Aviva Premiership Round-Up: Round 4

Aviva Premiership Round-Up: Round 4

Sale Sharks v Wasps

In all three games so far, Sale have been much better in the first half of the match. Against an electric Wasps backline, consistency will be the order of the day for the Sharks. Sale are formidable at home, but finding form this season is proving to be difficult. If you fancy the Sharks to repeat this feat, Bet365 have them priced at 6/1 to win the first half, but to lose the second. Wasps have two victories to their name, with their only defeat against Exeter two weeks ago. If they have top four ambitions, Sale is a place they must win at. Something which they missed out on last season in the dying stages of the fixture at the AJ Bell.

Last seasons’ match-up between these two was a totally different ball game. Places for Europe and the top four were on the line. Wasps bumped into a passionate, aggressive Sale side and were defeated. But it was a different story at the Ricoh where Wasps put 50 points on the Sharks. Dangers highlighted. For Wasps to repeat the 50 point victory, you can get them priced at 33/1. Sale have conceded the second highest number of tries so far this season and with the likes of Josh Bassett and Juan De Jongh carving up the Tigers defence last week, a bet on Wasps score plenty of points is recommended.

Tryscorers and predictions

Even with Marland Yarde looking sharp on the Sharks wing, the home side have scored just six try’s this season. The return of Chris Ashton can’t come quick enough, but will this help fix the all the problems? Possession has been hard to hold on to for Sale. This shows in the tackling stats column with Jonathon Ross (59 tackles) and Ross Harrison (56 tackles) making the two highest in the Premiership. But if AJ MacGinty pulls the ropes well at fly-half, Yarde is always on hand to score. We recommend at bet on this. Bet365 have Yarde to score at 8/5 anytime, with odds increasing to 11/1 for first or last try.

Wasps, seemingly, are always attacking. With Jimmy Goperth out injured, fellow New Zealander Liam Sopoaga has slotted in comfortably. The small fly-half puts his backs in holes making the Wasps side look dangerous wherever they are on the field. He’s priced at 7/2 anytime try scorer. Willie Le Roux has his first start of the season for Wasps this week. The flying South African is used to scoring tries in the Premiership. He begins another season, and having properly settled in, he’s priced at 11/4 to score a try on his season debut.

The AJ Bell is a very difficult place to go and play rugby. But we favour Wasps to come away with the points here, pushing Sale down into what could become a relegation scrap with Worcester. The chances of a Wasps win are looking strong.

Recommended bet: Wasps to win between 11-15 points at 13/2 with SkyBet – BET HERE

Bristol Bears v Harlequins

It’s an important game for both sides. Bristol and Harlequins have identical records, winning well in the first week only to lose the following two games. Bristol’s style of play is open to plenty of questions. Attempting to run it from their own 22 is very risky and something they will perhaps have to alter in due course. Adjusting to life in the Premiership is difficult for any team, and one thing they must start to nail is bonus points. They only have to look at their opponents Harlequins to see that four bonus points places them in 6th.

Harlequins have not won away from home since November 2017, and you have to go back 12 months to find their last away win in the Premiership. To extend this record and bet on a Bristol win, you can get them at 1/1. This stat does however balance out. Bristol haven’t beaten Quins in the Premiership since October 2006, with their last match resulting in a 42-8 win.

Tryscorers and Predictions

Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith has proved he has an all round game in the opening weeks of the Premiership. He’s scored 42 points, but has also made crucial try-saving tackles. He is one of the Premiership’s form players. Him picking up a strong tally by the full-time whistle on Saturday will be a good bet. For Smith to score anytime, it’s 9/2. His half-back partner Danny Care has delivered three try assists in three matches this season. Care, with 81 England caps, is in fine playmaking form. He’s Harlequins joint top try-scorer this season, and we expect him to carry on this fine form. A bet on him scoring a try is recommended and can be found at 11/4, or 25/1 for two or more.

Bristol’s discipline is ranked the worst in the Premiership conceding a total of 42 penalties, an average of 14 per match. On the over side of this, Alapati Leiua has scored three ties this season as the centre adjusts to life at Bristol. The form book suggests he will keep his tally ticking over and is priced at 15/8 as anytime try scorer. Against Saracens Bristol were ahead at half-time and it could have been a different match without the red card. Joe Joyce and Chris Vui have been impressive at lock so far. This forwards power will be key if they’re to stop Quins offload game.

Bath were favourites when they headed to Ashton Gate on the opening night of the season. That fixture was a derby match, but if the Bears faithful can turn up the noise once more, the place could become a fortress. This passion will reflect on the pitch. If you’re feeling confident, a draw could be the result to bet on priced at 20/1. But we recommend a home win at 1/1.

Recommended bet: Bristol win at 1/1 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Bath Rugby v Northampton Saints

Two huge rugby clubs with proud history go head-to-head in this fixture. But both teams are seemingly struggling to find anything. Dylan Hartley’s starting return was well received last weekend. He’s already up to two tries. To add to this tally he’s priced at 11/2. His captaincy style steers the ship well. But Bath, at home, will be ready to take on anything. Against Gloucester, their resilience was tested. It prevailed to earn them a draw. This is going to be a hard fought match. If you fancy Bath doing a similar performance to the Gloucester game, you can get a Saints first half win, but Bath to win the match priced at 11/2.

Bath have picked up the same number of wins as their opponents, but find themselves five league points ahead of Northampton. When they last played each other at The Rec, Northampton got thrashed 32-8, turning over a 24-6 result in favour of Northampton earlier in the season. Saints have won just one game away from home since September 2017. Home advantage may well turn out to be vital.

