It has looked for some time that we are heading towards a Leicester v Northampton final, but after last week’s results, I’m not so sure.
Leicester lost at home to Saracens in the final round, marking their first home defeat of the season (I think), and it’s left me feeling that Bath might just get a result this weekend.
Bath have shown impressive form, winning their last four matches in style, and seemingly timing their run to perfection. A comprehensive victory over Leeds will leave them high on confidence, and a win over their oldest rival at Welford Road will appear to be achievable.
Nevertheless, I’m still leaning towards the Tigers. They lose at home so rarely, so surely they can’t lose two in a row? That game must have been just a blip, rather than the beginning of a decline, and Leicester have been one of the two best sides all season, so I’m not changing my mind based on one slip-up.
My SportGuru prediction is Leicester Tigers by 7.
Saracens’ win at Welford Road is also playing on my mind in making picks for their match against Northampton. After a mid-season stutter, Sarries have discovered a fluent style of play that suddenly makes them very enjoyable to watch – as opposed to their early season kick-and-shove tactics. Does this coincide with losing Steve Borthwick to injury?
Moreover, Sarries defeated Northampton at Franklin’s Gardens on 24th April, proving that the Saints are beatable at home. Their confidence will be high, and no doubt Brendan Venter will have them fired up for this one.
However, for some reason, I’m finding it hard to back Saracens. I’ve become something of a Saints fan this year, and realised during the Six Nations that I was beginning to ‘harp on’ about some of their players like Jon Clarke and Phil Dowson, so it might be my heart influencing this one. Either way, we are set for two cracking semi-finals on Sunday.
My SportGuru prediction is Northampton Saints by 4.
Don’t forget to enter the SportGuru Prediction Challenge, where you can win £10,000 – it’s free to enter, and you can get involved even if you aren’t yet registered.
I’ll publish some of the SportGuru community predictions later today, so you can check the general consensus.