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.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
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International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
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Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
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Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
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Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
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International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
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Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
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International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
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Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
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International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
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Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
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Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
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International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821