Friday, 17 September 2010

Aviva Premiership Round 3: Previews and Predictions

Skivington: tall
I'm not very good at this results predictions malarkey.  I've only got a poor 41.67% success rate after round two, but, undeterred I'm giving it another shot this week.  As D:Ream once said, things can only get better, right?

Round three's standout game is Wasps v Leicester, a battle of the arch-rivals who have won 15 Premiership titles between them.  The extra spice this year comes in the form of George Skivington, the towering second-row who made the switch from Adams Park to Welford Road this summer.  The 27-year-old England Saxons skipper is only the third player to make the move from Wasps to rivals Leicester.  Quelle controversy.

Leicester were almost handed their arses on a plate by new boys Exeter last Saturday after trailing 20-10 at half-time.  Luckily for the champions their class shone through in the final quarter to seal a 37-27 win.  A real shame for the Chiefs and a shock to the system for Richard Cockerill's men.  Likewise, Wasps came off second best against Newcastle, the Falcons holding their visitors to a scoreless second half to run out 29-17 winners.  Even though this weekend's fixture is a home tie for Wasps, Shaun Edwards' men need to drastically improve their shoddy defensive effort from last week if they are to take any league points from the Tigers.  I'm not sure they can do it.

The other big game of the round is tonight at Franklins Gardens.  Northampton Saints host Bath in a top-of-the table clash between the two remaining unbeaten sides in the league.  It's a tough one to call, but I'm going for a home win.  Why?  Because I like Dylan Hartley.

Elsewhere, I'm mentally preparing myself for the Leeds v Saracens game on Sunday.  Last Saturday's 22-21 loss at Gloucester was a bitter pill to swallow as a Leeds fan, but unless coach Neil Back has been employing some kind of black magic in the bowels of Headingley Carnegie, I can't see us beating Saffacens this weekend.  However, Christian Lewis-Pratt and James Tincknell both had a very good game against the cherry and whites, so there are still reasons for me to be cheerful.

Here are my predictions:

Northampton Saints v Bath Rugby:  Northampton by 5.
Sale Sharks v Harlequins:  Harlequins by 6.
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons:  Exeter Chiefs by 6.
London Wasps v Leicester Tigers: Leicester Tigers by 10.
Leeds Carnegie v Saracens:  Saracens by 12.
London Irish v Gloucester Rugby:  London Irish by 9.

1 comment:

  1. I can't argue with those predictions.