It was a good scoring week for Scrum5ive in the Superbru leagues last weekend as we predicted 5 out of the 6 results with just Leicester Tigers letting us all down as they got beaten at Welford Road in a high scoring affair against Worcester Warriors.
This week there are some very tricky picks to be made but below are ours.
Newcastle Falcons v Wasps
Falcons were vastly improved last weekend at home to Exeter and looked at one stage that they may just sneak a draw.
At home they are a superior outfit than when they are on the road and they will be looking to build on some of the attractive rugby that was on show last weekend.
Wasps seem to be finding some form finally and won comfortably on the road at Sale last weekend.
Releasing Willie le Roux back to the Springboks for their Rugby Championship match this weekend will inevitably weaken them slightly but they have enough depth in their squad to get over the line in this one.
Wasps by 8
Bristol Bears v Northampton Saints
Two home wins from two show you that Bristol believe that Ashton Gate is the place that will keep them in the league this season. They have only conceded at an average of 11.5 points in those two games and their passionate support is helping them along the way.
Their aggressive defence is their biggest weapon and forces points of the opposition so don’t expect that game plan to change here.
Saints have lost both of their games on the road so far this season and were only a width of the post away from a draw at The Rec last weekend against Bath.
Their form is neither here nor there at the moment. One minute they are looking well structured and in control but two minutes later they all run towards the ball like a school ground football match and leave themselves wide open.
Purely because of that unreliability I think Bristol will make this 3 from 3 at home albeit in a tight affair.
Bristol by 6
Exeter Chiefs v Worcester Warriors
Exeter were no where near their fluid best at Kingston Park last weekend as they struggled to pull away from Newcastle but it something that they will be more than comfortable about. Not playing well and winning is the sign of a great team and back at fortress Sandy Park this weekend, they will be full of confidence, much to Worcester’s worry.
Worcester were superb against Leicester last weekend and fully deserved their victory. When they allowed their big lead to slip away it looked likely that the victory was about disappear with it but the spirit shown to get the winning try just proves that they are going be a lot more difficult to beat this year compared to last.
The Chiefs won’t allow them the fast start that Leicester afforded them last weekend though and this will eventually only go one way.
Exeter by 22
Gloucester Rugby v Harlequins
Glos were taken down a peg or two last weekend at Saracens as their forwards got so dominated the backs became nothing but interested onlookers. More worryingly though, they seemed to pick up some injuries that they will be desperately keeping a close eye on. Ruan Ackermann and Lewis Ludlow picked up knocks which make them doubtful but Ruan Dreyer will miss out completely with a knee injury.
Quins are in desperate need of a win after spurning the chance at Bristol last weekend. Paul Gustard’s new philosophy obviously hasn’t taken shape yet but after losing the three, albeit all by a bonus point, they will be looking to turn the close losses into victories.
Gloucester in front of The Shed is not somewhere you want to go when you are desperate though and I think 4 on the bounce may well be what happens.
Gloucester by 15
Saracens v Bath Rugby
What is there left to say about this Saracens outfit? It’s full of class from top to bottom and their forwards last weekend were imperious.
They have a winning bonus point in every match so far and their lowest score is 32. Need I go on?
Bath have found the winning bug of late and are unbeaten in their last three. Freddie Burns is cementing his position as starting fly-half but this will be his own personal toughest assignment yet up against Owen Farrell.
Bath have an atrocious record on plastic pitches however and have crumbled at the Allianz on more than one occasion. It is something that will be preying on their minds for sure.
Saracens by 16
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks
Both teams have identical records but Tigers find themselves 5 points ahead of their Northern rivals.
That’s because Leicester know how to score tries but they are even better at conceding them. They have conceded 40+ points in three of their four matches so far this season and an overall average of 39.5.
Last week’s loss to Worcester left the Welford Road faithful booing them off the field and although I don’t condone that from the fans you do have to have some empathy with them.
Sale are getting soundly beaten each week and questions are now being asked of Steve Diamond following their appalling start to the season.
Even though they lost last time out I expect Tigers to be much improved this weekend and take the spoils.
Leicester by 11
Photo Credit: Mike via freeforcomercialuse.org