2019-04-22 by Liam Del Carme
Rugby 5 Pool 1 (mark Race 1 to play)
M1 Stormers v Bulls: Stormers again underlined the inconsistency besetting SA teams in their defeat to the Brumbies at Newlands. In the Bulls they have opponents who ran amok against them last time out. The Bulls come off a bye and should win at Newlands.
M2 Griquas v Valke: In the absence of recent form, pedigree and home-ground advantage strongly suggest Griquas will win at a canter. Griquas to win by at least 20 points.
M3 Free State XV v Sharks XV: This would ordinarily be a closely contested match, but the Cheetahs’ resources are spread thin. Only if they load their team with regular Pro 14 campaigners, do they stand a chance of winning this clash.
M4 Griffons v Leopards: With no recent combat for either side predicting a winner is a stab in the dark. The Griffons, however, in recent seasons have proved a handful at home and should prevail again but not by much. Griffons to win by inside 10 points.
M5 Jaguares v Brumbies: The Brumbies’ chests are bulging after winning at Newlands. But they do have a mountain to climb to get themselves refreshed for this clash which will require three flights to Buenos Aires. The Jaguares have been wildly inconsistent, but their forwards should pummel the Brumbies and they should win by at least eight points.
Suggested R40 permutation for Saturday’s Rugby 5 Pool 1 (closes 15:05): M1 = 1, 4; M2 = 2; M3 = 1, 4; M4 = 1, 2; M5 = 2.
Rugby 5 Pool 2 (mark Race 6 to play)
M1 Leicester Tigers v Bristol : The Tigers earned a precious away win over struggling Newcastle Falcons in their last clash, but that win served only to paper over the cracks. It was only their second win in their last 10 matches. The Bears’ form hasn’t been that great either. Four wins from their last 10 matches tells a tale of a team well short of making an impact in the Premiership. The Bears boast a win over a weakened Saracens in their last match and start slight favourites.
M2 Wasps v Saracens: After losing four straight matches Wasps have won their last two including an away win over Exeter Chiefs. They beat Worcester Warriors a week earlier but are in for an uphill battle against Saracens. The visitors have looked vulnerable at times this season and this will be tight, but Saracens start favourites.
M3 Ulster v Leinster: Leinster overcame an impressive Toulouse side in the semi-finals of the Champions Cup last Sunday, but that morale-boosting win will have taken a bit out of them. Moreover, Ulster are on the up and ran Leinster close away from home the last time they met. They have a proper chance this time.
M4 Munster v Connacht: Munster is in a battle for top spot in conference A in the Pro 14 with Glasgow Warriors. They have loads of incentive to down their countrymen and are likely to do so by 10 points or more.
M5 Jaguares v Brumbies: See preview Pool 1.
Suggested R40 permutation for Saturday’s Rugby 5 Pool 2 (closes 16:00): M1 = 1, 4; M2 = 1, 4; M3 = 1, 4; M4 = 2; M5 = 2.
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