Round three of the Gallagher Premiership sees Saracens on the road at the Kingsholm looking to pick up their first win and Exeter welcoming Sale to Sandy Park. Shaun Goosen previews.
Friday 27 October
Gloucester 3/5 | Draw 20/1 | Saracens 27/20
The Cherry and Whites are two from two so far after wins against Harlequins and Newcastle but could feel the brunt of a hurting Sarries side.
Despite being short on confidence and playing away from home, you get the sense that the defending champs won’t allow for a third loss on the spin. They’ll surely be back to picking up wins as soon as their England internationals return, but regardless they should break their bagel at the Kingsholm on Friday. Be brave and get on Saracens.
Verdict: Saracens 27/20
I’ll be getting on Saracens to win on the board. For a bit more security, back them to come good on the (+4.5) handicap.
Saturday 28 October
Bristol 11/20 | Draw 20/1 | Harlequins 29/20
The Bears have opened their account with two good wins over Tigers and Saints and will ride momentum into this weekend’s clash at Ashton Gate. After a poor season last time out, they’ll feel they have plenty to prove as they look to push hard for what would be a landmark first Premiership title.
Quins followed up their one-point defeat at Gloucester in round one with an impressive 22-14 win over a good Exeter outfit at The Stoop. They definitely have the ability to trouble Bristol here but may end up on the wrong side of the result.
Verdict: Quins (+4.5) 4/5
The Londoners are tipped to come up just short in what should be a pretty competitive encounter.
Exeter 87/100 | Draw 18/1 | Sale 20/21
After a barnstorming 65-10 thumping of Saracens in their season opener, not many expected Chiefs to succumb at The Stoop a week ago. Back at home this weekend, however, they will feel they have what it takes to outdo Sale within the confines of Sandy Park.
Last season’s runners up have already beaten Saints and Tigers to set themselves up nicely. The Great Whites’ uber physicality is always a threat to opposition, but Chiefs at home should hold them off.
Verdict: Sale 20/21
A tough one to call this, especially as there’s no handicap available. I’m leaning toward Sale.
Bath 38/100 | Draw 22/1 | Leicester 2/1
Bath have started like a house on fire, currently sitting top after bagging bonus-point wins over Falcons and Saracens. New signings Thoms du Toit and Finn Russell were both influential in the defeat of the latter last week and should again have a big say against Tigers here.
Leicester are nought from two following opening defeats to Bristol and Sale and could struggle again at The Rec on Saturday. The way both sides are playing at the minute it would be tough to bet against the hosts.
Verdict: Bath (-6.5) 17/20
Imagine thinking that you’d be confidently backing Sale to clear 6.5 points against Leicester two seasons ago? Wild stuff!
Sunday 29 October
Newcastle 5/4 | Draw 20/1 | Northampton 5/8
Neither Falcons nor Saints have yet won a game, and this should be another tight affair at Kingston Park. The hosts in particular will want to capitalise on the absence of so many internationals from opposing outfits and their desperation could guide them home here.
Northampton will again be strong contenders for the playoffs but may find themselves coming unstuck in Newcastle on Sunday.
Verdict: Falcons at 5/4
Newcastle on the board for me.