Imagine Rugby Blogs

Northampton power past Bath to open up gap at the top

Five out of six of our predictions come in this weekend

Posted Sep 20, 2010 by Jeff Dawson

The Aviva Premiership was once again a great source of entertainment this weekend and we got to see some clubs really exert their authority as the season starts to gather momentum.
So here, I’m going to take a look at the fixtures from the weekend and see just how my predictions got on over Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
So let’s start with Northampton v Bath. This was a battle of the only two unbeaten teams in the league. And it didn’t disappoint! But instead of the close encounter I thought it was going to be, the Saints showed true class and powered their way to a 31-10 victory. The hosts were dominant throughout, leading comfortably 11-3 at the break before destroying the visitors in the second half. Tries from Dowson, Ashton (2) and Ansbro were the difference between the two sides.
Sale v Harlequins went just as I had predicted. Sale won 21-17 in a thrillingly close match with tries from Cueto and Tonetti, and exemplary kicking from MacLeod proving too much for the visitors. Lowe and Turner-Hall went over for the visitors with Evens adding and penalty and two conversions.
My favourite team, Exeter, added further points to their growing tally with a 22-17 win over Newcastle – just as I tipped them too. A superb display of kicking from Steenson, who scored five penalties and added a conversion to Johnson’s tries proved to be the difference. Amesbury and Vickerman scored tries for the visitors whilst Gopperth kicked a penalty and added the extras for both tries.
Unfortunately my successful prediction streak stops there! Champions Leicester Tigers threw away a 12-point advantage at Wasps, losing 37-30. And although a lot of points were scored, the message sent out to the rest of the league is simply that the Tigers are there for the taking at the minute! It’ll be interesting to see how they get on against Leeds Carnegie at Welford Road this coming Saturday.
I can’t see Leeds Carnegie putting up much of a fight against the reigning champions, however, after suffering their third straight defeat of the season yesterday, this time at home to Saracens. As predicted, the visitors eased to a 26-14 win dominating throughout.
So, to finish, I said that London Irish would overcome Gloucester and I was right, giving me five out of six on the prediction front! The Irish claimed a 23-16 victory thanks to tries from Buckland and Stowers, and kicks from Lamb – three penalties and two conversions.
I’m very happy with the way my predictions have gone this weekend, and I certainly didn’t expect it to be Leicester who let me down. The champions need to find some form and find it soon before the likes of Northampton and Bath put some air between themselves and the Tigers.

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