Written 23rd October 2019
Premiership Rugby Week 2 Betting Preview
If the first week of Premiership Rugby action is anything to go by, then we are in for a treat this season. Saracens, the defending champions and pre season favourites, were defeated at home in their first game, proving that this could be one of the more open seasons in recent memory. Elsewhere, Bristol Bears dominated their derby against Bath, Gloucester beat Sale in a tight game, and Worcester shocked Leicester with a win.
Check out our preview for our two top games of the week, as well as a brief look at the rest of the fixtures in Week 2 of the Gallagher Premiership. Throughout the season, make sure to take a look at our Premiership Rugby betting tips for previews every week, and head over to Bet UK’s online betting for the latest rugby betting odds for all matches.
Bath Rugby v Exeter Chiefs - 19:45pm Friday 25th October
Bath started their season with a heavy loss in the derby against Bristol Bears, and it will be tough for them to bounce back again against Exeter Chiefs. Exeter have been the team to beat in the regular season, and after a close win against Harlequins last week, that doesn’t look like changing.
Bath played in the season opener this year, losing 43-16 away at fierce rivals Bristol Bears. Bath never really got going in the game and found themselves a try down after just 2 minutes, as Luke Morahan scored the first try of the season. Even when Zach Mercer pulled a try back, Bristol re-established their lead minutes later to go in at the break 17-13 up. The second half is where Bath ultimately fell apart. O’Conor, Afoa, Lloyd and Morahan all scored second half tries without reply as Bristol ran out as 43-16 winners. Bath weren’t pre season favourites to be relegated, but there will be some worries for the Bath supporters after this performance
Exeter have been the best team in the regular season for the last couple of years, and that doesn’t look like changing in the 19/20 season. They started their season off with another win at Sandy Park, but Harlequins made them work for it. It was actually Quins’ who took the early lead thanks to Gabriel Itiboye after a genius lineout routine. Exeter took control however and went into the break with a 13-11 lead. The second half was just as scrappy as the first, but Exeter’s class started to show as they extended their lead to 22-14. With 6 minutes left however, Harlequins reduced the lead to just 3 points to set up a nervy ending. Exeter’s typical game control kicked in and they managed to maintain their lead and get their season off to a perfect start.
Bet UK’s Verdict
We expect Exeter to pile the misery on Bath on Friday night and dominate the game from start to finish. A first bonus point shouldn’t be out of the question for Exeter, but another heavy defeat for Bath could see a change in their early season approach.
Gloucester Rugby v Wasps - 3:00pm Saturday 26th October
Both of these sides played in very close matches in week one, with Gloucester edging a win and Wasps finishing on the wrong end of a 55 point match. Gloucester were one of the pre season favourites to break into the top 2 and will be hoping to give their fans a show in their first home appearance of the season.
Gloucester came back from 13-0 to win a hard-fought battle at Sale. The Sharks took the lead thanks to a well-worked try from Byron McGuigan, with a conversion to follow from Robert Du Preez. A penalty either side of half time from Du Preez extended Sale’s lead to 13 points before Gloucester finally got their season started. Mark Atkinson and Tom Marshall scored 2 quickfire tries, as well as a conversion from Billy Twelvetrees to bring the scores within 1. Twelvetrees finished off 2 penalties to bring Gloucester into the lead, despite Du Preez also knocking down a penalty for the hosts. The game seemed like a turnaround for Gloucester who showed they are more than capable of playing ugly when they need to.
Wasps finished off the opening week on Sunday by losing an entertaining game against newly-promoted London Irish. In a back and forth tie, Lima Sopoaga struck first with a 6th minute penalty to give Wasps the lead. Both sides score 2 tries before the break and with penalties added on, London Irish led 19-16. In just 7 minutes after half time, Wasps capitulated. Ollie Hassel-Collins scored a try for Irish within 60 seconds, followed by the conversion and a penalty kick 6 minutes later from Paddy Jackson. It took Wasps 16 minutes to respond, with a try from Dan Robson. A 72nd minute penalty from Jacob Umaga made for a nervy finish, but Wasps failed to build on their home advantage.
Bet UK’s Verdict
It’s not going to get any easier for Wasps with a trip to playoff bound Gloucester. After a tough opening week, Gloucester will surely find this game a lot easier and in front of a home crowd, this should be a resounding bonus point win.
The Rest Of The Week 1 Fixtures
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors - 2:00pm Saturday 26th October
Both of these sides started the season with 2 surprising wins that could change the course of the 19/20 season. Northampton became the first side to shock Saracens with a 27-25 win at Allianz Park. James Grayson hit a last minute penalty in an end to end game, proving Northampton are here to compete this year. Pre season favourites for relegation Worcester Warriors also impressed in their home win over Leicester. Leicester were missing a few of their England squad players, but Worcester will take any wins they can get this season. This weekend will be tougher however, and we expect Northampton to make it 2 from 2 with a pretty straightforward win.
Harlequins v Bristol Bears - 3:00pm Saturday 26th October
Harlequins might have lost away at Exeter, but they arguably put up the best performance of the opening weekend. They took Exeter right to the end of the game and on a different day definitely could have come away with a win. Expect Quins to be in the playoff race for a lot of this season. For the away side, Bristol were the only team to come away with a bonus point win and are the current leaders in the Gallagher Premiership. A 6-try win over their rivals Bath was about as good a start as Bristol could have hoped for. It will be a much closer game this weekend, but after Harlequins showed how strong they are, I think they will edge this one.
London Irish v Sale Sharks - 3:00pm Saturday 26th October
An early second half flurry gave London Irish the win in their first game back in the Gallagher Premiership. London Irish scored 10 points in 7 second half minutes and withstood a late Wasps fightback. They already look like a team that can withstand the rigours of Premiership rugby. Sale had almost the opposite match against Gloucester. They blew a 13 point lead and ended up on the wrong end of an 18-16 scoreline. That will be a huge worry for a side that would have been hoping for an outside chance of a playoff place. I think they will improve this week however, and get a first win of the year at London Irish.
Leicester Tigers v Saracens - 3:00pm Sunday 27th October
Both Leicester and Saracens lost their opening games, where both would have been expecting to win. Leicester’s torrid record against Worcester continued and lost despite being heavy favourites. At Allianz Arena, Saracens were the victims of a last minute penalty against Northampton. Saracens are obviously the heavy favourites to improve this week, but just how much are they missing their stars at the World Cup? Regardless, I believe Saracens are winning this one without much trouble.
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*All odds from Bet UK’s online betting markets correct at the time of writing.
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