Premiership Rugby round four fixtures
Current Match betting
Fri 21st Sep
20:00 Sale Sharks v London Welsh
Sat 22nd Sep
15:00 London Irish v Bath Rugby
15:00 Northampton v Worcester
15:15 Gloucester v London Wasps Sky
17:30 Leicester v Harlequins ESPN
Sun 23rd Sep
14:15 Exeter Chiefs v Saracens ESPN classic
Premiership Rugby Betting 20:00 Sale Sharks v London Welsh, Sale -12 blue square, L welsh +14 paddypower
(no tv coverage)
Unusually for a Friday night there is no televised game with this one only available on radio (or live at the stadium). Sale come into this game having lost their opening three games to teams that finished in the top five last season – beaten well by Exeter and Quins, and beaten at home by Saracens by seven points. The losing bonus point that they picked up in that game was a little fortunate, but they did show a bit of endeavour and they do have a good looking 1-15. They’re best 12 point favourites in bluesquare here against a London Welsh side that shocked many people beating Exeter at the death by a point last week.
That win against Exeter was a strange one. Exeter raced into a 14 point lead but then crumbled psychologically and played possibly the worst rugby they have since the start of last season. Listening on the radio, one could almost feel them teetering between believing that they’re genuine contenders, and worrying that they just don’t quite have it in them. London Welsh, credit to them, seized their opportunity and in contrast to Exeter, you could sense the belief rising in them. They line out with just one change from that team last week and should be able to maintain some sort of run and prevent a hammering at least.
Sale have Powell back in the backrow and he’ll make a difference to them carrying ball that London Welsh will find difficult to deal with. Last week the Exeter broke through alot of first up tackles but Exeter were their own worst enemies at times and knocked on every two minutes of the game (or something ridiculous like that).
On balance you’d fancy Sale to win this one but there’s not much reason to back them to beat the handicap. They’ve been on the end of three defeats and Cipriani isn’t kicking all of his points. While London Welsh have shipped a hell of alot of points since day one, they will have found some belief last week in that somewhat fortunate win. For us this is a 4 pointer for Sale, and a badly needed nervous first win of the season. It’s due to start raining around 1pm on Friday in Trafford, and it’s due to be very heavy. This should serve to dull an already stuttering looking Sale backline. If you’re betting on this and want to listen on the BBC feed, then take London Welsh +14 in Paddypower, or Sale 1-12, best in bet365 at 21/10. London Welsh will want to keep this mini-run going as long as they can, and their goal will be to keep the score respectable if nothing else.
Edit- weather forecast has changed for this game and is now forecast to be fine still weather. Confidence on Welsh to stay within the handicap slightly lower but still the marginally better pick compared to Sale -13.
Premiership Rugby Betting 15:00 London Irish v Bath Rugby, Bath -2 bet365, London Irish +3, sportingbet
(no tv coverage)
This is another game not on the box so we’ll be brief enough. This is probably one to steer a mile clear of but we’ll have a tentative stab at it. One the one hand you have London Irish who have shipped an UNBELIEVABLE 40 points in each of their opening three games (40,43,40). They’re stretched bare and in desperate need of any sort of a win, but there should be a few players back this weekend, with Humpreys possibly lining out at ten ( better option than Shingler), and the excellent Garvey coming into the second row. We’ll wait for confirmation on that.
On the other hand we’ve got Bath, who have unbelievably sold Olly Barkley to Racing metro effective immediately (almost). Now Barkley is no world beater, but he has kicked Bath two wins so far as their only fit player with the ability to slot in at out half and there’s noone else in the frame right now to step into the ten slot. I wouldn’t think the management were consulted about this either so we’ll wait for the team news to confirm strength, but London Irish +3 looks the best pick here for the moment. (It feels crazy saying that about a team that shipped 123 points so far but hey, it’s Bath they’re playing, and they haven’t shown enough yet to say they’ve overcome last season’s messiness). Barkley should still play the weekend but this news can’t be good for him or the team. On a side note, I can’t understand why Racing are picking him up. I know they’re short on tens, but they’re playing some really great stuff right now. More on this when teams are announced.
EDIT- as promised we had a look at the teams and while Bath have Perenise starting along with Louw, we still fancy London Irish here. They’ll be desperate for a win, and they have Humprheys starting at ten and he’s just the kind of man needed to move the London Irish backline. The classy dynamic Garvey back fit in the second row seals the deal for us.
If you’re feeling conservative take the +2 available on Irish across the board, but the value here is the 6/4 in stanjames for the straight Irish win (they’re evens or 11/10 everywhere else to win this).
Premiership Rugby Betting – 15:00 Northampton v Worcester, Saints -14 Boyloesports, Worcester +15 bet365
(no tv coverage)
Northampton had an awful habit last year of getting three tries at home and not being able to close out the bonus point. The bookies look to be anticipating something similar this week with the hancidap set around -14. The big team news here is that Foden is out injured and replaced by debutant Wilson at full back. Despite that apparent weakness though, this is a very strong looking Northampton side that will be intent on protecting him as much as possible, and we fully expect them to up their game and crank it up very early. In every combination Northampton are superior, and the likes of Burrell and Pisi are going to run right at Joe Carlisle at inside centre for Worcester – he’s just not an inside centre. We saw the damage this can cause when Tagitakinbau (or some such spelling!) was moved there from the wing for London Irish a few weeks back when they were hammered away at Saracens.
Looking at Worcester’s side, they seem to have given up the ghost on this one before it starts. They have better players available but they look to be saving them and it has the smell of experimentation about it. They won’t lay down, but I fully expect Northampton to beat the handicap and maybe go a bit further, with a seriously heavy bench set to obliterate a tiring worcester in the secondhalf.
