Darry Worthington preview all of this weekend's European Rugby coming your way from the Gallagher Premiership, Top 14 and PRO14.
We’ve got something of an anti-climatic weekend in both the Gallagher Premiership and Rainbow Cup PRO14 with the semi-finalist for the Premiership already being decided and the Rainbow Cup PRO14 winners also determined.
As alluded to in the introduction, there’s not much in the way of truly competitive action when it comes to the upper echelons of the Gallagher Premiership with Bristol currently in the pound seat to top the table. The Bears are three points clear of second-placed Exeter, and even the Bears lose their clash with London Irish – which is highly unlikely – and Exeter beat Sale, the Bears would still claim second place on the log and have a home semi-final.
Speaking of Exeter and Sale, the two sides will clash this weekend and Sale need a miracle to usurp the Chiefs into second place with the Chiefs five points clear of their opponents and having a far superior points differential of 130 points.
Things are a bit more interesting further down the table with Bath, Newcastle and, Londo Irish in with a shout of claiming the final European berth.
There’s been a bit of a disruption to this weekend’s fixtures list with the bottom of the log clash between 11th placed Gloucester and last placed Worcester called off due to a COVID 19 outbreak.
I had a fantastic week in the Gallagher Premiership last weekend with the tipped treble and all the verdicts arriving. Here’s hoping that form continues this weekend.
Treble Bristol Win + Exeter Win + Wasps Win @1.17/1
Bristol Win v London Irish @ 1/4
Exeter Win v Sale @ 1/16
Wasps Win v Leicester @ 64/100
Bath Win v Northampton @24/100
Harlequins Win v Newcastle @ 17/100
The pick of this weekend’s European action is undoubtedly the two Top 14 Barrage/play-off fixtures that see Racing 92 take on Stade Francais and the Bordeaux Begles and Clermont Auvergne go head-to-head.
Racing head into their clash with Stade as hot favourites with the hosts having finished third on the table and Stade having finished in sixth. The two sides come into this one off the back of wins contrasting with Racing firing a warning shot by beating Brive 55-12 while Stade scraped a 9-12 win over 13th-placed Bayonne.
Looking at the second play-off now and Bordeaux have the favourites tag headed into this one. They had a tidy enough season finishing fourth on the log; a place above Clermont. The two sides experienced contrasting fortunes last week with Clermontb beating La Rochelle 25-20 while Bordeaux went down 10-21 to Toulouse.
I was a lot more hit and miss with my Top 14 tips last weekend but my best bet came in with Stade beating Bayonne.
Racing Win + Clermont Win @ 8/10
Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup
Well, we have a very anti-climatic end to one of the most ridiculous rugby tournaments the world has ever seen with the cancellation of the Ospreys game against Treviso seeing the Italian side pick up four points, and with the points a place in the cross tournament final which will see them take on the winners of Rainbow Cup SA tournament.
We saw a major upset in this tournament last weekend with Leinster going down to Glasgow. We could well be in for some more crazy results here as there are some rather intriguing fixtures being served up.
I didn’t do well with this tournament last weekend with my value bet backfiring in spectacular fashion as Glasgow beat a much-fancied Leinster side, who were given a nine-point handicap to clear. I did redeem myself somewhat as all my other verdicts arrived with Connacht clearing the handicap and Cardiff and Ulster securing wins.
Edinburgh Win v Scarlets 39/20
Munster Win v Zebre 1/20
Leinster Win v Dragons 1/100
Edinburgh Win v Scarlets 39/20