Hard Times

Aviva Premiership

There have been some very strange results in the first three rounds of the Premiership this season and , whilst there have been some predictable outcomes, the teams above Falcons and London Welsh all look to be very competitive. I have to assume that the aberration that was the Tigers performance at Bath will have been sorted out by Richard Cockerill in a very tough week for all concerned at Welford Road.

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Friday night is one of the easier calls I think – London Welsh are unlikely to get their first win when they entertain Gloucester. Welsh home attendance at their only home game so far was under 2,800 and it is possible that more than that will travel from Kingsholm and make it a ‘home’ game for the cherry and whites. Saturday starts to get a bit trickier – Tigers host London Irish who have been surprisingly strong against more fancied teams and were desperately unlucky to lose to Saracens at the death last weekend. Leicester have mounting injury problems but Welford Road remains a tough place to go and I think Irish will, once again, have to settle for a losing bonus point – had it been at the Madejski though I might well have called it the other way. Saracens should have too much for the Sharks but they will have to sharpen up defensively, especially with Danny Cipriani on such sparkling form.

The biggest game of the weekend is at Franklin’s Gardens where Bath will take on Champions, Northampton. To be honest this is the hardest one to call from any game so far this season – both sides look to be dangerous and common sense says that the home side should come out on top. For once I’m going to follow that advice and expect Saint George to add to his impressive tally of four in just three games. Harlequins restored some pride in beating Wasps at the Stoop but they still look a bit vulnerable and Sandy Park is a tough place to go – Chiefs to win. Finally another banker for me, Wasps should comfortably overcome the travelling Falcons at Adams Park.

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So –

A good away win for Gloucester at London Welsh

Tigers get back on stream beating the Irish at Welford

Saracens trundle on – but not without some scary moments v Sharks

Saints stop the Bath juggernaut – just!

Chiefs give Quins more problems

Wasps add to Falcons woes

As it’s also a Rugby Championship weekend I’m also going for wins for the All Blacks (away to Pumas) and Springboks (at home to Wallabies)

I’ve done okay so far this season – expect the wheels on the bus to fall off any time soon!

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