Planet Rugby

This weekend's predictions!

03rd January 2014 09:43

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George North makes a break for Northampton Saints against Ospreys

Much-vaunted: Saints

It's that time of week where we put our heads on the chopping block with our predictions.

We're back to something approaching normality this weekend, with a full card of Premiership and Top 14 fixtures, while the festive derbies are rounded off in the Pro12.

There a couple of huge match-ups, particularly on Friday, and as always, Paddy Power is the place to get those bets on.

Let's get started.

Northampton Saints v Harlequins: Both sides approach this enticing clash with just one defeat from their past five games, but the much-fancied Saints will be expected to claim the spoils in front of their home crowd. Jim Mallinder's men are 6/5 with Paddy Power for a win by 1-12 points, with a more precise margin of 6-10 coming in at 16/5.

Naturally George North tops the first try scorer charts, but there are plenty interesting prospects named there too - Samu Manoa at 14/1 for the hosts and Mike Brown at 22/1 for Quins are two worthy of note. Despite the visitors' strong recent form, we can't see past a Saints win here; probably by about 6 points.

Other SuperBru Premiership predictions::

Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks: Sale by 4

London Irish v Worcester Warriors: Irish by 6

Gloucester v Saracens: Saracens by 10

Leicester Tigers v Bath: Tigers by 3

London Wasps v Exeter Chiefs: Wasps by 4

Pro12

Ospreys v Scarlets: The regional derbies continue amid the unrest in Welsh rugby, as the Scarlets look to avenge their narrow 10-6 defeat to the Ospreys at Parc y Scarlets on Boxing Day. Friday's visitors to the Liberty Stadium have lost all five of their most recent fixtures, but that statistic is skewed by a run of tough games, both domestically and in Europe. That said, we don't expect Simon Easterby's men to end the losing streak here - so look at a home win by 1-10 or 11-20 at 6/4 and 23/10 respectively.

Justin Tipuric returns to the Ospreys' line-up this weekend; he sits at 16/1 for the game's first try. Scarlets' Scott Williams (18/1) and the hosts' Canadian winger Jeff Hassler (9/1) are worth a mention too. Again, we reckon a reasonably comfortable home win should be on the cards here, with the Ospreys victorious by about 8 points.

Other SuperBru Pro12 predictions:

Ulster v Munster: Ulster by 3

Zebre v Treviso: Treviso by 5

Connacht v Leinster: Leinster by 12

Top 14

Castres v Bordeaux-Begles: The champions are, unsurprisingly, huge favourites here at 1/18 - with a handicap of -14 coming in at 10/11. True to French character, Castres have not lost a home game all season, and though Bordeaux-Begles have claimed some impressive scalps on the road, their away record is pretty poor. That's why a winning margin of 11-20 for the hosts is a promising option, paying just over double money at 11/5.

If you're feeling a tad more adventurous, a punt on a 21-30 point winning margin pays out at 7/2. In keeping with the weekend's other featured predictions, we are backing a home win - and by a comfortable margin of about 16 points.

Other SuperBru Top 14 predictions:

Toulon v Grenoble: Toulon by 20

Biarritz v Stade Francais: Stade by 11

Oyonnax v Racing Metro: Oyonnax by 4

Perpignan v Bayonne: Perpignan by 10

Brive v Montpellier: Brive by 3

Toulouse v Clermont: Toulouse by 6

Good luck!

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