Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Gallagher Premiership: Round 18 Preview

Gallagher Premiership: Round 18 Preview



Darry Worthington previews all of the Round 18 Gallagher Premiership action which gets underway on Friday the 4th of September.

Image copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone
Worcester Warriors v Bristol Bears
Friday 4 September
Sixways Stadium
19:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Worcester
Draw
Bristol

Handicap
Worcester
Bristol

We kick the Round 18 action off over at Sixways Park where 10th-placed Worcester will play host to third-placed Bristol. 

The visitors will be looking to claim the full five-point haul in a bid to close in on the second-placed Sale Sharks. The Bears certainly have the attacking talent to achieve just this.

The Warriors have only won one of their games since the season restarted in Round 14 where they beat an understrength Harlequins side 29-14. Their opponents have fared a lot better since the restart with the Bears winning three of their five games.

Verdict: Bristol (-) 17/20
The Warriors were hammered 59-7 by Exeter in their last outing. I fear they're in for yet another drubbing this Friday evening. 

Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs
Friday 4 September
Franklin's Gardens
20:45

To Win (80 Mins)
Northampton
Draw
Exeter

Handicap
Northampton 
Exeter

Northampton will be looking to stop the rot when they take on the red-hot Exeter Chiefs in Friday's second and final fixture. 

The Saints have registered just one of their games since the season got back underway with said victory coming against a struggling London Irish side.

Conversely, Exeter have been absolutely flawless since the restart beating Worcester 69-7, Bristol 22-25, Sale 22-32 and Leicester 26-12.

Verdict: Exeter (-)
I can't see the Saints bouncing back against this clinical Exeter Chiefs side.

Jockeys Ride HorsesSaracens v London Wasps
Saturday 5 September
Allianz Park 
13:30

To Win (80 Mins)
Saracens
Draw
Wasps

Handicap
Saracens
Wasps

Saracens and Wasps will square off in Saturday's early fixture. Both sides have been in solid touch since the resumption on the season each winning three of the four games they have played.

Saracens fared rather well this past Monday as they beat London Irish 12-40. This victory came just a few days after they hammered Gloucester 36-20. 

Wasps also enjoyed a great couple as they bounced back from their 11-20 defeat to the Sale Sharks by staging a great come from behind 23-27 win over Bath. 

Verdict: Wasps (+)
I really fancy Wasps chances here. They have been in solid form since the restart and I think they give Saracens a real run for their money this Saturday. 

Harlequins v Bath
Saturday 5 September
Twickenham Stoop
15:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Harlequins
Draw
Bath

Handicap
Harlequins
Bath

Bath will be looking to move into the top four when they take on a hit-and-miss Harlequins side.

The hosts suffered their first defeat since the season restarted this past Monday as they blew an early lead to go down by four points to Bath.

Harlequins also had a better time of it in Round 17 as they bounced back from defeats to Worcester and Saracens by beating the struggling Northampton Saints 29-14.

Verdict: Bath (-)
I fancy Bath to bounce back here. They were going really well before this past Monday's defeat and I reckon that was just a blimp rather than the start of a slump.

Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks
Saturday 5 September
Welford Road Stadium
16:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Leicester
Draw 
Sale

Handicap
Leicester
Sale

The Leicester Tigers will be looking to bounce back from their 46-30 defeat to Gloucester when they take on a Sale Sharks side that are looking to tighten their grip on second place on the standings.

Leicester have had a rather poor time of it since rugby returned in England with the Tigers just winning one of their games. The aforementioned victory came against every poor London Irish side whom they only beat by six points.

Sale have managed to find some form over the past two rounds with the Sharks bouncing back from successive defeats to beat Wasps 11-20 and Bristol 40-7.

Verdict: Sale (-)
I think the Tigers are in for a long old afternoon at Welford Road. My money is on Sale putting up a cricket score this Saturday.

Gloucester v London Irish 
Saturday 5 September
Kingsholm Stadium
17:30

To Win (80 Mins)
Gloucester
Draw
London Irish

Handicap
Gloucester
London Irish

A struggling London Irish side have the unenviable task of taking on a Gloucester team that is just starting to hit its straps. The hosts have been slightly hit and miss with their results since the season resumption but one thing they have been able to do is score points.

While only winning two of their four fixtures, Gloucester have managed to rack up 134 points in their last four fixtures and are averaging 33.5 points per game. 

The above is rather worrying for Irish as they've 104 points in their four losses since the restart.

Verdict: Gloucester (-)
Gloucester will be looking to keep their slim hopes of semi-final rugby alive by getting a bonus-point win over a faltering Irish side. I can see them doing just this and also clearing the handicap. 


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