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Gallagher Premiership: Round 3 Preview

20200905 Gloucester vs London Irish 090
Darry Worthington previews the Round 3 Gallagher Premiership action, which gets underway on Friday the 4th of December.

Image copyright – Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

The Gallagher Premiership is becoming something of a rugby punter’s paradise with some great value on offer week in and week out. I thought I was going to be in for a good old Round 3 with my early tip of the Newcastle Falcons to beat Sale at 3/1 came in on Friday evening. It was all downhill from there, however. 

So, I’m back this week to write the wrongs of last week. Here’s hoping I find a couple more 3/1 winners and far fewer losers. 

Bristol Bear v Northampton Saints
Friday 4 December
Ashton Gate

21:45

To Win (80 Mins)

Bristol  4/10
Draw 24/1 

Saints 43/20

We kick things off at Ashton Gate where the Bristol Bears will be looking to build on their impressive victory over Worcester when they take on a Saints side that will be looking to bounce back from a horrible opening game. 

The Bears’ 30-13 victory over the Warriors was made all the more impressive considering they were without star players such as Callum Sheedy and Semi Radradra. They will still be without those big guns this week but they’ve got a handy squad who should be able to deal with a Northampton outfit that looks at sixes and sevens during their 29-49 defeat to Quins. 

Verdict: Bristol 4/10
It’s unfortunate that there is a lot of rain floating around Bristol as I think the Bears would have torn their opponents apart in dry conditions. I can still see the hosts winning this one by between eight and 12 points. 

Wasps v Newcastle Falcons

Saturday 5 December

Ricoh Arena

17:00

To Win (80 Mins)

Wasps 1/4
Draw 22/1
Newcastle 29/10

Wasps will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing defeat to Gloucester when they take on a Newcastle Falcons side that will be high on confidence after beating the Sale Sharks in the second round of the tournament. 

This weekend’s visitors put in a dogged display against a star-studded Sale side and ended up coming from behind and edging the game 15-13. This was their second win of the campaign as they beat Bath 12-19 during the opening weekend. 

Wasps, on the other hand, were brought back down to Earth as they couldn’t follow up their 23-20 opening-round win over Bristol as they went down by 16 points to Gloucester. 

Verdict: Wasps
I think Newcastle’s solid early form will hold them in good stead here. While I expect Wasps to win it, I’d be happy to back Newcastle on any plus handicap above 10 points.  

Worcester Warriors v Bath

Saturday 5 December

Sixways Stadium

17:00


To Win (80 Mins)

Worcester 14/10

Draw 19/1

Bath 6/10

Our next fixture will see a struggling Bath side take on a Worcester Warriors side that has also failed to record a win from their opening two games. 

The Warriors beat London Irish 11-10 in Round 1 and then went down to Bristol 13-30 in Round 2, while Bath have gone down to Newcastle (12-19) and Exeter (40-3). 

When the two sides met last term, Bath won both encounters edging the game at Worcester 21-22 and then running out 40-15 victors at the Rec. 

Verdict: Worcester

Bath really are in a bad place at the moment. I can see this being a scrappy old affair that Worcester edge by the smallest of margins. 

Jockeys Ride Horses

Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs
Saturday 5 December

Welford Road Stadium

17:00


To Win (80 Mins)


Leicester

Draw

Exeter

Next up we’ve got the Leicester Tigers taking on the Exeter Chiefs. The visitors have enjoyed a perfect start to the season beating Halrequins 3-33 and Bath 3-40. They are in great touch at the minute and look a cut above the rest of the teams in the league, 

Leicester have had a less fruitful start but will still be pleased with their five-point haul from their opening two games. They started their campaign with a 38-15 win over Gloucester but went on to lose 22-9 to London Irish this past weekend. 

Verdict: Exeter
The Chiefs really are a cut above and I can see them handing Leicester a rugby lesson this Saturday. I will happily back the visitors to clear any handicap lower than 18 points. 

London Irish v Sale Sharks

Sunday 6 December
Brentford Community Stadium
16:30

To Win (80 Mins)

Irish 37/20
Draw 20/1

Sale 9/20

The penultimate game of the weekend will see London Irish square off with the Sale Sharks. The hosts bounced back from their one-point opening round one-point to Worcester by beating Leicester by 13 points, this past weekend. 

Sale have had a rather poor start themselves. While the did beat a poor Northampton side 32-23 in the opening round, they then went down to new boys Newcastle by two points this past weekend. 
 
Verdict: Sale
They were poor last week but my money is on Sale bouncing back to form with a big win over an Irish side that blow really hot and cold. 

Gloucester v Harlequins
Sunday 5 December

Kingsholm Stadium

18:15


To Win (80 Mins)

Gloucester 8/10

Draw 20/1
Harlequins 21/20

We close out the round with a clash between Gloucester and Harlequins. The hosts bounced back from their opening day 38-15 defeat to Leicester by beating Wasps 40-24. this past weekend. It was a solid return to form but there will be massive worries over their defence as they have shipped 62 points in just two games. 

Harlequins have also registered a win and a loss going down 3-33 to Exeter in Round 1 before bouncing back and beating Northampton 29-49. Like their opponents for this weekend, ‘Quins have been shaky on defence conceding the exact same amount of points as Gloucester. 

Verdict: Gloucester
I reckon we’re in for a high scorer here as both teams struggle defensively. My money is on the hosts taking a game that has more than 62 points in it. My main be will be on the Live In-Play total points spreads, however. 
 

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