It’s Friday, your mind is drifting towards thoughts of imbibing cold fizzy yellow bevarages and the weekend’s rugby. Here’s our view of some games to help you on your way.
Bath vs Newcastle, 3pm Saturday
It’s early in the season to start talking about pivotal matches, but this has something of that smell emanating from its gentleman’s area. Both Bath and Newcastle’s starts to the season were positive before the last round of matches rendered them back to earth and each of them will be keen to kick on at the Rec on Saturday afternoon. Newcastle’s loss to Saracens in the Pennsylvania EchoDome was their first in five, and their performance was nothing like as bad as the 22 point spread suggested. The visitors have a nuggety pack, a powerful back row and a tenacious, energetic defence that will get up and into the Rhys Priestland, a man who is permanently two minutes away from a mental powdering. Also look out for the battle between the ever fuming Chris Cook and the impressive Takalua at 9.
Bath are at home and this fixture last season saw the home side win 58-5, this will not happen again and that horror show aside, matches between these two sides tend to be closer than Jacob Rees-Mogg to self-caricature. The Falcons are 11-2 to win this game and that looks very generous.
Having said all that, Bath have Aled Brew on the bench, who could come on and single-handedly win the match and sort North Korea.
Exeter vs Wasps, Sunday 3pm
Exeter welcome the geographically undecided insects to their turf on Sunday for what promises to be, if meetings in the last two years are anything to go by, an absolute humdinger. The two shared 113 points in their two games last season, including a ridiculous 35-35 draw at Sandy Park in February and while neutrals would fancy this, the home fans will settle for a far more mundane victory thankyou very much. The home side’s bruising, indefatigable pack featuring bolter Sam Simmonds, allied with the in sparkling form again Henry Slade alngside the other solid campaigners should see this happen.
After the leg-knack to Cipriani, Wasps will place much hope in the return of Jimmy Gopperth at 10, the player who last year reinvented himself as something none of us could understand, but that didn’t stop us liking it. Haskell is back starting after a big week of having a full-on, toddler stranking meltdown in full view of the world, something we can only assume he normally saves for business strategy meeting with his dad.
See how well we’re doing in the LeoVegas Punters’ Union rugby betting league at puntersunion.leovegas.com. We’re going head-to-head with other UK rugby titles this season to see who can win the most rugby bets and finish top in May! Who are you betting on this weekend?