This round marks the halfway point in the Aviva Premiership season. After this weekend all the teams will have played each other once with the exception of the Bath v Sale postponed game. Here are my predictions.
First here is a link to my review of the last round of action.
How did you round 10 picks go?
4 from 6, an average performance as I didn’t pick Wasps and Falcons big wins.
Bath v Gloucester Rugby
We are into the second week of a ten week block of Premiership games. This will make or break many sides and applies especially to these sides who are 9th and 8th in the table. Bath are coming off the back of two losses including against Falcons and have four of their back-line missing to England. Gloucester are also are coming off the back of two losses but those were to 2nd and 3rd and are also missing key players to internationals. This will be a test of squad depth and I think the better form of the away side will win a tight game.
Gloucester Rugby by 3
Harlequins v Northampton Saints
Quins suffered a shock loss away to Newcastle Falcons last weekend and are another side that are not only missing players but key leaders to international duty. Saints got blitzed by Wasps and will be looking for a big reaction to that flat performance. With both teams missing key players this is one where I think home advantage is going to carry the day. So I’m backing Quins to reproduce their form from during the Rugby World Cup when they were also missing their international stars.
Harlequins by 7
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons
Wasps are looking to put together three wins no the trot for the first time this season. When they blitzed Saints away last weekend they moved up to 5th to lead the mid-table pack. They will see this as an opportunity to cement their position as the best of the rest. Falcons are in a rich vein of form with two wins in the last three games lifting them off the foot of the table. Those tow wins though have come at home and I think they would be happy to come away with a LBP from this game.
Wasps by 10
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks
Tigers keep marching on even if it took a late score to win by the narrowest of margins last week. They have so far only lost twice and that was away to the top two teams in the league. That all goes to show how big a task Sharks face this weekend. They are coming off the back of two wins but again they were are home where Sale are undefeated so far this season. Their away record is the polar opposite where they have yet to register a victory. That all points to a relatively comfortable home win.
Leicester Tigers by 10
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens
This is the first of two critical games in this round. At the time of writing the voting is still open, unless there is a last minute rush of votes for one side though it shows that this one is 50/50. Exeter are missing players to international duty but more importantly are the losses to injury. Saracens have lost 7 players to the England squad alone so it’s going to be a real test of squad depth. The advantage that Saracens had early the season by having the smallest turnover in the off-season has been eroded as players get more comfortable in their clubs. However I think that Saracens belief and systems might just be enough to carry the day.
Saracens by 5
London Irish v Worcester Warriors
This is perhaps even more critical than the Exeter v Saracens game even if it is deciding things at the opposite end of the table. Irish have shown greater form and have won their last two home games. Even so the improvements seen at Falcons have seen them slip to last in the table. Warriors have seen themselves slip back into the relegation battle as it’s a long time since their last victory. It was all the way back in early November and six losses on the bounce can be habit forming. They have still be getting good reviews for their battling performances and I think this will be a tight one. I’m going for a narrow away win as I think a couple of key injuries for Irish could be their undoing.
Worcester Warriors by 3
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