Aviva Premiership Predictions 2013/14: Round 18

manu

In Hosie’s absence this week, Hutch shares his SuperBru predictions for this weekend’s Aviva Premiership matches. Let us know what you think.

Bath v Sale Sharks
Sale sprang a surprise last weekend by beating Northampton, and they may just do the same at Bath this evening – they have won 4 of the last 5 meetings between the sides and their tails will be up. It’s safer to stick with the home side though, and Bath ought to have enough quality to ward off the Sharks’ threat. Bath by 5.

Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester
As we await news of the new European Cup format and qualification, these two teams currently sit in 8th and 9th and need a strong finish to the season to stand a chance of participating. The Chiefs have won just 2 of their last 10 Premiership matches, and Sandy Park hasn’t been quite the fortress they’d like it to be this year. It really could go either way, but instinct says that Gloucester will sneak a win and leapfrog their opponents in the table. Gloucester by 3.

Harlequins v London Irish
The Exiles have lost 3 on the bounce after a mini-resurgence at the start of this year, whilst Quins welcome back their England contingent targeting 5 wins from their remaining games to give them a chance of a place in the top four. Their slim hopes would be dashed immediately with a home defeat here, and I think they’ll win reasonably comfortably. Quins by 18.

Wasps v Saracens
Wasps were very fortunate to deny Worcester a first win of the season last weekend, and have generally slipped off the pace over the last few weeks. All the signs suggest that Sarries will continue their relentless march to the knockout stages. Sarries by 13.

Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers
The midlands derby has a slightly different feel to it after the Saints’ defeat to Sale last week – you’d have had no hesitation before backing the home side, but now you look at it slightly differently. The Tigers haven’t lost in the league since before Christmas, and have had the upper hand over their neighbours for some time now. Another pick that could go either way, but home advantage sways it for me and perhaps the Saints will bounce back. Saints by 5.

Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors
Last chance saloon for the Warriors if they are still hoping to avoid the drop. The Falcons haven’t won in the league since October, but the Warriors can’t seem to buy a victory at the moment, and so even if they get into a winning position at Kingston Park, they’d probably still throw it away somehow. Newcastle by 6.

@Hutch_James

13 thoughts on “Aviva Premiership Predictions 2013/14: Round 18

  1. Some potentially excellent clashes this weekend. Ford/Cipriani and Burrell/Tuilagi should be very interesting.

  2. Ford bottled it at the end but seriously how they didn’t get a penalty try is baffling. Giving the non try does not make it up. Seriously poor referring.

    1. Have to say that it was worrying to watch Ford miss a pressure kick to win the game. Can he do it for England?

      1. Staggy I don’t think Ford is alone in not being great at drop goals. Farrell has missed a few and rarely tries it. Nerves played a part but I just don’t think modern 10s practice them enough.

    2. Or, if he felt he couldnt give a penalty try, why wasnt the next prop who collapsed binned as well? Or why didnt the ref let Houston go? Once youve been warned for collapsing, the count shouldnt reset, if theres another offence, there should be another card.

      The ref didn’t have a clue in the scrum though, he let Sale get away with murder in the first half and Bath in the second half. was very disappointed how early Bath went for the drop goals at the end. As well as they’ve played at times this season, they are still a year off being able to beat the best sides consistently.

      Bath need some omph in the centres. Was Banahan on the bench? I guess Burgess might be the guy to give that directness, otherwise the midfield looked a little lightweight.

      1. Bath are planning to use Burgess as a number 8, or so I’ve heard.
        Stupid move for me, I’m not a big fan of code switchers anyway (Folau aside) but going into the back row seems like hard task into an impossible one considering there is no such thing as a breakdown in League. Couple that with the difference in tackling and it gives him an enormous amount to learn in 12 months.

        At least at inside centre he can just barge through and offload to Manu in a style that will be like Burrell on steroids.

        1. I imagine Bath ‘ s announcement is a bit of kiddology probably trying to force the RFU’s hand. Burgess has signed a 3 year contract with the sole aim of gate crashing the 2015 world cup? Let’s face it it would be a hard ask in the backs but impossible as a fwd. I imagine Burgess will have some say in this. Will Bath really want to waste the best part of his first year (a third of his contract) getting comfortable with fwd dynamics, especially if he is unlikely to extend his contract if they scupper his world cup dreams.

  3. I predict that Hartley wil bite (or be accused of biting) someone again. Teach them for having a Kiwi in their team. Outrageous!

    1. Don P, that’s because I’m a Sarries fan, so winning away at Wasps and getting the try bonus was great, but the Tigers beating Saints and opening up a bigger gap just put the icing on it for me. Of course it won’t mean anything if we capitulate in the play off semi like last season, but I’m ever hopeful that won’t happen!!

  4. Dazza

    Well I’m no Leicester fan, but the gap you talk of gives a Saracens a temp cushion & belief.

    Finals can sometimes have seemingly inexplicable outcomes. However, as Joe Schmidt opined of his time at Clermont Auvergne, they need to forget past history & concentrate on their own game & plan… & stick to it… the result will take care of itself.

    Seems to have also worked for him in his 1st 6N, so why not with yr boys this time?

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