You can get Northampton -14 in paddypower and Boylesports ( 15 everywhere else)
Premiership Rugby Betting 15:15 Gloucester v Wasps skysports 2, Gloucester -4 sportingbet, Wasps +6 stanjames
This is a tricky one to call for a number of reasons. Both teams are scoring plenty of tries but both teams have injuries. Gloucester started this season like they finished last- not fulfullfilling their potential and doing alot of huffing and puffing for no gain. Last week they really should have beaten Worcester but in the end were very lucky to get the last second draw. The one occasion they went wide they scored a very classy try. Freddie Burns is back at ten this week and that will help towards taking points that Billy Twelvetrees couldn’t last week. But they are missing Charlie Sharples and Monahan who had a good game last week and always threatened out wide. The pack looks slightly better than Wasps’ bunch and just as importantly the bench does too – the likes of Qera and Tindall will have a big impact in the last 20 minutes when things really open up. The pack looks solid enough, with Morgan again looking a decent pick for anytime try (prices not up yet).
Wasps are missing Southwell at full back and that will be a loss away from home and expect plenty of bombs and touchfinders from Burns and kicking from twelvetrees at 12. Both sides have relative newbies (no relation to Craig Newby) starting at 15 this week so again, it’s hard to get solidly behind Gloucester. What they should be able to do is deal with the pace of Varndell and Wade out wide – better than others have anyway as Burns, Trinder and May will be well able to keep up – similar to how Biggs and Abendanon could when Bath beat them a few weeks back.
This game has a big score written all over it, with perfect weather forecast. Both defences have been far from brilliant and both have been scoring plenty of fast paced tries. There’s no line set for overs and unders yet but the overs should appeal as long as the bookies don’t go too high. With the better bench the Gloucester -4 appeals in sportingbet (-6 everywhere else). We will revisit this preview when the points totals come out.
Premiership Rugby Betting 17:30 Leicester v Harlequins, ESPN, Leicester -5 ladbrokes, Quins +7 bluesquare, betvictor
As much as I love cold revenge as a motivator on the rugby pitch, Leicester tigers don’t look seven point favourites to me coming into this game. Last week they played a part in the world’s worst game of rugby in the history of mankind to be shown to over 30,000 people. Apparently depression treatment centres all over Leicester and St. Albans were inundated with Tigers and Sarries fans struggling to see any point to hang on in life…..it was that bad; with massive amounts of knock-ons, very little attacking cohesion, no ambition, and 3 penalties boring us to near death with a 9-9 draw. The whole Tigers team was brutal bar Waldrom. I felt sorry for the paying punters. I really did! Flood is just as off as Farrell is (who we said shouldn’t start, and we were proved completely right with him missing 5 or more kicks), and England could well look to Charlie Hodgson for the November tests.
Anyway, Flood starts here with Manu Tuilagi nowhere to be seen in the match day squad. Jordan Crane is captain in Murphy’s absence and they’ve stared with Waldrom on the bench. Niall Morris will have a bit of work on the right wing up against the likes of Monye, and Tuilagi will definitely be missed as so much of Leicester’s play goes through him. Looking at harlequins there’s one notable change from last week with Lowe injured apparently, and Matt Hopper coming in to take his place. This may be no bad thing though as Lowe would have been the better man to help Marshall Tuilagi but he has been a bit off kilter – Hopper is the more elusive of the two and could be good for a try tomorrow. This Quins team have a 100% 5 points per game record and are scoring lots of tries. They’re last years champions, they have a settled side and they accounted for leicester in last year’s final with ease. Tigers are missing their main man Tuilagi, Flood isn’t playing well, and Waldrom is on the bench to come on in the second half for impact. But it will likely be too late by then if Quins get ahead.
I just can’t see how Quins can be 7 point underdogs here, so that’s our pick for this game, and it’s still available in Bluesquare and victorchandler. We also think the 1-12 on Quins which is biggest at a huge 11/4 in bet365 massively appeals. This game is a 50/50 by our reckoning, Tigers are off form, and unlike Ospreys and Toulouse they have acted like champions from day one. That +7 can’t last. There’s also a bit of value in Quins/Quins ht/ft at biggest 7/2 in paddypower and sportingbet if you want a bigger price for a smaller stake. And the NINE to 1 available for Leicester ht/ Quins ft in paddypower and ladbrokes is, to be frank – huge. Both teams have the ability to come from behind and win at full time. Let’s just pray to Jeebus that we don’t see a re-run of last week’s big game. The health services are already stretched wafer thin….
Premiership Rugby Betting 14:15 Sunday, Exeter v Saracens, ESPN classic,
Just a quick note on this game before we have a better look at it- there’s awful weather forecast for Sunday with serious rain and a fair bit of wind. The points totals aren’t up yet but one thing that stands out in an attempt to profit from this is one team to win both halves (either team) at biggest 5/4 in williamhill . if one team get the wind in the first half the pitch will be torn up a fair bit you’d imagine come the second. Just a thought anyway, head on over to the forum if you’ve any other ideas.
Best i can come up with so far is one team to win both halves at 5/4. There’s a mental amount of rain forecast for the whole area tomorrow ( proper serious deluges like) and the logic here is that whoever gets ahead, will stay ahead once the pitch cuts up. Chiefs with alot of injuries, and Saracens with an awesome bench, my only worry is Farrell starting as he’s gash and may miss the kicks that count. This thing has Saracens 1-12 nailed on aside from the above thanks to the weather. A small savour on Sarries 11-20 might be worth it too in case that bench does serious damage.
16 Schalk Brits
17 Rhys Gill
18 Matt Stevens
19 Steve Borthwick
20 Ernst Joubert
21 Richard Wigglesworth
22 Charlie Hodgson
23 Joel Tomkins
In fact it’s an awful pity it’s not dry as if it was we’d be all over the -4.
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