It’s the final round of Aviva Premiership Rugby this weekend, and here are Hutch’s SportGuru predictions, and what that means for the final table.
At the top of the table, the Tigers will be looking for a convincing win at home to Bath to guarantee a home semi-final and possibly even the number one spot. Bath have next to nothing to play for except pride against their old rivals, but that isn’t going to be enough and I’ve picked a fairly big margin for the home side.
Northampton will beat Worcester at home to make sure they are the fourth team in the playoffs, and they’ll be keen to send a message to their playoff rivals with a Bonus Point win. Exeter Chiefs have had another remarkable season, but I would expect Saracens to win at home and give themselves a chance of making the top two.
If Harlequins have serious title aspirations, they have to go to teams like Sale and win well, but it won’t be an easy task. The Sharks are playing their last fixture at Edgeley Park before moving to Salford City Stadium, and the stands will be packed with an expectant crowd to give them a good send off. What better way to leave than by beating the league leaders? I’m tentatively predicting an upset in this game…
At the bottom, I expect Wasps to pull through with a victory over Newcastle to preserve their Premiership status for next season. The Falcons seem to be capable of an upset recently, but they’ve left it too late this time.
Finally the London Irish v Gloucester match won’t be the main focus of most people, but I’ve picked a home win at the Madejski on the basis of Gloucester’s dreadful run of five consecutive defeats – three of which were at Kingsholm – and they’ve never been great travellers.
Leicester Tigers v Bath: Leicester Tigers by 15
London Irish v Gloucester Rugby: London Irish by 5
London Wasps v Newcastle Falcons: London Wasps by 8
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors: Northampton Saints by 13
Sale Sharks v Harlequins: Sale Sharks by 5
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs: Saracens by 7
By my calculations, this would mean that the top 4 would be as follows:
1. Leicester Tigers, 75
2. Harlequins, 72
3. Saracens, 72
4. Northampton, 65
5. Exeter, 60
6. Sale Sharks, 54
What do you think? Do you see things unfolding differently this weekend?