Planet Rugby

This weekend's predictions!

14th March 2014 08:49

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Big game in Rome: Italy v England

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.

And so we come to the finale of the Six Nations, it all comes down to the results on "Super Saturday". The title is within Ireland's grasp, but a French team with a point to prove is a very dangerous beast. England head to Rome in search of a handsome scoreline, while Wales and Scotland play for little more than pride in Cardiff.

There are also five Super Rugby matches taking place on Saturday as the Southern Hemisphere competition begins to hit its stride.

With so much at stake, and so many fixtures, the chances of making some money are that bit higher. If that's your aim, then you can't go wrong with Paddy Power's fine range of rugby betting markets.

Let's get started

Six Nations:

Italy v England: Stuart Lancaster's side are in-form, and they need points. That could be a dangerous combination for the Azzurri, coming off the back of a thirty-point shellacking in Dublin. Paddy Power pays 9/2 on away wins by 21-25 and 26-30 respectively, while Mike Brown is excellent value for first try-scorer at 15/2. Backing Danny Care for an anytime five-pointer also yields odds of 11/8. We can't see anything other than a heavy England win, despite the odd bright spark from Italy this season. England by 25.

Wales v Scotland: This one is a little tougher to call between two sides who will be glad to see this year's campaign disappearing in the rear-view mirror. It's been seven years since Scotland beat Wales, and twelve since they did so in Cardiff. Are they worth a punt at 6/1? Probably not. Better value is a Welsh win by 6-10 points, yielding four times your stake, or a punt on George North to get the better of debutant winger Dougie Fife for the first try at 13/2. It should be a pretty close match, but we don't think Scotland will end their barren Cardiff run just yet. Wales by seven.

France v Ireland: The undisputed clash of the weekend. There's more than a lingering suspicion that France can pull off something magical and spoil the Irish party. It's worth considering at 6/5 outright, or 4/1 for the hosts to win by 1-5 points. Of course, it being Brian O'Driscoll's final Test, we ought to have a look at the "BOD" markets: you can claim 200/1 on the legend to score the first and last try of the game. Interestingly, we can't find any small print that suggests the centre has to score twice. Therefore, if he's the only scorer, you could be in for a major payday. Elsewhere, backing Yoann Huget or Andrew Trimble to open the scoring returns a generous 10/1. This game has sparked plenty debate at PR Towers, but we're plumping for a five point Irish victory.

Super Rugby:

Brumbies v Waratahs: The pick of the fixtures from south of the Equator, as the high-flying 'Tahs travel to Canberra. This one is packed with grudges and Wallaby internationals, most notably Israel Folau, who has bagged five tries in two games this season. You'd be mad to back him in some shape or form: 13/2 for the opening score, 11/2 to notch a brace, and 25/1 to repeat his Round One hat-trick. The Brumbies are no pushovers, however, and both teams are evenly priced at 10/11 outright. We like a 6-10 point away win, however, paying out at 5/1, and reckon the 'Tahs will maintain their scintillating form with an eight point victory.

Superbru Super Rugby predictions:

Hurricanes v Cheetahs: Hurricanes by 3
Highlanders v Force: Highlanders by 10
Lions v Blues: Blues by 4
Sharks v Reds: Sharks by 10

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