With only 6 games to go in the regular season the run in is kicking off, it will be in full swing when teams have all their players back next weekend. We are starting to see some of the questions being answered as teams run out of time to pick up the point they need/want. Here are my round 17 predictions.
First here is a link to my round-up of all the action from last weekend.
How did your round 16 predictions go?
5 from 6, which was OK as not many saw Warriors win coming.
Bath v Newcastle Falcons
Both these sides have been struggling this season and whilst we expected Falcons to be down this end of the table, Bath shouldn’t be. Bath are clear of the relegation fight though mainly due to bonus points but are under pressure to show they are better than the five wins suggest. Falcons do have the Goode affect that has carried them to the edge of survival but their four wins have all been at home. So this should be a rare bright day for the men in blue hoops.
Bath by 7
Harlequins v Worcester Warriors
Quins are one of the biggest impacted sides during the 6 Nations not so much because of the number of players but how much they need them to lead the team. Warriors are not impacted to anywhere near the same extent and a win at home last weekend has almost ensured that they will be playing Premiership rugby against next season. With that relief of pressure bring better play or will they ease off? What ever happens Quins even without their England stars should be too much for Warriors. However I do think Warriors could pickup a LBP with their defence.
Harlequins by 5
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints
A couple of losses had seen Chiefs slip back a bit, a win last weekend though will have restored confidence. They have lost Francis for the rest of the regular season due to his ban for contact to the eyes in the England v Wales game. As he wasn’t due back there shouldn’t have been much distraction from that this week. Saints have shown good form to climb back to the bring of the playoff places. Their away win against Saracens a couple of weekends ago show that this is going to be a tight game. I think that Chiefs will have a spring back in their step and they very rarely lose at home.
Exeter Chiefs by 7
Wasps v Sale Sharks
Wasps have won seven out of their last eight games and have only lost at home to the top two sides. Sharks had a great start to the year but have lost their last two away games. At home they are a match for any side but for some reason when they get on the coach they aren’t the same side. Clearly this has home win written all over it.
Wasps by 10
London Irish v Gloucester Rugby
Irish went to New York to play a home game against Saracens last weekend and came away with no points again. They have some good players but just are in a rut of losing games and aren’t even picking up LBPs. Gloucester will be smarting from their away loss to Warriors last weekend that put a dent in their Champions Cup or playoff aspirations. I think that we will see them rebound against Irish and maybe I’ve been generous to suggest Irish will pick up a LBP this week.
Gloucester Rugby by 3
Leicester Tigers v Saracens
The round ends with the pick of the round as 4th host 1st. Tigers have stumbled a bit recently and there has to be the question of if other teams have been able to figure out the new Tigers attacking style. How ever they still have a very proud home record having only lost once this season. Saracens have refreshed mentally with that trip to New York and picking up the win over Irish. They have been a bit susceptible with their internationals missing with the 6 Nations and that trip must take something out of the legs. Public opinion is going for the away win but I’m backing the home side in a close one.
Leicester Tigers by 5
Do you agree with my picks? Let me know on the comments or have a chat on Twitter.