The Aviva Premiership continues without rest and teams will be feeling the difference of not having LV=Cup breaks in the season by now. The depth of squads and coaches ability to rotate players will being showing by now. Here are my round 14 predictions.
First here is a link to my review of the last round.
How did your Round 13 predictions go?
4 from 6, which was OK as a couple of the relegation battle sides put in surprise wins.
Sale Sharks v Saracens
Sharks came down to earth with a bump last weekend as they lost their first game of 2016 against Worcester. Cipriani has been poor with the boot recently and finally it told. He will need to be much more accurate this weekend as they try to bounce back against Saracens. That must be the worst side to see coming up next in this situation as they won’t give you many opportunities. However having to play for most of the game with 14 men last weekend will have drained the side physically. Their self belief though can’t be higher and I think they will pickup an away win here to keep ahead at the top of the table.
Saracens by 10
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors
Saints were the other side upset last weekend when they visited Falcons and that will have removed any complacency for this weekend. They have been inconsistent this season but are still in with a shout of the playoffs. Warriors moral will be much improved with their third win of the season last weekend. All those wins have come at home and traveling to e rebounding Northampton is never an easy trip. I think that the drive for the playoffs and wanting revenge for an opening day loss to Warriors should power a home win.
Northampton Saints by 7
Gloucester Rugby v Newcastle Falcons
Gloucester are another of those inconsistent mid-table sides. Their only home losses though have come to playoff contenders in Saracens and Tigers. Hosting a resurgent Falcons will hold no fears for them. That resurgence from Falcons has so far only been at home where they have won four on the trot due to the Goode factor. Away at Gloucester should prove too much and getting any reward out of the game will be seen as a victory.
Gloucester Rugby by 7
Exeter Chiefs v Bath
Chiefs bounced back from two losses with a win over struggling Irish last weekend. They were far from their fluid best but powered their way home. Bath were out played by Wasps and a late try made the score look more respectable than it really was. Aside from their opening day win over Exeter, Bath’s only wins have been over the bottom two sides. Exeter should close out a comfortable win at home.
Exeter Chiefs by 10
Leicester Tigers v London Irish
After good early season form, Tigers have lost their last three games and have slipped out of the top four in the league. They will see this game as an ideal opportunity to get their playoff ambitions back on track. Irish are struggling and know that they are in trouble of relegation if they don’t pick up some points soon. They will be aiming for a LBP and expect to see that in their style of play but I think that even that will be out of reach for them.
Leicester Tigers by 10
Wasps v Harlequins
The tie of the round is 3rd v 4th in the league. Wasps have managed to add some consistency to their performances. All season we have seen that they can beat anyone on their day with some giant killing exploits but consistency had evaded them. They are now on a run of 5 wins even if the performances have been a bit up and down. Last weekend Quins managed to end a run of three losses that had seen them slip out of the top four. They will however need to step it up a level this weekend and do that without their English international stars. I agree with the vote below that this will be a test too far and I think they will be swapping places with Tigers.
Wasps by 7
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