With only three rounds of the regular season left time is running out for many teams whilst for others their season is already effectively over. Here are my round 20 predictions.
First here is a link to my round-up of last weekend’s action.
How did your round 19 picks go?
6 from 6, a perfect round in what was a fairly predictable week.
Gloucester Rugby v Exeter Chiefs
Gloucester are one of those teams who’s season is effectively over. They got knocked out of the Challenge Cup last weekend and a run of four losses has seen them drop away from challenging the top 6. The Chiefs are fighting to defend their home semifinal playoff slot. Last weekend they came up short in the Champions Cup by just one point and a lot will depend on how they have dealt with that mentally. Assuming there is no Champions Cup hangover this should be an away win.
Exeter Chiefs by 7
Worcester Warriors v Wasps
Warriors have achieved their goal of survival and so could already be on holiday. Some players will be playing for contracts and I don’t expect them to fall away entirely. Wasps are through to the Champions Cup semifinal and will probably rest some players. However they are chasing Chiefs for that home semifinal and should come away with a TBP win.
Wasps by 10
Saracens v Harlequins
Both these sides are through to European semifinals and are fighting for their Premiership positions. Saracens will probably rest a couple of players as they have a small cushion at the top of the table. Quins have to decide if top 6 or winning the Challenge Cup is the most likely way to the Champions Cup next season. Either way I think that with them looking for revenge Saracens should win this one.
Saracens by 10
Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers
This is the tie of the round and it’s last chance saloon for Saints having been knocked out of the Champions Cup last weekend. For Tigers it’s a difficult balancing act to try to hold onto their fourth place in the Premiership and prepare to face Racing Metro in the Champions Cup. I think that they will be stretched too thin and this will be a home win going against popular opinion.
Northampton Saints by 7
Sale Sharks v Bath
Both these sides still have a game in hand but only Sale have a realistic chance of a top 6 finish. Having been knocked out by Montpellier this is their last opportunity to take something from this season. Bath have got a few wins recently but that is partially down to who they have been drawn against. Sale at home is a much tougher prospect even if they did lose their undefeated home record last weekend.
Sale Sharks by 5
Newcastle Falcons v London Irish
In some ways this should be the tie of the round. If Falcons win they are safe from relegation and Irish go down. If Irish win they might still need to find some points from somewhere to survive. Either way this is going to be a tense affair and could be reduced to who making as few mistakes as possible. Hopefully they both go out to win rather than not lose and it’s a good game. To me it looks like a home win even if Irish have the better form coming into the game.
Newcastle Falcons by 5
To support Driving Maul please visit my Patreon page and help me take it to the next level so that I can give you more posts, Twitter chats, live streaming and videos.