OK this is a crazy Gallagher Premiership this year. The best defence in the league is last (Saracens) and fifth in the table has a losing record (Sale 2 wins & 3 losses). Perhaps we should have some sort of points handicap system every year?
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Gloucester Rugby v Worcester Warriors – Gloucester Rugby by 3
Gloucester would be in real trouble if there was a handicap system based on last season. They won their opening two games but have been in free fall since. 1 win in the last 7 games across all competitions is a worry even if most of those losses have been close.
I did want to go for Worcester as they are having a great season and sit in fourth place. I just still see all the talent that Gloucester have and can’t see them losing at home.
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs – Exeter Chiefs by 5
Tigers are looking very vulnerable to the drop this season. Only one win and no bonus points sees Saracens closing on on them very quickly. This weekend doesn’t help matters as the side everyone thinks will win the Premiership comes to town.
Exeter will be resting players after four Heineken Champions Cup games in five weekends. Even so Leicester have been so poor you can’t see them stopping the machine that is Exeter.
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints – Northampton Saints by 3
This is an intriguing game. Saints are top of the table but are coming off the back of two losses to Leinster in Europe. How much has that taken out of them? How much is their moral dented?
Sale are a powerful force, especially at home. They might have a losing record but do sit fifth in the table. I have gone with Saints because they are scoring points for fun. However Sale have the third best defence in the league after Saracens and Exeter. Irresistible force meets immovable object anyone???
Saracens v Bristol – Saracens by 3
I so wanted to go with Bristol in this game. Bristol did beat Exeter down in Exeter, so they have form. However Saracens are targeting the Premiership over Europe and did rotate their players to be ready for this game.
In the end I couldn’t break the picking rule of always take Saracens at home.
Wasps v Harlequins – Harlequins by 3
This contest is one that normally goes with the home side and Quins in general are a poor travelling side. However I’m going against all that as Wasps are in such a mess at the moment. They just don’t seem to be able to get the balance right as they have some class players in their squad.
London Irish v Bath – London Irish by 5
Irish will be ecstatic with how the season has started. I don’t think any of us thought that they’d be in the top half of the table. Obviously Saracens points deduction has helped them but so has a few side forgetting how to score points. Irish have scored 27 more points that Bath in just five games for example.
Injuries aren’t helping Bath but all teams have to deal with that to a greater or lesser extent. Perhaps Blackadder was doing a better job than we game him credit for? Whatever it is they need to sort it soon or they’ll be in a relegation battle with Leicester.
Record So Far
17 from 30 or 57% correct.
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