It was a disappointing performance in Round 5, with four correct picks out of 6, and not one within 5 points of the margin. Both Harlequins and Northampton winning their away games caught me by surprise, whilst I underestimated Saracens and overestimated Wasps, Leicester and Exeter.
As Henry wrote earlier this week, matches this year seem to be closer than in previous seasons, with most games decided by 7 points or fewer. I ought to take that into account going forwards…
Here are my predictions for Round 6 of the Gallagher Premiership, the last before European Rugby takes centre stage.
Bath v Exeter
The Chiefs have won on both of their last two visits to the Rec, and have won four of the last five against their West Country rivals. I think they’ll win this one too, keeping pace with Saracens at the top. Exeter by 6
Northampton v Leicester
Taking place at Twickenham, this will be an emotional occasion in support of Rob Horne. Both teams are struggling for consistency in the league, and there should be no love lost despite the East Midlands rivals playing in London. I’m tipping the Saints for a narrow win. Northampton by 2
Sale v Newcastle
This is always a tight game, although rarely a spectacle as far as I know, and there is rain forecast as well. These two teams currently occupy the bottom of the league, and with the relegation race wide open, every win is vital. Sale by 2
Wasps v Gloucester
After a fine start to the season, Gloucester have now lost two in a row, including at home to Harlequins which is most unusual. Wasps will be favourites here, and it should be a better game to watch than the one above. Wasps by 7
Harlequins v Saracens
There were whispers of relegation after three consecutive defeats for Quins, but a rare away win over Gloucester has put them into the playoff places, such is the close nature of the league. They also have a very good home record against the Champions, and haven’t lost to them at the Stoop since 2014. However, Sarries are unstoppable at the moment, and there’s a very consistent pattern to their results so far – winning margins of 21, 23 and 23 points in home games, and two 11-point away wins. Saracens by 11
Worcester v Bristol
This is an important game in the context of the tight bottom half of the table, and the smart money is on the home team, although it would be a great scalp for the Bears. Worcester by 2
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