Premiership Rugby betting tips & preview Round 19
After a good friday night below, with two tryscorers and a handicap bet win (just about mind you -lord knows how Quins lost this game with the chances they had) let’s see if we can win some more this afternoon.
Bath (-14)v London Welsh betting, 215pm, not televised
Not one to get too involved in as it’s not on the tellybox, but Bath should beat the handicap despite the fact they can be a nightmare to back. I have a feeling London Welsh gave everything they had last week in the one point loss to Gloucester, and they’ve rested the poor lad at the heart of the controversy tomorrow, Tyson Keats.
Bath name a full side virtually, and have no excuse if they can’t put Welsh away here. Their heavy forward orientated game should succeed where Gloucester’s lighter weights failed last week.
Bath are 11 points off Northampton in 4th, and despite the fact that they look about as motivated as a stoned sloth at times this season, a bonus point win will see then within two wins of the playoffs, and closer to Heineken cup rugby next year.
Premiership rugby betting verdict
Bath to beat the cap well in the end, but don’t go nuts on it. Also, Stephen Donald is starting at ten, and if there’s one thing the Donald does well, it’s score tries. He’s a measly 3/1 anytime try in Paddypower tomorrow, but keep an eye out for better prices elsewhre a few hours befroe the game. Just to re-iterate – it’s Bath, so don’t bet big.
Northampton -1 v Leicester betting, 3pm, skysports
Despite being totally on top of Wasps last week, Northampton still needed an injury time try to nick it at the death. That was a must win game for them and it means they’re now in with a realistic shout of a home semi if they can win this game and then a few more after it. Leicester will know this too of course, and will want a win here to keep the gap between them and the others, knowing it would see them most likely into a home semi with the fixtures that remain.
I think Leicester are the better side here with a far better defence, and I think Tuilagi will have a big game against the Northampton centres Pisi and May (Waldouck has been solid and will be missed), despite being quiet recently. There were two questions for me trying to work this one out, and i’ll go through them one by one.
1. Will Leicester have one eye on next week’s game against Toulon?
Funnily enough, I don’t think they will. They’ll know they’re in with a shout but at the same time they’ll know full well that they fluked the win against Toulouse, and that they’re likely on a hiding to nothing away in Toulon. No, I think they’ll be focussed on the bread and butter of the league here, and a win here would go a long way to cementing the home semi. They would also be able to approach that Heineken cup game with a little more freedom.
2. Were Leicester really that bad against Exeter, and were Northampton really that bad against Wasps?
Yes and no for Leicester. Yes, they may have squeaked it, but they were playing within themselves I think, that being game one of three huge away games. Northampton on the other hand scored four tries off of mauls, and they won’t have that kind of lineout and mauling dominance against Leicester tomorrow. Also, Saints fell off tackle after tackle (two missed tackles for Varndell’s try, and in the lead up to Elliot Daly’s try they missed about eight if you factor in the initial drive aswell up the middle). Saints have conceded 4 more tries than Leicester in the league so far (they’ve both scored 40), and they’ve conceded 80 more points.
Two final considerations are the bench and Wayne Barnes. Leicester’s bench is superior here, and that could make the difference in a tight game where Northampton are bound to tire after last week’s slog in the mud. Wayne Barnes in my eyes has never been an enemy of Leicester either.
Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 James Wilson, 13 George Pisi, 12 Tom May, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Tom Wood, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Samu Manoa, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Soane Tonga’uiha.
Replacements:16 Ross McMillan, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 GJ van Velze, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Luther Burrell.
Leicester Tigers: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood (c), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements:16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Thomas Waldrom, 20 Graham Kitchener, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Ford, 23 Matt Smith.
Premiership rugby betting verdict
Leicester +2 at 10/11 looks like good value in a game they should edge by 1-12 points. You can get +2 in Ladbrokes and Boyles; it’s +1 elsewhere. If you want extra insurance, the no draw handicap is +2.5 in ladbrokes for 10% less on the price (4/5).
Gloucester v Quins 745pm, Glouc -1 ladbrokes, Quins +3 Stanjames, ESPN
When you ake a look at Gloucester’s last three results, things are starting to look like last season when they threatened in the early weeks of the year to make the playoffs, before fizzling out when things got to crunch time.
Three games ago, it took an injury time decision by the TMO (illegally suggesting to the ref to award a penalty try) for them to beat lowly Worcester at home. Then Bath beat them at the Rec, followed by last weeks 1 point victory over basement club London Welsh, who haven’t won a game since November. It took a penalty in the final 4 minutes for Gloucester to win that game.
Overall Gloucester don’t look good enough for the top 4 to me – I don’t see where the leaders are, they’ve a weak enough scrum and pack, and they have a ten in Burns who has lost all confidence in front of the posts since injury – missing a shedload of his kicks last week. They’re having problems scoring tries too, with the lowest amount of tries (30) scored in the top eight after Sarries on 28. They also have only one try bonus all season (one) and only Sale and London Welsh are on zero try bonus points. The point i’m trying to make here is that it’s hard to see where enough scores will come from for Gloucester tonight.
Quins haven’t had stellar form themselves (winning away at Sale, losing at home to Exeter, and expectedly not turning up v Sarries last week), but they’re still by far the better side here for me. Robshaw is on a break this week (one he has looked like needing since the France game), but most of the side is there, and the backups have performed brilliantly in the LV cup. I make the Quins lineout even, and the scrum, goalkicking, and general open play superior on recent form.
Mike Brown is in brilliant form and Nick Easter seems to have come through a recent poor period, doing well last week v Sarries. Quins also have Botica on the bench, and that’s a huge plus coming into the last 30 minutes – this guy has a huge future ahead of him and he’ll make every one of his kicks and exploit the gaps Gloucester will leave. Rob Buchanan has been lethal in the loose when i’ve seen him this season and he starts here tonight – Welsh made a few breaks up the middle where he’ll be targetting.
For me this game is about hunger and need, and Glocuester have hardly shown much of that over the past three weeks. If Quins lose here they not only say goodbye to any hope of a home semifinal (currently three behind Leicester), but they also run a real risk of missing out on the playoffs if they give a sucker an even break here. This is must-win for Quins as far as I can see and O’Shea will know that. You pick your battles at this time of the season; last week they really weren’t arsed against Sarries. This week should be a different ball game, and in good weather the dynamic game Quins have pulled out when needed all season should be enough to beat Gloucester here. I just don’t see how a non-tryscoring, low penalty converting side like Gloucester, thats’s struggling to beat basement sides will have enough to stop a Quins side that is most definitely boxing smart and managing a busy season end.
Premiership rugby betting verdict
Take Quins on the plus start in a game they should win. +3 currently in Coral and stanjames. Sam Smith on the QUins left wing looks full of potential and I can see him coming close here tonight (10/3 anytime in ladbrokes & Coral). Buchanan is biggest 12/1 in paddypower and is worth small money I think – Gloucester are weak up front and he should go close in a loose game.
More later on the rest of the weekend’s games
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