RUGBY betting analyst Christian Murray (@wncomwncobutt) shares his thoughts on Saturday's Premiership rugby action.
Northampton Saints v Bristol Bears | Saturday 9th March 2019, 14:45
I’m quietly confident of a try-fest at Franklin Gardens on Saturday when Bristol Bears visit the home of Northampton Saints.
Bristol are looking for back-to-back wins for the first time this season after Pat Lam’s men produced a pulsating victory over local rivals Gloucester last Friday in a cracking West Country derby. Meanwhile, Northampton are looking to bounce back from a chastening loss to Premiership powerhouse Saracens and keep their outside chances of a play-off place alive.
I’m not confident in picking a match winner; Saints having won the last seven meetings between the two, and boast an impressive recent home record, whilst the renewed confidence of last week’s triumph will do Bristol well. I do believe however, that we have all the ingredients for a fast, exciting and open game, that will deliver a few tries.
Both teams like to play an expansive style of rugby, always looking to create and attack space. Recent results show that neither team are scared to chance their arm. They pick great lines, run hard, love an offload and look to recycle quick multi-phase ball to create overlaps and mis-matches out wide.
Add to that a propensity to defensive lapses and weak scramble defence, the only reason not to expect tries would have been the weather. I’ve checked, and although a bit breezy, they are expecting it to be a sunny afternoon. Good omens then, especially a bit of breeze, as that will ensure the tidy track at Franklin Gardens that will be conducive to attacking, open play.
I would also like to take you back to round five of the Premiership and the reverse fixture between the two teams on the 29th September at Ashton Gate. Eleven tries were scored and a combined total score of over 80 points was racked up.
Add to that, Northampton probably needing a bonus point win to keep play-off hopes alive and Bristol playing for the first time without the shackles of relegation constricting their play, and I’d be happy to take Over 4.5 Tries here at
Northampton Saints v Bristol Bears – Over 4.5 Tries (4/5 SkyBet)