Gloucester Rugby v Bristol Bears
Gloucester have started very well this season and for the first half of last week against Bath they were dominant. Letting a 21 point lead slip and ending with a draw will not have impressed Johann Ackermann but back at Kingsholm with Danny Cipriani firing they will expect to walk away this one.
Bristol will be grateful that George Smith’s red card has been rescinded as he has been pivotal to their good form so far. Their defeat to Saracens was in the balance until that Smith red card and they will be up for another West Country derby but Kingsholm will be a difficult place to visit this season and Gloucester will prove too classy.
Gloucester by 22
Northampton Saints v Saracens
A quite surprising victory for Northampton against Harlequins last week will have been a welcome win and I expect that good form to continue at home but this is Saracens we are talking about and I fully expect their 100% start to the season to continue.
Dylan Hartley was back to his confrontational best last week and Eddie Jones will be intrigued in his battle with Jamie George but the pack behind Hartley is no where near as strong as the one behind his young understudy.
Saracens by 9
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons
Worcester will probably count themselves unlucky that they are only on two points after the opening couple of rounds this season. One missed drop goal away from an opening day win over Wasps and a fightback that fell just short last week at Sale is how close they have been already this season to a win. This season’s Worcester seem to have a robustness about them that wasn’t there last season.
Newcastle have been completely Jekyll and Hyde in their defence and offence this season. Going forward they look extremely dangerous but going backwards they are leakier than the Titanic.
This may be the perfect type of game for the Falcons to kick start their season but the Warriors are showing a belief that was missing last season so I expect them to prosper.
Worcester by 5
Harlequins v Bath Rugby
Quins couldn’t back up their opening day mauling of Sale last week against a resilient Saints but it’s still clear that there are improvements in the squad since Paul Gustard joined the Twickenham based club.
Marcus Smith is coming of age as a fly half and will be a key player again this weekend.
Bath were staring down the barrel of a second straight derby defeat last weekend but clawed their way back to eventually squander a winning position to draw against Gloucester. Their lack of consistency that hounded them last season is still evident and Todd Blackadder’s position is now under question so if the players really do back him then they need to show it this weekend.
Harlequins by 10
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks
The Chiefs have flown out of the blocks this season and their style of play has been incredibly easy on the eye. The win over Wasps last weekend was a statement victory of note.
At Sandy Park they are an even scarier proposition and although Sale scraped a victory last weekend I don’t expect them to put up too much of a fight this weekend.
Chiefs by 20
Wasps v Leicester Tigers
I’m expecting another game of the weekend at the Ricoh Arena that will be filled full of tries.
Wasps improved last weekend despite the loss and scored some superb tries. I fully expect that trend to continue as their big-name internationals stepped up to the plate last weekend. They couldn’t hold off the Exeter second half blitz but they’ll improve.
Leicester were on fire in attack last week and Manu Tuilagi looks ominously like he is heading back into form. They did leak a few tries though so there is work to be done defensively which is why I think this could be a high scoring affair.
Wasps by 9