win" games are the order of the day, with the Force welcoming the Reds, the Chiefs tackling the Hurricanes and the Blues going up against the Crusaders in three such match-ups.

Everything is on the line and that makes it an ideal opportunity have a punt on rugby results.

Let's get started.

Super Rugby

Force v Reds: There shouldn't be much in this one: the Reds have little to play for besides pride, but have not beaten the Force in their past four attempts, and will be itching to set the record straight. Similarly, after being mauled 40-14 at home by the Blues on Saturday, the hosts have a point to prove and a chance to squeeze into that crucial top six.

The best handicap deal you can get with Paddy Power is (-2) at on the Force at 10/11, who are narrow favourites. If you're feeling seriously bold, (-5) is also an option at 13/10.

We much prefer the option to back a home win by 1-10 points at 15/8 with Paddy Power. Again, if you're in an ambitious mood, 1-5 more than trebles your stake at 16/5.

We foresee a very tight encounter, with the Force sneaking through by five points!

Superbru Super Rugby predictions:

Lions v Rebels: The Lions will be playing for one of their most reliable stalwarts and have a fly-half who would like to further impress the national selectors. This could become rough for the Rebels, but at 14/1 to win by 11 points they're certainly tempting. Be sensible though and consider a Marnitz Boshoff drop goal as the first score of the game at 10/1. Lions to win it by nine points.

Crusaders v Blues: Nemani Nadolo is in such good form at the moment that his 15/2 odds to be the first try scorer are difficult to ignore. A hat-trick for the Fijian is 25/1. The Crusaders just have to win this one if they want to make the playoffs and fend off the challenge of other sides. Crusaders by five.

Stormers v Bulls: A reflection of just how close this contest could be, each time is 4/1 and 6/1 respectively to win by 8-14 points. The Stormers have shifted winger Sailosi Tagicakibau to outside centre and the Samoan, playing outside Jean de Villiers, is a 9/2 anytime try scorer. However we like the look of Victor Matfield's Bulls, who should win by seven points if not a few more.

Cheetahs v Sharks: South Africa's worst side against the best, this one feels pretty clear cut. The Cheetahs defence is the worst in the competition and the Sharks just don't concede. Sharks by ten points.

Waratahs v Highlanders: Expect tries! Two of Super Rugby's thrilling sides face off in Sydney on Sunday. Israel Folau, the tournament's top try scorer, is 4/1 to score first while Malakai Fekitoa and Ben Smith on the other side are both 14/1. Waratahs by ten.

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Friday , October 3
Bath vs SaracensBath vs Saracens Preview
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
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Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
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South Africa vs New Zealand17:05
Argentina vs Australia19:40
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Connacht vs Cardiff BluesConnacht vs Cardiff Blues Preview
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Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
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Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
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Friday , October 3
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Pumas vs Blue BullsPumas vs Blue Bulls Preview
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
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Recent Results
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ITM Cup
Thursday , October 2
Auckland 60 - 19 WaikatoAuckland vs Waikato Report
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
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Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
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Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
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ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
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Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
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Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
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Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
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Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
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Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
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ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411