This is the half way point of the Aviva games in the international window. Will any teams be able to take advantage? Well here are my predictions.
How did the predictions go last weekend?
First up here’s the link to last weekend’s review.
3 out of 6 isn’t great but there was a draw and also I’m happy to get it wrong if it means the Chiefs pull off wins like that.
Harlequins v Sale Sharks
Quins got a good away win last weekend and Sharks finally put in a performance of the level we saw last year. Add in the players that Quins are missing to internationals and I think this is going to be a tight one. I’m going for Quins as they are at home, It’s a bit of a risk as they haven’t managed to string two wins together so far this season. Even if Quins have won the last 7 games between these sides.
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester Rugby
On the face of it this week should be easy picking but the internationals and team form is complicating things. Again Gloucester are going to be missing their 8, 9 and 10 at least and losing that much of the brains trust is damaging for a new squad. Falcons didn’t have such a great game away to Bath but then few teams have. So I’m going out on a limb here and back the home team to show the form that got them their 2 wins before the European break.
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps
Last weekend Chiefs ticked off another team they have won away against, only Bath to go. Chiefs are second in the table and going well, Thomas the Tank is equal top try scorer and is playing with a big smile. Wasps also have a big back row but will be missing Haskell and they have lost all their away games so far this season, whilst winning all their home games. Makes this one easy to choose.
London Irish v Bath
Irish were performing and not getting the reward but it feels like they have lost some of their form. Don’t know if that’s down to fatigue or losing players to internationals. Bath’s tow losses this season have come away and they are also missing lots of players. So this is a had done to call but I think Bath will have too much for Irish.
Saracens v Northampton Saints
Maybe they aren’t 1 and 2 in the table but these are the two top teams in the league and even with missing players it’s a clash of the titans. Both these teams didn’t get the results they wanted last weekend and so who’s going to bounce back best? I’m going for the home team on their plastic pitch.
Two losses back to back for Saints? Hard to see that happening though, it will be close.
London Welsh v Leicester Tigers
For Welsh it’s been getting worse and hearing coaches saying that it’s the same issues doesn’t help. If what I heard on the EggChasers podcast is true then I can’t see it turning around. Apparently Welsh only train Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday then Thursday is an optional Captains run. To me that feels wrong with so many new players they need to be spending as much time together as possible.
This is a win for Tigers and they need it, 8 points from the playoffs is a gap they can close but they wouldn’t want it to get any bigger.
It’s crazy to think that if these predictions come true then Chiefs will top the table! The club that was promoted only a few seasons ago and were supposed to go straight back down topping the table!! Am I being crazy?