Aviva Premiership: Saracens v Bath Preview


Having lost out in Europe, Saracens will still be looking to make this a season to remember by adding another Premiership title to their already bloated trophy cabinet. With arguably the easiest run-in of all, a bonus-point win will be the order of the day when a struggling Bath outfit visit the Allianz Park on Sunday afternoon, writes Shaun Goosen.

Saracens v Bath Rugby
15 April 16h00
Allianz Park

To Win (80 Mins)
Saracens 1/12
Draw 35/1
Bath 6/1

Leinster’s 30-19 win over Mark McCall’s Saracens in their Champions Cup quarter-final put pay to their hopes at recording an unprecedented third-successive European crown. Sarries haven’t been quite the same side this season as they have been in the past and were shown up on the day by a far superior Irish bunch.

On the domestic front, with just three rounds of regular season action still to play, it would seem the Londoners are destined for a spot in the last four. With their anchoring of second place, six points ahead of Leicester and Wasps – not to mention lowly London Irish and an inconsistent Gloucester still to come after the weekend - it’s hard not to see Sarries hosting a semi-final on 19 May.

During their most recent 63-13 away win over the Northampton Saints, Saracens hardly so much as broke a sweat. Indeed, last weekend’s game was the fourth meeting between the clubs this season with Saracens emphatically winning them all, scoring a mammoth 237 points in the process. Considering the quality of Bath at present, it’s hard not to see a similar result taking shape.

The men from Somerset are on a downward spiral. This much is clear. Legendary former flyhalf Stuart Barnes this week told Somerset Live that his beloved Bath have “lost the essence” of what once made them the greatest club in all of England. Nine wins and 10 defeats this season serves to back up his statement, with the future of Todd Blackadder’s side growing increasingly uncertain.

The last thing they need is a visit to the Allianz but, unfortunately, that is just what awaits them this weekend. C'est la vie and all that jazz.

Without a hope in hell of claiming a Champions Cup berth, and currently languishing in ninth position on the log standings, it’s hard to make a case for them overcoming Saracens at home on Sunday. Their three-game losing streak has only added to their affliction down in the doldrums, and their lack of ambition – juxtaposed by Saracens’ hunger for more silverware – won’t do them any good at all.

Verdict: Saracens 1/12
Saracens’ power up front and guile out back will see them to a comfortable 14-point win or more. Bath will struggle to cope with the intensity and hunger of their hosts and will be hard-pressed to cause any kind of upset in London come Sunday.

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