Wow the Gallagher Premiership is looking close this season. We might see similar teams at the top but the bottom half of the table is separated by just 1 point at the moment. Wins will be crucial but so will bonus points, be they 4 tries ones or losing ones. Sale are showing the truth in that by being in the top half of the table on bonus points.
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Sale Sharks v Wasps – Sale Sharks by 10
One win doesn’t make a team, that applies to both these sides so far this season. Sure Wasps got off the mark last weekend against a Bath side that’s also in the wrong half of the table. As I’ve said above Sale are keeping their heads above water with those bonus points. I think they will go one better at home this weekend though. Sale are strong at home and I don’t have faith in this Wasps team at the moment.
Bath v Northampton Saints – Northampton Saints by 3
Bottom of the table with the Heineken Champions Cup coming up and you have to host the only team in the competition with a perfect record. It’s tough being Bath at the moment. Saints also will have to think about that premier competition coming up but I think that the Premiership will be their main target. I think that they should be able to keep their perfect record intact but Bath did get that win over Exeter in their only home game so far this season.
Gloucester Rugby v Saracens – Gloucester Rugby by 3
A real test for both sides. Can Gloucester take that step up from best of the rest to join Saracens and Exeter as the top teams in the country? They came unstuck last weekend at Leicester but they are at home this weekend. Saracens are still without a lot of players and a 3 point win at home over Irish leaves questions about how they are going. I think Gloucester will win it but Saracens have the ability to get up for games even with players missing.
Harlequins v Worcester Warriors – Harlequins by 7
These two sides may both be on 5 points but this is one that I found easy to pick. Quins are normally strong at home and Worcester have a reputation as poor on the road. To be fair to Worcester though their two losses this season have been to last year’s table toppers Exeter and Saints who are perfect so far this season. Are they stronger than their record suggests? I’ll need to see proof before I go down that route.
London Irish v Leicester Tigers – London Irish by 3
I found this one really tough to pick. Both these sides are looking like being at the wrong end of the table come the end of the season at the moment. Leicester got a narrow win at home last weekend which will bread some confidence. However I think the Irish players will know that this is the kind of game that they need to win if they are going to survive. The Madejski Stadium isn’t a great atmosphere but I’m still backing the home advantage to get Irish over the line.
Exeter Chiefs v Bristol – Exeter Chiefs by 5
Bristol are backing up their reputation of being formidable at home (where they have a perfect record this season) but much less so on the road. Exeter also very rarely lose at home. If it wasn’t for players missing due to the Rugby World Cup I’d have gone bigger on Exeter than 5 points. However this season their games have all been decided by 4 points or less.
Record So Far
11 from 18 or 61% correct
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