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Harlequins win heaps Premiership playoff pressure back on Bath

| 19.04.2014

The battle to reach the Premiership playoffs looks set to go down to the final gameweek of the regular season following Harlequins’ dramatic 24-20 win over Leicester Tigers, with fourth-placed Bath now just a point ahead of Conor O’Shea’s side.

Bath can reassert their dominance over Quins with a 1/20 win over rock-bottom Worcester at The Recreation Ground, with Mike Ford’s men 10/11 to overcome an 18-point handicap against the Warriors.

However, such a result would not be enough to guarantee the Somerset outfit a berth at the top table with two fixtures to go, as second-placed Northampton are due up next at home and their final match of the league campaign pits them against O’Shea’s side at the Twickenham Stoop.

Harlequins will be warm favourites to win their penultimate match at Exeter, as the Chiefs are currently 18 points behind the Londoners, who have won five of their last six in all competitions.

The egg-shaped ball is clearly still in Bath’s court, as they are expected to see off Worcester with ease and will host a Saints team that’s currently on a three Premiership-game losing streak, but Northampton are neither nailed-on for the top four nor out of the race for top spot just yet and will be tough to beat.

George North and co are given the same 18-point handicap to overcome at 10/11 against London Irish, who are next up at Franklin’s Gardens.

Leicester’s loss against Quins means the Tigers – who were hoping to extend a seven league-match winning sequence – are far from assured of a spot in the end-of-season spectacle, with O’Shea’s men now just six points behind Richard Cockerill’s, who still must face sixth-placed Sale and leaders Saracens.

Newcastle away is up next for Sarries, who are a meaty 1/4 to make it 18 Premiership wins out of 20 for the season in the north east.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune