Guinness Premiership Predictions: Newcastle to Beat Wasps?

James HutchisonSenior Analyst IApril 3, 2009

BATH, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 01: Danny Cipriani of Wasps signals to his teammates during the Guinness Premiership match between Bath and London Wasps at the Recreation Ground on April 1, 2009 in Bath, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

In a dramatic U-Turn from my early-season predictions, I’m now predicting that the Falcons will win at Adams Park this weekend.

This season has been one of the most competitive in recent memory with so many unexpected results and currently just one point separates the top 4 teams.

A top-of-the-table clash this weekend sees Harlequins travel to Bath after their demolition of Worcester during the week. Given their tough schedule, and Bath’s home advantage, I’m picking them to take the points but it will be close.

Leicester are also locked at the top with Harlequins and Bath, and they host Sale Sharks who sit in sixth. Sale are pushing for a playoff place, but I’ve gone for another home win here, despite the Sharks welcoming back some key players—Welford Road is notoriously inhospitable.

Bristol are mounting a late-season charge, but London Irish will be desperate to return to the top of the table and I’m backing them to clinch the points in front of the home crowd.

Head has ruled heart in the Northampton v Gloucester game. The Saints have proved tough to beat at Franklins Gardens, and Gloucester have been stuttering somewhat as the pressure mounts.

Carlos Spencer is on the bench, but could make a difference against his former club—the trouble with Spencer is that you never know whether he’ll help or hinder you!

After Worcester’s thrashing at Harlequins, morale will be low and energy could be in short supply. Saracens have had a few good results despite the off-field drama that plagues the club, and I’ve gone for an Away win.

When the season began, I could not imagine backing Newcastle to win against the champions in their own back yard, and when you look at the team sheets, it’s still hard to believe.

But Wasps have continued to under-perform, they’ve had a tough week having travelled to Bath on Wednesday, and Newcastle are well-rested and high on confidence.

Game 115: Bath Rugby v Harlequins: Bath Rugby by 7
Game 116: Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks: Leicester Tigers by 5
Game 117: London Irish v Bristol Rugby: London Irish by 9
Game 118: Northampton Saints v Gloucester Rugby: Northampton Saints by 6
Game 119: Worcester Warriors v Saracens: Saracens by 10
Game 120: London Wasps v Newcastle Falcons: Newcastle Falcons by 4

It should be a cracking weekend. Have a good one.

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