Aviva Premiership Round 2 Preview

The Aviva Premiership continues this weekend with Round 2 hitting our screens. Once again while the England/France Vs The Rest of Europe saga remains unresolved, it’s business as usual on the rugby pitch. Six more games take place with each team battling for the coveted Aviva Premiership and a place in the Heineken Cup- should it still be intact next season…

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Harlequins v Northampton Saints

Paul Doran Jones admits he is relishing the chance to make his home Harlequins debut against former club Northampton Saints.
After two years in Northampton, Doran Jones swapped Franklin’s Gardens for the Stoop this summer as he arrives at Harlequins looking to fill the void left by James Johnston, who departed for Saracens.
Prediction: Saints by 5-7
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Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons
Sam Tuitupou insists practice does indeed make perfect as he bids to help Sale Sharks continue their fine start to the Aviva Premiership against Newcastle Falcons.
Last season Sale had to wait until round eight for their first win, the victory finally coming with a 21-9 demolition of London Irish at Salford City Stadium.However this term has already been completely different as they opened up their campaign with an impressive 22-16 victory over Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm.
Prediction: Sharks by 5-10
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Exeter Chiefs v London Wasps

Back rower Guy Thompson admits London Wasps will be wary of a wounded animal in the form of Exeter Chiefs on Saturday as both go in search of their first win of the Aviva Premiership season.

With their two new British & Irish Lions heroes Alex Corbisiero and George North on parade, Northampton Saints beat Exeter 38-11 to kick-start their Aviva Premiership campaign in style.Exeter could only muster a Dean Mumm try and two Gareth Steenson penalties at Franklin’s Gardens while their hosts crossed five times with Stephen Myler adding a further 13 points with the boot.

The Chiefs have never begun an Aviva Premiership campaign with back-to-back losses and will entertain Wasps at Sandy Park on Saturday looking to preserve such an impressive record.

Wasps themselves also endured a tough opening loss as they went down 16-15 to Harlequins at Twickenham, denied only by a lick of paint as Andy Goode’s last-gasp conversion for victory struck an upright.
Predction: Wasps by 10-14

 

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Worcester Warriors v London Irish

Jeremy Su’a admits Worcester Warriors’ run of six successive Aviva Premiership defeats will be the last thing on their minds when they welcome London Irish to Sixways.

Su’a, a summer signing from New Zealand, made his Aviva Premiership bow last weekend but it came in a 32-15 defeat to defending champions Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.They now play host to London Irish, who themselves have won just one of their last five Aviva Premiership encounters, that a 47-28 win over London Welsh back in April.

Worcester’s most recent victory at Sixways was against opposition from London however with the Warriors taking down London Wasps 29-23 on March 1 last season.

Julian Salvi credits Bath Rugby for helping Leicester Tigers win the Aviva Premiership last season but he doesn’t want history to repeat itself at the Rec as they mark the 100th anniversary of their rivalry.
Prediction: Irish by 5-10
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Bath Vs Leicester Tigers

Bath and Leicester first met exactly 100 years ago at Welford Road, the Tigers running out 19-5 victors on that occasion, however the tide was turned the last time the two sides met back in April.For Bath claimed a 27-26 win on the penultimate weekend of the regular Aviva Premiership season at the Rec – just their second victory over the Tigers in their last eleven encounters in the competition.

Leicester didn’t lose a game thereafter defeating London Irish before a play-off semi-final win over Harlequins and a final victory over Northampton Saints – with Salvi admitting the Bath result acted as motivation.

And, ahead of the Tigers’ return to the Rec, flanker Salvi, who enjoyed one year at Bath, is determined to ensure Leicester, who beat Worcester Warriors 32-15 last weekend, begin the season with back-to-back wins for the first time in five years.
Prediction: Tigers by 12-18

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Saracens v Gloucester Rugby
Gloucester Rugby captain Tom Savage is hoping Sunday’s clash with Saracens has a strong sense of déjà vu about it as the Cherry & Whites bid to kick their Aviva Premiership campaign into life.

Savage and co endured a tough start to this Aviva Premiership as they were on the wrong end of a 22-16 scoreline against Sale Sharks in their opener at Kingsholm.

Gloucester have not begun a league season with two-straight defeats since the 2000/01 campaign but that appears under threat this term as they travel to Allianz Park for the first time in their history to take on Saracens – having not won on Sarries soil since November 2008.
Prediction: Saracens by 7-14

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