Premiership starts with a bang


The Double Header was the focus of the attention on the opening weekend of the season, and what a place it was to focus on!

Reining champions, Harlequins were up first against Wasps in a match that was supposed to be an easy win for the Quins after Wasps poor season last time around.

Wasps though started with a bang, their backline fizzing and forward pack snarling as they raced into a 40-13 lead early in the second half. With Christian Wade, who will be pushing very hard for a spot on the England wing at this rate, and fly half Nicky Robinson starring.

Wasps were utterly dominant and Harlequins discipline was beginning to crack, Director of Rugby Connor O’Shea even admitted he thought the game was up after half time.

Harlequins though are not champions for nothing, and they fought and scrapped their way back into contention, sucking out every last bit of belief and energy that they could. The breaks came, Tom Guest scored from a charge down, and suddenly that elusive and yet all-important commodity, momentum, was with Quins.

Wasps couldn’t hold out and at 39-40 down Nick Evans stepped up with two minutes left to play to win the game for Quins, 42-40.

In the second game Saracens thumped London Irish 40-3, with Chris Ashton going over twice on his debut. For Saracens it was an excellent win and ought to give them confidence as the season goes on.

For London Irish, and new DOR Brian Smith, it is a worrying sign. There is clearly a lot to do to get them back to the level he had them at before he left for the England job.

Elsewhere, Bath went to Sixways, defeating Worcester in another thrilling game that ended 24-23 thanks to eight penalties from the boot of Olly Barkley.

Meanwhile Exeter thumped Sale 43-6; rather ruining Danny Cipriani’s competitive debut, and showing the country once again that Exeter are not to be written off. When will we learn.

Saints travelled to Gloucester and came away from a tough game with a good victory, winning 24-19.

London Welsh had the toughest of assignments on their first day of Premiership Rugby, as Leicester Tigers came to visit. The Tigers were handsome winners, 38-13, but London Welsh showed enough fight and indeed skill to show that they are certainly not going to be the pushovers that some expected this season.

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