I said in my review of last week’s matches (R4) that it should get easier to pick winners now that we’ve seen the form from all the clubs. I was wrong (no change there then) – looking at the line-ups for week 5 there are some very close calls (at least it seems that way to me – so probably not then).
Friday night is a monster bash with top of the table Saracens looking to knock over Bath at the Rec. Despite the form of ‘Charlie and the Wolf Pack factory’ I think the visitors will have to make do with a losing bonus point. Putting the old chap on the block once more then, I predict that Bath will be just ahead of Sarries on points’ difference in the table after the final whistle. Connor O’Shea was livid at the end of last week at Sandy Park, he’ll be much happier in the Stoop bar by 5 pm on Saturday.
Harlequins will dispose of London Welsh, gain a much needed 5 points and move the Welsh average points conceded back above 50 per game.
London Irish have hit some form and, after last week’s great win at Welford Road, will not be intimidated by the visit of Saints to the Madejski. But Saints aren’t champions for nothing and, despite losing Corbs to injury until the New Year, they will seize the opportunity from Saracens stumbling to head to the top of the table at the end of this round.
The Irish should get another bonus point however. Tigers travelling to Kingsholm is intriguing – last week, Gloucester won well (eventually) against Welsh and Tigers lost at home to Irish. Tigers continue to have big injury problems and this one may be down to who Tigers can put on the field. It will be very close but I think Tigers may well scrape home in front of a disappointed shed.
Wasps are becoming a handful and whilst the trip to take on the Sharks won’t be easy, I think they’ll get all four points. Having said that, we might see the first draw of the season in this match – whoever loses should at least get a bonus point.
Finally the Chiefs make the longest journey of the Premiership when they travel up to Newcastle Falcons – but it will be worth the trip as they’ll pick up 4 valuable points and stay in the top four.
- Bath hand Saracens their first defeat (BT Sport)
- Harlequins the latest to monster the Welsh
- Irish go down fighting against the visiting Saints
- Gloucester to just lose out to Tigers (BT Sport)
- Sale run Wasps close (BT Sport)
- Falcons scalped by Chiefs.
A huge call of four away wins this week – almost unheard of in the Premiership and not for the feint hearted. I could easily bugger up my running total as once more there are some very close matches in prospect.