With the top 4 going into last weekend losing, the competition for playoff places has really tightened up. Teams across the table will be feeling the pressure to pick up points and a lot will depend on how they deal with than. Here are my round 13 predictions.
First here is a link to my review of the Round 12 action.
How did your round 12 predictions go?
3 form 6, not that bad considering the top 4 sides going into the weekend all lost.
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers
This clash sees two of the form sides of the early part of this season face off. However both of them have come unstuck over the last couple of weeks which has included them both losing to Falcons. With them both coming into this game on a run of losses there will be great pressure to get the win. As you can see from the Twitter poll below this looks like it’s going to be a close one. Even though Quins will be missing a bunch of the team’s leaders due to international call-ups I’m expecting home advantage to just get them over the line.
Harlequins by 3
Saracens v Gloucester Rugby
Saracens aura of invincibility has taken a slight knock recently, however that loss to Wasps was due to an inspired performance. You also have to remember that Wasps knocked over Toulon earlier this season so have pedigree in the big game. Gloucester will be arriving in London with an up lifting their confidence. They have strung together their first back to back wins in the league and are relatively unaffected by the 6 Nations. I still think that this will be a step too far and expect Saracens to bounce back to winning ways at home.
Saracens by 7
Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks
Warriors have been close in their last two games but not had enough to close out the win. Those LBPs are keeping them off the foot of the table but they are going to need a win sooner rather than later. Unfortunately they are coming up against the form side in Sale, who have won all their games in 2016. We will have to see if Cipriani’s announcement that he will play for Wasps next year will have any impact as he is such a pivotal player for Sale. However I think players are used to changes and these early announcements so Sale should battle to their 5th win on the trot.
Sale Sharks by 3
Bath v Wasps
Bath claimed a narrow win over relegation threatened Worcester last weekend and have picked up points from their last six games. But four of those have been LBPs and the club still has a crisis feel about it. Wasps problem this season has been consistency however they are on a run of 4 wins in the league. Dai Young’s biggest challenge this week will have been handling the come down after that big win over Saracens. I think that they will have learnt from that Toulon game and take the win here.
Wasps by 7
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs
Irish are in a fine run of form having won their last three home games. They have not been big wins but they have been wins none the less and if they had picked up some bonus points this season they would be feeling more confident. As it is that lack of bonus points leaves them on the bottom of the table. Maybe this is the right time to face the Chiefs who have lost their last two games. Chiefs have been known to have runs of losses over the last couple of seasons but those have been over the Christmas and New Year period. So whilst I can’t see Exeter losing this there is historic president.
Exeter Chiefs by 7
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints
Falcons just like Irish have run into some fine home form having won their last three games at home. This was always going to be part of the season that they would be targeting as they are relatively unscathed by the 6 Nations. Saints though are another side that is finding some form but their problem has been consistency. Can they back up their two wins on the trot with another? I think that they should do after getting their second TBP of the season last weekend. The first came against Falcons at home.
Northampton Saints by 3
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