Wasps vs Northampton Saints - Guinness Premiership 2009

Wasps face Saints today. Following results elsewhere in the Premiership this weekend, we've slipped down the table a little, a win today is crucial (I asked announcer Pete a week ago when we ever have a game which isn't crucial?)

  Team P W D L F A BP PTS
1 Gloucester 15 10 0 5 324 274 6 46
2 Sale 14 10 0 4 270 201 5 45
3 London Irish 15 8 1 6 350 233 9 43
4 Bath 13 8 2 3 326 264 6 42
5 Harlequins 14 8 1 5 311 257 5 39
6 Leicester 14 8 1 5 322 269 5 39
7 Saracens 14 6 0 8 304 256 8 32
8 Northampton 14 6 1 7 259 296 1 27
9 Newcastle 14 5 1 8 216 298 3 25
10 Wasps 12 5 0 7 236 271 4 24
11 Worcester 13 3 2 8 210 305 2 18
12 Bristol 14 1 1 12 162 366 3 9

A win today would see us leapfrog Northampton to get into 8th position. Given that Wasps have a game in hand, 7th is a possibility. From there, it's a bit of a climb for the sixth spot (and assured Heineken Cup qualification) - we'd need to find 7 points more than Leicester or Quins in the remaining games. Still, one thing at a time - Northampton must lose, and ideally they must do so conceding a bonus point.

Following last week's game against Leicester, which was frankly spectacular. Wasps have made two changes, Rob Webber will start in place of Joe Ward (who is on the bench), and Eoin Reddan takes Joe Simpson's spot.

Backs Forwards Reserves
15. Mark Van Gisbergen 14. Chris Bishay 13. Dominic Waldouck 12. Josh Lewsey 11. Tom Voyce 10. Danny Cipriani 9. Mark Robinson 1. Tim Payne 2. Rob Webber 3. Pat Barnard 4. Simon Shaw 5. George Skivington 6. Dan Leo 7. Serge Betsen (C) 8 John Hart 16. Joe Ward 17. Tom French 18. Richard Birkett 19. Hugo Ellis 20. Eoin Reddan 21. Dave Walder 22. Rob Hoadley

Last week, I had concerns about Cipriani, whilst realising that he would not be back on form without game-time. I was really pleased that, after a dodgy start, he seemed to find that form on the pitch. I'm glad that we have Dave Walder in the wings, though.

The Northampton team looks like this:

Backs Forwards Reserves
15 Ben Foden 14 Paul Diggin 13 Jon Clarke 12 James Downey 11 Bruce Reihana (capt) 10 Stephen Myler 9 Lee Dickson, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha 2 Dylan Hartley 3 Euan Murray 4 Courtney Lawes 5 Juandre Kruger 6 Neil Best 7 Scott Gray 8 Roger Wilson 16 Brett Sharman 17 Barry Stewart 18 Tom Smith 19 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe 20 Mark Easter 21 Barry Everitt 22 Chris Mayor

Right now, I have everything crossed.

Kick-off is 3pm, highlights on ITV4 at 6:30pm.

In an aside, I note that I'm currently Number 2 in the Drunken Wasp prediction league of 32 participants. Only 6 points separate the first and seventh places, so that could all change.

Here's the top four positions as of right now:

Pos User Name P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Yorkie 21 0 14 7 539 280 259 118
2 Murk 21 0 17 4 534 295 239 117
3 Borders no.2 21 0 14 7 521 297 224 116
4 WaspsFee 21 0 14 7 520 273 247 115