Bath @ Worcester
Bath will travel to Worcester coming off of a strong win against the Chiefs. Bath, like Leicester, will be looking to build on their 9, 10, 12 axis after losing George Ford to the Tigers over the summer. Worcester are bottom of the league and while they’ll be desperate for a win to change that, they have been defeated in all previous outings this season.
Prediction: Worcester have some promising young players and a few useful veterans, including B&I Lion Ben Teo, however I expect a Bath side who are continuing to gel to defeat them soundly.
Exeter @ Newcastle
It is a shame that this match up is not televised, as it has the potential to be the game of the weekend. Champions Exeter will be up to their usual tricks and will bring a host of quality, well-drilled players up north to meet the Falcons. Newcastle have been one of the surprise packages so far this season and find themselves only being knocked off of the top spot by Northampton on points difference.
Prediction: This is a difficult game to call, there are some fantastic matchups in the back lines with the likes of Vereneki Goneva, Sinoti Sinoti, Juan Pablo Socino and Simon Hammersley going up against Jack Nowell, Olly Woodburn, Henry Slade and Gareth Steenson. Ultimately I think Exeter have the stronger front row so I nervously predict that this will see them overcome home advantage to pick up the win.
Gloucester @ Northampton
Gloucester’s form has been patchy this season, as has been their way in recent times and they have a difficult trip to league leaders Northampton this Saturday. Since they were hammered by Saracens in Week One, Northampton have looked very strong and will go into this as heavy favorites.
Prediction: Northampton’s blueprint has been the same as previous years, depending on a physical pack; a heavy front row and hard running backs to grind opposing teams down although there execution seems much improved. While Gloucester are capable of an upset I don’t expect it to happen here and I suspect they will struggle to match Northampton’s power over the course of eighty minutes.