Just five more rounds are left in the Premiership, with round 18 sure to be a real treat. Beginning Friday, Sale Sharks face the Harlequins in Salford’s AJ Bell Stadium. Here, Harlequins will hope to retain a position in the top-four after a series of significant League losses. Sharks will be wanting to claim a win if they’ve any chance of making it to the semi-finals. By Saturday, Twickenham Stadium welcomes Bath Rugby and the Bristol Bears in their long-running rivalry. The next game on Saturday will be a real cracker, with Leicester Tigers taking on Exeter Chiefs on home turf. This is followed by Newcastle Falcons vs Saracens on Saturday, with games concluding on Sunday with Northampton Saints against Gloucester Rugby.
Bath Rugby v Bristol Bears, Saturday 6th April, Kick-off @ 2 pm
This one will be a cracker, with the two teams aching for a win at Twickenham Stadium. Bristol Bears have a historical advantage here, having beaten Bath in their last two matches. However, the Bears haven’t won three in a row since 2005. Bath have a struggle ahead, having only secured one victory over Saracens in the last four rounds of the Premiership and sitting at six points. Bath’s previous three visits to Twickenham have also offered only one win; their 27-21 victory against Leicester in 2017. Meanwhile, Bristol have won two games in the last six rounds of the Premiership, both in succession. However, luck in Twickenham has not always been on their side, having won just once in their six previous visits since 1983 – in a match against Waterloo (2004). Their only Premiership visit to Twickenham ended in defeat to London Double Header (2016).
Set to be a spectacular clash of rivals, both teams are hoping for a top-six finish. Pat Lam’s Bristol side have some injuries to contend with following successive losses, but they’re positive going into their clash with Bath. If Bristol’s young team beats their Bath rivals, they’ll have beaten them three times in a row, increasing their chances of Europe qualification.
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Sale Sharks v Harlequins, Friday 5th April, Kick-off @ 7.45 pm
Sale Sharks have won three of their previous six rounds, and they have won both of their last matches played at Salford’s AJ Bell Stadium. By comparison, Harlequins have ceded two defeats in a row during the Premiership, both at home and away. The Sharks are certainly favoured in this game on home turf.
Northampton Saints v Gloucester Rugby, Sunday 7th April, Kick-off @ 3 pm
Northampton Saints have only won one match in the last three rounds. Nevertheless, their history at Franklin’s Gardens is in their favour, having been defeated just once on home turf since December. Gloucester Rugby have only lost once in the last five rounds, putting them in a favourable spot. Their history with Northampton is scattered, with two victories since 2013.
Remaining fixtures from round 18 of the Gallagher Premiership 2018/2019
Saturday 6th April, Kick-off @ 3 pm (Unless Stated)
- Saracens v Newcastle Falcons
- Wasps v Worcester Warriors
- Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs – Kick-off @ 4.30 pm