Tryscorers and Predictions

Bath have made the third most meters (1,360) in the Premiership so far this season making their back line look pretty strong. Off the boot is where they’ve struggled. With two top quality fly-halves, you’d probably expect better. Combined, Freddie Burns and Rhys Preiestland have scored just 28 points. Semesa Rokoduguni is favourite to score a try anytime for bath and is priced at 11/8.

Northampton don’t appear in any top 3 stats this season. Under new coach Chris Boyd, the performances have been improving despite his limited preparation time at the club. As already alluded to, Hartley’s return last week was successful and it’s something that the Saints need in order to improve. Harry Mallinder has been out of favour since his favour left, but Burrel, Biggar, Collins and Tuala have all been performing well. Out of those backs, Tuala looks best priced at 15/4 for a try. James Haskell has started his Saints career well, but was outmatched last week by the Wolfpack. Tuala’s magic from full-back is bound to result in a try sooner or later. We expect him to make the scoring list this weekend.

History suggests that the home side wins in this fixture, and we don’t expect this to change in the 2018/19 season. Bath’s crashing backline is going to be a difference maker.

Recommended bet: Bath win at 1/2 with Bet365 –  BET HERE

Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors

Geordan Murphy’s Tigers have faced a resurrection over the past two weeks scoring 84 points in the process. In contrast, Worcester are at the bottom of the table, the only team without a victory this season. If you fancy them getting their first victory at Welford Road, they’re priced at 9/2 for the win. Warriors managed to get within six points in all three games pushing two of last seasons top 4 all the way. The Tigers defence is a must improve if they are going to turn around the Welford Road loss against Worcester almost 12 months ago.  

The Tigers, who missed out on the top 4 for the first time in 14 years last season, will be without second-row Will Spencer who has been banned for four weeks following his controversial red card against Wasps last week. Two contrasting matches occurred between these two last season. The match at Welford road was tightly contested with Worcester claiming the victory. When the return fixture was played, Leicester were in the middle of the ‘Bakewell bounce’ following Mark Bakewell’s appointment. Tigers won that one 5-34.

Tryscorers and Predictions

Worcester’s slow start hasn’t exactly been as slow as results may point out. They pushed Wasps, Sale and Newcastle all the way. A key part in their locker is the number turnovers won. They’ve pinched the ball 22 times already, the second highest in the Premiership. Leicester gave away a lot of ball last season. The trysters so far this season have been spread well for Worcester. Over the past three weeks, they’ve had six different tryscorers, each with one try. Welsh winger Josh Adams has been threatening making 209 meters, but has yet to cross the line. For him make one of these threats a try scoring opportunity, you can get it priced at 6/4.  His form from last season suggests he will do that soon, and we predict him to do it at Welford Road on Sunday.

The Tigers have been in try scoring form since the departure of Matt O’Connor. George Ford has been so much better, and has picked up 44 points in just two weeks. His season total of 50 places him top of the points list. You can catch him at 10/3 to score. Jonny May is back in the grove with his scoring boots picking up four tries in the past two weeks. If the start he made last season in September and October was anything to go by, betting on him to score twice will be a healthy choice. We recommend betting that he’ll score two this weekend. The odds on that are 3/1.

With Ford pulling the strings, and the back row which includes David Denton and Guy Thompson retaining the ball, it’s a chance for Tigers to go well. If they can keep Worcester’s second row quiet, they could score a few points on Sunday. We says Tigers by more than 10.

Recommended bet: Leicester to win by 10-15 points at 5/1 with BetVictor – BET HERE

Saracens v Gloucester

Gloucester have impressed many in the opening weeks of the season, but they face their first real test when they travel to the Allianz on Sunday. At an outside shock, you can get them at 5/1 to steel a win. Saracens are in top form. Only the champions have matched Exeter at the top of the table scoring 15 league points out of 15. Gloucester have picked up 12 points in the league so far this season placing them in 3rd. This includes a 31-31 draw against Bath.

These two teams played each other on the final day of the season at the Allianz last season. Saracens were in full flight and beat the Cherry and Whites 62-12. If you fancy a similar result, Saracens to win by 46-50 points is at 33/1. The current champions have so far dismissed Newcastle, Bristol and Northampton. Though they will have to over come Gloucester’s summer signings Danny Cipriani and Matt Banahan.

Tryscorers and predictions

It’s a Saracens summer signing who tops the try scoring chart after three rounds. Alex Lewington, former London Irish and Leicester Tigers winger has ran in five tries already this term but doesn’t feature in the Saracens 23 this weekend. But Gloucester have more to worry about as full-back Liam Williams has already got himself a hat-trick v Bristol last time out at the Alianz. Williams to score at least twice is priced at.6/1.  The Wolffpack has been working hard in defence, but they’ve not yet come up against the wonder passer Cipriani.

Cipriani missed out on England section this week so no doubt he’ll be channeling his frustration onto his playing performance. He’s set up plenty of tries so far this season, but the 30-year-old is yet to add a try to his ranks. He’s priced at 6/1 to score anytime.  Ruan Ackermann, the bosses son is in fine form as he continues to challenge hard at breakdowns. The South African is priced at 5/1 to score this weekend.

Saracens at home are tough to beat. Gloucester have the ability to make it close, but there’s not enough forward power to get them over the line.

Recommended bet: Saracens win by 11-15 points at 5/1 with SkyBet – BET HERE