Thursday, 7 January 2010

Guinness Premiership Previews and Predictions: Round 13

Round 13 of the Guinness Premiership is definitely unlucky for some. Due to the snowy weather and icy conditions four of this weekend's six matches have now been postponed. The Northampton Saints will miss out on heating up the Rec and steaming their way past a rather tepid Bath, Sale's clash against Saracens and Newcastle's game against Gloucester both fell by the frosty wayside yesterday, and icy conditions around The Stoop meant that the Harlequins vs Leeds Carnegie match met a similar fate this afternoon.


This of course means that my job with the Result Predict-O-Meter is slightly easier this week, as I can only get two results wrong instead of six. That is, unless the remaining couple of fixtures are postponed too, as there is still time.  With my fingers just about defrosted, here are my previews and predictions for this week:

Leicester Tigers vs London Wasps
Of the two games set to go ahead this weekend this game is the pick of the pair. Leicester's home record is undeniably brilliant, with 23 wins and 1 draw since they were last defeated at Welford Road, which just so happens was at the hands of this weekend's visitors back in September 2008. Wasps suffered a shock home defeat last weekend against Newcastle, when the power of Falcons' forwards Carl Haymans and Jon Golding prevented Wasps from establishing any kind of platform from the scrum. The task facing the Wasps forwards isn't going to be much easier this week with Leicester's in form prop Dan Cole likely to lead the Tiger's tight five into battle with Castrogiavanni unlikely to feature. On their current form, Leicester are currently the best team in the Guinness Premiership (well, along with Northampton) as they have grabbed 20 points from their last 6 matches. Wasps go into this game having lost against Newcastle last week and with a narrow win against Harlequins in their festive match at Twickenham. Despite Wasps having won their last 5 meetings with Leicester since the Tigers lifted the 2008 EDF Energy Cup, I think the Tigers are coming to the boil nicely and their forwards will out power the Wasps' pack to set them up for the win.

My prediction: Leicester to win by 8.

Worcester Warriors vs London Irish

The news from earlier this week that Warriors' full-back and star player, Chris Latham, is departing from Sixways at the end of the season will undoubtedly have caused a certain level of unease in the Warriors' ranks, despite their quick replacement signing of Luke Rooney from Toulon.  Worcester are currently hovering one place above the drop zone, and along with the rather depressing statistic that Worcester are without a win in their last 8 Guinness Premiership matches and that they haven't beaten London Irish since 11 September 2005 means that things aren't looking too good for Mike Ruddock's men. When these teams last met on 5 December the result at the Madejski was a 16-16 draw, which was a surprise as most people expected Worcester to be dispatched up the M40 on the wrong end of a four try hammering. Whilst London Irish did lose to Northampton at Franklins Gardens last Saturday they still remain the team with the best away form in the Guinness Premiership, having racked up 17 points from their six games on the road. With Delon Armitage seemingly back to his best, the conditions for this match will be crucial as they will determine whether this game will be a scrappy affair fought and won upfront, or if the Exiles will keep on surging over the Warriors' try line. I suspect it will be the former.

My prediction: London Irish to win by 6.

So what do you think? Have I got my predictions right or am I suffering from brain freeze? Please let me know!


  1. Wasps have a lot to sort out in their scrum from what I saw against Newcastle.

  2. Can understand the postponements with the snow. I remember playing in Kent at school level, it was snowing like mad and our Nigerian contingement were winging about their hands being cold. I told them to get on with it until I got caught up in a ruck, played at fly half. After that I totally agreed with them!

    With the waether as it is it will certainly be tight but Leicester always have the knack of pulling these out of the bag. The best bookmakers currently have them as favourites 7/4 for winning the final, they were 9/4 at the start of the season.