Exeter Chiefs vs Northampton Saints
The Chiefs are at home for their second match of the season after a heavy defeat to the Tigers in their first. The Saints will be buoyed by the way they brushed aside Gloucester in their first match. Both these teams are missing players who are on mandatory rest period after playing for the British and Irish Lions. The Chiefs forward pack is almost never dominated like the way the Tigers dismantled them. They were made to look very ordinary and I’m sure we are going to see a backlash from them. The Saints looked great in their win with their backline attacks particularly pleasing with fullback George Furbank being the stand out player. He was on fire showing great pace and making line breaks to set up his teammates. The Chiefs defence will need to closely watch him. The home teams Coach Rob Baxter will no doubt have worked this week to rectify the problem areas and I expect to see a different Chiefs team this week.
TIP: The strength of both these teams traditionally lies with their forwards although they both possess dangerous backlines. The Saints in particular looked great in attack with Furbank joined by the likes of Matt Proctor and Rory Hutchinson. All these backline plays are only possible if they are given a platform by the forwards. The Chiefs are at their best when their gain dominance in the forwards especially at scrum time. Flyhalf Joe Simmonds thrives when he gets front foot ball and then he is able to launch his potent backline. The bookies have the Chiefs as favourites and I am also tipping them for the win. . The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.25, Playabets 1.21 and Sunbet 1.22
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Exeter Chiefs vs Northampton Saints
- In the last five matches there have been four Chiefs wins and one for the Saints.
- The last two matches have seen the away team victorious.
- The Chiefs have never lost consecutive home matches to the Saints.
Latest results for both teams
The Chiefs lost 34-19 against the Tigers in the last match while the Saints beat Gloucester 34-20 in their last match.
There is class throughout the Chiefs backline with England internationals Jack Nowell and Henry Slade the stand out names. Nowell will be hoping for an injury free season so that he can stake a claim to get back his place in the national team. The Chiefs are the best at keeping possession and are comfortable going through multiple phases and eventually wearing down their opponents. The Saints must look to disrupt the Chiefs at the breakdown otherwise they will spend the match defending. The Chiefs main attacking weapon is their rolling maul but it was strangely ineffective against the Tigers. They do seem to struggle when their maul doesn’t fire. The Saints will need to nullify the maul and if they do that then they could come away with the win. The Chiefs at home in front of a full house will be too strong for the Saints and I predict a home win by more than 10 points.
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Josh Hodge, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Rus Tuima, 7 Don Armand, 6 Jannes Kirsten, 5 Sean Lonsdale, 4 Will Witty, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Jack Innard, 1 Alec Hepburn
15 George Furbank, 14 Matt Proctor, 13 Fraser Dingwall, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Tom Collins, 10 James Grayson, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Teimana Harrison, 7 Lewis Ludlam (c), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Alex Moon, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Ehren Painter, 2 James Fish, 1 Alex Waller
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Chiefs victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Chiefs handicap victory :
The complete odds on the Chiefs handicap victory:
Worldsportsbetting (-10.5) 1.90
Sunbet (-10.5) 1.92
Playabets (-10.5) 1.87
Predictions and Odds in details
The Chiefs have been in the Premiership final for the past six seasons and are a very proud team and the way they were bossed by the Tigers will have hurt them. They will come out firing and the Saints will do well to survive the early onslaught. It will interesting to note if the Chiefs persist with turning down kickable penalties to back themselves by kicking to the corner. The Saints will want to play a fast open game so that their free running backs can have the space to create tries. The player that I think is a star for the future is Chiefs fullback Josh Hodge. He has great attacking ability and if given space then he could hurt the Saints. The bookies are offering poor returns on the Chiefs outright win therefore I suggest the home team on the handicap. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (-10.5) 1.90, Sunbet (-10.5) 1.92 and Playabets (-10.5) 1.87
Sports crazy fan that follows all major sport but the game with the oval ball is my real passion. Was an age level rugby coach and a huge supporter of the Springboks and diehard Liverpool man. I’m an experienced punter and sports writer whose predictions/tips are sure to stir up the emotions. I love the occasional wager on the underdog.