With Hutch away this week I’m stepping away from Super Rugby and attempting to predict the outcome of what is set to be a fantastic round of Aviva Premiership matches.
Worcester against London Irish aside, there are huge clashes for Heineken Cup places between Gloucester and Sale, whilst if Exeter defeat Northampton they will make the playoffs for the first time in their history.
Focusing on that match at Sandy Park, the bookies can barely separate the two sides but I’ve gone for the Chiefs by about 6. The Devon outfit have been so impressive in recent weeks that their spot in the final four at the end of the season would be well deserved, plus with some of the best home support around, Northampton should come up short.
Tonight I’ve backed Newcastle to pip Saracens, with the Falcons desperate for victory ahead of their all-or-nothing clash with Wasps next week.
The high-tempered affair at Kingsholm will be bristling after Bryan Redpath’s resignation and possible defection to Sale, but I expect Gloucester to finish a rough week with a win. Irish should also pick up a win away at Worcester to end their 7 game losing streak. Wasps travelling down to Bath though may prove too much of a challenge for Dai Young’s side, so I’ll back the home side in Sir Ian McGeechan’s final game in charge at the Rec.
Finally, given all the attention on the Exeter-Northampton and Gloucester-Sale matches, Harlequins against Leicester has almost been forgotten about. Harlequins have been excellent at home but Leicester were so destructive at Franklin’s Gardens the week before, that’s it’s hard to look past them.
Here are my SportGuru picks for Round 21:
Newcastle v Saracens: Falcons by 3
Bath v Wasps: Bath by 8
Gloucester Rugby v Sale Sharks : Gloucester by 6
Worcester Warriors v London Irish: Irish by 9
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers: Tigers by 7
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints: Chiefs by 6