Saracens - Seconds out...round 12 previews

Jan 02, 2014

Seconds out...round 12 previews


With 11 rounds of the Aviva Premiership having been played, the arrival of 2014 coincides with the second half of the competition which kicks off this weekend.

On Friday night, Newcastle Falcons host Sale Sharks in round 12 while the live clash on BT Sport sees Harlequins travel to Northampton Saints.

On Saturday, London Irish host Worcester Warriors while Saracens make the trip to face Gloucester.

The action is completed on Sunday with Leicester’s clash against Bath and Exeter’s trip to Wasps.

ROUND 12 FIXTURES

Friday 3rd January

Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks (Kingston Park, 7.45pm)

Northampton Saints v Harlequins (Franklin’s Gardens, 7.45pm)

Saturday 4th January

London Irish v Worcester Warriors (Madejski Stadium, 3pm)

Gloucester Rugby v Saracens (Kingsholm, 3.15pm)

Sunday 5th January

Leicester Tigers v Bath Rugby (Welford Road, 2pm)

London Wasps v Exeter Chiefs (Adams Park, 3pm)

ROUND 12 PREVIEWS

Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks

Referee: Andrew Small (96th Premiership game).

Assistant Referees: Kevin Stewart & Robin Goodliffe. TMO: Trevor Fisher.

Newcastle Falcons have slipped to five straight defeats in Aviva Premiership Rugby, but at least have broken their try drought, scoring two during last Friday’s narrow defeat to London Wasps. The Falcons most recent victory in the tournament was 13-11 at home to London Irish on 27th October. Sale Sharks last four Premiership games have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst the Sharks only away victory in the Premiership since February was 22-16 at Gloucester in round 1. Newcastle have lost just one of their last five encounters with Sale in all tournaments: 19-27 at Edgeley Park in the Premiership on Boxing Day 2011, whilst The Sharks only win in twenty previous visits to Kingston Park in all tournaments was 14-9 in the Premiership on 7th September 2008.

Northampton Saints v Harlequins

Referee: Greg Garner (58th Premiership game).

Assistant Referees: Paul Dix & Paul Burton. TMO: David Grashoff.

Northampton Saints are the best team in Aviva Premiership rugby on current form having dropped just four points from a possible thirty. The Saints single defeat in the tournament this season remains 24-26 at Gloucester in round 3. Northampton have lost just one of their last nine Premiership games at Franklin’s Gardens: 8-36 to Leicester on 30th March. Harlequins only reversal in their last six outings in all competitions was 3-14 at Bath in the Premiership on 21st December – Quins have not lost successive away games in the Premiership since visiting Saracens and Gloucester in March. Northampton won 13-6 when the two sides met in the Premiership in round 2 and are attempting to achieve a league double over the Londoners for the first time since season 2004/05. Harlequins have won on three of their last four visits to Franklin’s Gardens in all tournaments.

London Irish v Worcester Warriors

Referee: Wayne Barnes (130th Premiership game).

Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank & Andrew Pearce. TMO: Sean Davey.

London Irish have won only one of their last ten matches in all tournaments: 24-13 over Stade Français in the European Challenge Cup on 8th December. The Exiles have tallied just four league points from their last six Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, only Worcester have a poorer return. Worcester Warriors have become only the third side in the history of the Premiership to reach the halfway stage without gaining a victory – the others were Bedford in 1999/2000, and Rotherham in 2003/04. The Warriors only Premiership win in their last 22 games was 29-23 at home to Wasps on 1st March. London Irish have won six of their last seven clashes with Worcester in all competitions including a 20-18 victory at Sixways in the Premiership on 14th September.

Gloucester Rugby v Saracens

Referee: Luke Pearce (20th Premiership game).

Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick & Peter Huckle. TMO: Rowan Kitt.

Gloucester Rugby have won their last two games in Aviva Premiership Rugby but have not won three in a row in the tournament since October 2012. Gloucester’s most recent Premiership game at Kingsholm was a 12-6 victory over Worcester, ending a three game losing sequence at the venue in the tournament. Saracens arrive at the halfway stage of the Premiership season having won ten of their eleven games, only the third side to have achieved this since 1999: Bath in 2003/04 and Harlequins in 2011/12. Sarries only loss in their last 12 Premiership regular season encounters was 20-41 at Northampton in round 6. Gloucester’s only victory in their last seven fixtures with Saracens was 28-23 in this equivalent fixture at Kingsholm last season, played on 20th April. Saracens have won only once at Gloucester since 2005:19-17 in the Premiership on 29th October 2011.

Leicester Tigers v Bath Rugby

Referee: JP Doyle (72nd Premiership game).

Assistant Referees: Ashley Rowden & Gareth Copsey. TMO: Geoff Warren.

Leicester Tigers only defeat in their last eight matches in all tournaments came at Saracens in Aviva Premiership Rugby on 21st December. Tigers have lost just one of their last thirteen encounters at Welford Road in all competitions: 16-23 to Harlequins on 2nd November. Bath Rugby’s 25-43 loss at Northampton on Saturday ended an eleven game winning run in all tournaments. Bath have not lost back to back Premiership matches since December 2012. The last five encounters between the two clubs in the Premiership have all been won by the home side on the day, and in four of those the loser gained a bonus point. Bath have visited Welford Road on 17 previous occasions in the Premiership and won just once: 13-12 on 29th November 2003.

London Wasps v Exeter Chiefs

Referee: Andrew Small (97th Premiership game).

Assistant Referees: Andy Watson & Stuart Terheege. TMO: Graham Hughes.

London Wasps have lost just one of their last five fixtures in all tournaments: 15-17 at home to Northampton in Aviva Premiership Rugby on 21st December. Wasps last five encounters in the Premiership have all in fact been won by the away side on the day – their most recent victory at Adams Park in the tournament being 22-12 over Leicester in round 6. Exeter Chiefs only victory in their last seven contests in all tournaments was 16-3 at home to Newcastle in the Premiership in round 10. The Chiefs have not been victorious on the road since an 18-16 win at Sale on 1st November. Exeter Chiefs have won their last seven matches against London Wasps in all tournaments, with the Londoners only Premiership success over the Devonians being 24-12 at Adams Park in December 2010.

 

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