Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Gallagher Premiership Round Nine Preview

Gallagher Premiership Round Nine Preview

Shaun Goosen previews all the Gallagher Premiership Round nine action, which will get underway on Friday, 12 February. 

Image copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Friday 12 February

Gloucester v Bristol
Kingsholm Stadium

Gloucester’s losing run may be extended with Bristol travelling to the Kingsholm on Friday.

The Cherry and Whites have been abysmal this season, winning just one match so far and occupying last place. Last week’s narrow 26-32 loss to Irish at the Community Stadium was the latest in a losing streak comprising five matches and dating back to December.

Bristol are first but will be hurting badly after a shock home loss to Sale last week. With Exeter hot on their heels, they will be eager to produce a performance more befitting of their title ambitions — which could spell bad news for the hosts.

Verdict: Bristol

Sale Sharks v Bath
AJ Bell Stadium

Sale will look to build on their impressive win over the Bears with another quality showing against Bath at the AJ Bell on Friday.

The Sharks were awesome in upsetting Bristol at Ashton Gate, with their physicality finally proving too much for the league-leaders. They’re now third, just three points shy of the summit and will be keen to continue their upward trajectory here.

Bath are in turmoil with six defeats from their last six games. Currently eighth with just two wins all season, Stuart Hooper’s men are fast finding themselves in a battle to avoid relegation. They’re just two points ahead of last-placed Gloucester.

Verdict: Sharks

Saturday 13 February

Harlequins v Leicester
The Stoop

Harlequins will continue to chase the front-runners when they host Leicester at the Stoop on Saturday.

Quins are fourth, seven-points off top spot. Paul Gustard’s men look to be serious playoff contenders but, with just three-points separating ninth from fourth, must continue to collect wins.

The Tigers are steadily improving under Steve Borthwick and sit eighth, albeit within touching distance of the top four. They will look to take the form they showed in their 41-24 win over Worcester into this one but may come unstuck.

Verdict: Harlequins

Jockeys Ride Horses

Exeter Chiefs v London Irish
Sandy Park

The Chiefs can maintain the pressure on Bristol with victory over London Irish at Sandy Park.

The defending and European champions’ aura of invincibility seems to have deserted them after picking up two losses this campaign. Still, they remain second and should expect to beat Irish here.

The visitors continue to challenge for a playoff place but could find themselves under the cosh at Sandy Park.

Verdict: Chiefs

Northampton Saints v Newcastle
Franklin’s Gardens

The Saints and Falcons lock horns at Franklin’s Gardens in the final Saturday fixture of round nine.

The hosts are fifth, one-point shy of the top four, but very much in the typical mid-season Premiership scrap. A win here will extend their winning run to four games which will do their confidence a world of good considering the tough schedule coming up.

Newcastle are one-point off their opponents this week in seventh and will be searching for a comeback after falling at home to the Chiefs last week.

Verdict: Falcons

Sunday 14 February

Worcester v Wasps
Sixways Stadium

Wasps must improve on their dreadful form when they travel to the Sixways to take on Worcester on Sunday.

If Lee Blackett’s men are serious about challenging for the title, they simply must get back to winning ways against a lowly Warriors outfit. As it stands, the visitors have lost their last two and now find themselves in ninth. They should be too good here though.

11th-placed Worcester have struggled again this term and must start to pick up points if they are to avoid relegation. 

Verdict: Wasps

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