A spectator shouts during the first half of an Aviva Premiership rugby match between the Saracens and the London Irish at Red Bull Arena, Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Harrison, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
- Exeter Chiefs are 11.5-point home favorites over London Irish in their Rugby Premiership match slated for Tuesday, May 18th
- Exeter have won three straight matches
- London Irish have lost three straight matches
The Exeter Chiefs have proven to be a fairly productive away outfit in recent Rugby Premiership matches, but London Irish get to throw a new wrinkle at the defending champions as they clash on Tuesday – supporters.
This week will mark the first time all season that spectators are permitted at Rugby Premiership matches. Approximately 4,000 are expected to attend Tuesday’s Exeter-London Irish contest at Brentford Community Stadium.
Oddsmakers are establishing the Chiefs, 4-2 in their past six away matches, as healthy 11.5-point favorites to overcome the crowd and add to their win total.
Exeter Chiefs vs London Irish Rugby Premiership Odds
|Player||Moneyline||Spread||Total at DraftKings|
|Exeter Chiefs||-500||-11.5 (-122)||OFF|
|London Irish||+330||+11.5 (-109)||OFF|
Odds as of May 16th.
Kickoff for Tuesday’s match is 2:45pm ET.
Will New Home Help London Irish?
London Irish relocated to the new Brentford Community Stadium for this season as tenants of Brentford FC. When it comes to facing Exeter, a new home might be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Irish.
At their previous ground of Madejski Stadium in Reading, London Irish had dropped three matches in a row to Exeter. They given up 45 points in each of the past two defeats.
Through the three-match win streak, the Chiefs own an average winning margin of 21.3 points per game. The last London Irish home victory over Exeter was a 28-26 decision fashioned during the 2014-15 season.
The Chiefs are 7-2 straight up through the past nine meetings with London Irish. This is including a 26-3 home verdict earlier this season at Exeter’s Sandy Park.
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A Lions’ Share
Exeter have played for the past five Rugby Premiership titles, winning twice. That sustained excellence was recognized when four members of the side were selected by manager Warren Gatland to play for the British Lions during this summer’s tour of South Africa.
Gatland chose the forward trio of Jonny Hill, Sam Simmonds and Luke Cowan-Dickie, along with full-back Stuart Hogg in his initial 37-man squad. That gives Exeter the joint second-most players on the tour, tied with Leinster, and one less than Saracens.
Sam Simmonds could break the Premiership’s single-season try-scoring record (17) against London Irish next Tuesday. https://t.co/RAkh8ceWcE pic.twitter.com/wnt3tOLMTC
— Ben Coles (@bencoles_) May 10, 2021
The omission from the squad of two other Exeter players – England centre Henry Slade and Scotland lock Jonny Gray – was a bit surprising.
Simmonds, the reigning European player of the year, is leading all Rugby Premiership scorers with 16 tries, one shy of equaling the single-season record. There was shock earlier this year by the lack of his inclusion in England’s ill-fated Six Nations squad.
Irish Eyes Aren’t Smiling
London Irish are a disappointing 2-7-1 over their past 10 matches. The beginning of this stretch was the 26-3 loss at Exeter on February 13th.
At home, though, it’s been a different story. The exiles are 4-1-1 in the past six matches played at their home ground. There was also good news for London Irish this week with Australian center Curtis Rona agreeing to a long-term contract extension to remain with the club.
5 – Curtis Rona has scored more tries (5) and made more offloads (19) than any other #13 in @premrugby this season, he also has the 2nd best gainline success rate (59%) of any @londonirish player. Central. pic.twitter.com/0coyZWVAuS
— OptaJonny (@OptaJonny) May 14, 2021
Rona scored the first-ever try at Brentwood Community Stadium. He’s produced nine tries in 45 appearances for the club.
London Irish are winless this season against the top three Rugby Premiership sides, with an 0-3-1 slate. They display a point differential of -59 in those four matches.
The closest item to a bright spot was a 34-34 home draw with Bristol Bears.
Pick: Exeter Chiefs -11.5 (-122)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.