The Gallagher Premiership table is crazy tight this season. Exeter and Northampton might be at the top with a small gap. After them though there is only 1 point separating third from eighth! Irish, Wasps and Leicester will be worried about relegation with Saracens closing the gap quickly. Sure they didn’t get much out of Exeter but that’s only their second loss of the season.
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Sale Sharks v Harlequins – Sale Sharks by 5
Two of the sides in that third to eighth logjam. Sale might have lost more than they have won. A points difference of +39 shows though shows that their losses have been close, they could easily have had a few more wins.
Quins are on the same points but a points difference of -11 shows they have been closing out narrow wins. On the road to Sale I think they are going to find that a hard task.
Leicester Tigers v Bristol – Leicester Tigers by 3
Bristol are one of the sides that had a great start to the season but have spluttered of late. A draw with Irish and losing to Wasps in their last three Premiership games are worrying. Exeter were a side that for a long time would have a festive run of poor results so it might not all be about the players but also the weather affecting the playing style.
Leicester have had a good half against Exeter and a draw with Quins over the last two weeks. Not fantastic results but compared to how they were over the first six rounds a massive improvement. With Bristol’s downturn I’m backing the home side to get a rare win.
Gloucester Rugby v Bath – Gloucester Rugby by 5
This is a big West Country derby game. Also it’s third hosting fifth making this a game not to miss this weekend. It’s also a lesson in how important bonus points are this season. Bath have won more games than Gloucester but as Gloucester have been close in all their games they are a point ahead.
If Gloucester could have converted a couple of those close losses then they would be well clear. I think that shows they are the better side and should pick up the win here, especially as they are at home.
Saracens v Worcester Warriors – Saracens by 20
Saracens might be last in the league but they have the second best record after Exeter. Worcester are on a hiding to nothing this weekend and we’re looking at a try bonus point win for the home side.
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs – Exeter Chiefs by 15
Irish are in a similar boat to Worcester this weekend. Exeter should pickup the try bonus point win. The only thing that’s tempering my expectation is how much last weekend took out of Exeter emotionally.
Exeter have been one of the more outspoken teams against Saracens and their salary cap breach. Winning last weekend meant a lot to the club and the we’ll have to see how much it took out of them. We saw at the Rugby World Cup that teams struggled to get up the week after a big game.
Wasps v Northampton Saints – Northampton Saints by 3
If you’re looking at this season’s form, this is a game that you have Northampton winning easily. That is until you think of Ben Darwin’s tweet above as Northampton are one of those sides that has started fast.
Also Wasps’ second win of the season came last weekend against Bristol the other “start fast” team this season. Could lighting strike twice? Sure but Northampton have to be favourites.
Record So Far
25 from 42 or 60% correct.
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