Premiership And Super15 Weekend Preview

Premiership And Super15 Weekend Preview

SALE V BATH - Friday

The battle of the two biggest under-achievers in the Premiership this season.

As hot and cold as they have both been, they can still qualify for the Heineken Cup and that gives this fixture a bit of bite.

It's Last Chance Saloon for both sides. Defeat will end any hopes of making the top six and a place in Europe's biggest competition.

I speak from personal experience when I say that playing at Edgeley Park on a Friday night is rarely any fun.

But, despite waiting for Bath to find top form all year, my head says they will nick this one.

Having said that, Sale are at home. It's almost too tough to call.


NORTHAMPTON V LEICESTER - Saturday

The stand out game of the weekend in the Aviva Premiership is the Northampton versus Leicester clash at Franklin's Gardens.

It's a massive game for both teams.

If Leicester lose, it will put a serious dent in their hopes of a home semi-final.

If the Saints lose, it could put their very existence in the play-offs in doubt with fifth-placed Exeter so close on their tail.

The Tigers have won the last four meetings between the sides but have not won in the Saints back-yard since 2006.

The rivalry between the East Midlands rivals is stronger than ever at the minute in the light of some high-profile incidents in the last few meetings and that makes for a mouth-watering prospect once again.

It will be close as usual but, with Saints England duo Dylan Hartley and Calum Clark both banned, I think the Tigers will edge it.

 

 

CRUSADERS V STORMERS - Saturday

The most attractive game in the Super 15 is the Canterbury side hosting the undefeated South African Stormers.

If the Stormers can go to places like Canterbury and win, they really will prove themselves to be serious title contenders this season.

They have the best defence in the whole competition and those are the kind of records that win trophies.

The Crusaders have not had a great start to the tournament but they know they need to win their home game bare minimum if they are to be in with a shout and a victory here would make people realise they are still a major threat.

Interestingly, they have moved Dan Carter to inside centre, which is where he played when he began his career there. Moving the World's best fly-half to inside centre is certainly a bold move.

There is no reason why it shouldn't work though and I think that with home advantage, the Crusaders will bag a much-needed win against one of South Africa's big guns.

BRUMBIES v REBELS - Saturday

The Aussie sides all meet each other this weekend and, although they have been no more than mediocre, I expect the Brumbies to have too much fire-power for the Melbourne Rebels.

The Rebels can turn it on when they play well but, with home advantage, this is just a game that the Brumbies cannot afford to lose and I think that sense of desperation will see them home.

 

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