Connect with us

Representative Rugby

Rhiannon’s Aviva Premiership Round Up

Wow, what a difference a week makes! It was an interesting way to round off the Aviva Premiership Round 8 weekend. Any surprises? A couple.

Who knew London Welsh would step up their game so intently against Leicester Tigers; rectifying last week’s issues against Wasps. A strong performance from the side lying bottom of the table. The exact reverse I would say about Wasps … who found themselves on the receiving end of an embarrassing custard pie to the face, being trampled all over at Sandy Park by Exeter Chiefs!

On that note, when will the attention turn to Exeter Chiefs and their form? This Devonshire side are consistently strong and real contenders for a top spot this season but there seems to be a lack of chat about them. Their academy side are sensational; they’re versatile, their set piece is strong and they continue to develop the cream of the crop, so why are they rarely discussed? Then what about the fantastic Falcons? Reborn, revitalised and renewed.

So onto this weekend’s games … Sale stormed to a huge yet surprising 12-16 win away at Twickenham Stoop on Friday night against the Harlequins. What will this mean for the Sharks?

Well, it’s the first time Sale have beaten the Harlequins since 2010 and they’ll be sure to carry that momentum over to next week’s game away against Newcastle Falcons. That said, Newcastle Falcons also round off the weekend on a high, having welcomed Gloucester to Kingston Park and displaying their ability to rumble and return to winning ways – to Dean Richards and the fans delight – with a 20-10 victory.

A tough time may I add for the Cherry and Whites at the moment with nine players off on England duty but the Falcons have now won 3 out of their last 4 games. It’ll be a huge northern head-to-head next Sunday as they take on the Sale Sharks. Emotions will be running high!

Exeter Chiefs at home is one of the toughest fixtures for any team and I’m in no doubt a couple of Wasps players gulped at this fixture. No one should ever think Chiefs at Sandy Park is easy and it certainly wasn’t for the Wasps, as they lost on the road, a defining, 31-15.  A tough reality pill to swallow for Dai Young who said after last week’s match against London Welsh, “We showed we have great quality in our squad and if we play like that we can trouble anyone.” 

They’ll have to work very hard this coming week as they’re on the road yet again; this time to the equally ‘not so welcoming’, Welford Road. Gird your loins and prepare yourselves for the Tigers lads! As for the Exeter Chiefs, they’re now second in the Premiership table.

Bath faced a tenacious London Irish pack on Saturday and granted, ‘a win’s a win’ but as this West-Country pack headed home, I’m sure questions will be asked of the 23-33 score. This was a tough game. Why did Bath falter in the second half? Credit where it’s due and London Irish were definitely on the bounce. It’s been heartbreak for the Exiles these last two weeks with defeats to Sale and Bath but as Brian Smith quite rightly says, ‘We’re only a third of the way through the season and there’s still a lot of rugby left to be played.’

Premiership Champions, Northampton Saints travelled to Allianz Park to win and they did just that, 24-31 against perennial rivals Saracens. They found themselves taking a very comfortable 8-25 lead going into half time but their momentum came to a grinding halt in the second and they didn’t make life easy for themselves, conceding 16 points alone in the second half. Had they kept that momentum, it could’ve been a hammering and a completely different story.

Sarries really stepped it up second half, dishing up the exciting rugby we want. It’s evident in games between these top teams, the real crux is in the last quarter and if Northampton fail to keep form in the last twenty, it could slowly churn them up. That said, Northampton go back to top of the Premiership table.

Last but by no means least; it was a tough day in the office for Leicester Tigers at the Kassam Stadium. A ‘greasy’ game as Richard Cockerill described it, as London Welsh did well to defend and score in the first half with only seven points separating these two sides. But the Tigers managed to secure the bonus point win in the last forty beating London Welsh, 5-26.

A marked improvement in London Welsh’s play but where cohesion of players in defence and handling errors still prevent progression and the perfect confidence boost needed for Tigers before they take on the Wasps next weekend. 

Round 8 Results:

Harlequins 12-16 Sale Sharks

Newcastle Falcons 20-10 Gloucester

Exeter Chiefs 31-15 Wasps

London Irish 23-33 Bath

Saracens 24-31 Northampton Saints

London Welsh 5-26 Leicester Tigers

Aviva Premiership Table

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

BP

Points

1

Northampton Saints

8

6

0

2

6

30

2

Exeter Chiefs

8

6

0

2

4

28

3

Bath

8

6

0

2

4

28

4

Saracens

8

5

1

2

3

25

5

Leicester Tigers

8

4

1

3

3

21

6

Wasps

8

4

0

4

4

20

7

Sale Sharks

8

4

0

4

4

20

8

Harlequins

8

4

0

4

3

19

9

Gloucester

8

3

0

5

4

16

10

Newcastle Falcons

8

3

0

5

1

13

11

London Irish

8

2

0

6

4

12

12

London Welsh

8

0

0

8

1

1

By Rhiannon Chandler-Day

@RhiannonCDay

You can see more from Rhiannon at: http://rhiannonsrugbyunionblog.blogspot.co.uk

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Representative Rugby

Skip to toolbar