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Rhiannon’s Aviva Premiership Round 13 Roundup

Round 13 was full of surprises – another incredible, exciting and passionate weekend of Aviva Premiership action.

Extraordinarily, this unpredictable and windy weekend saw Bath Rugby being the only side – in the top 6 of the Aviva Premiership – win.

And talking of Bath, well Sam Burgess was quite rightly named MOTM, after what looked like a comfortable performance from the Yorkshire man in the centre accompanied by him ‘racking up’ his first Premiership try.

Dave Attwood made his 100th appearance for the club and with Bath and Wasps running in nine tries in total at The Rec on Saturday afternoon, I was out of gas just writing on this awesome game. Wasps did make a comeback very late on but their two tries in two minutes just wasn’t enough as Bath scrubbed up with a 39-26 win and Wasps missed the boat.

It was a different story both at Kingsholm and the Madjeski Stadium, however, with both home sides trailing until the dying moments of their games and in both cases, not missing the boat at all but relishing and rejoicing in narrow but oh so glorious victories! Friday night saw the Saracens taking on the Cherry and Whites in a nail-biting match with James Hook having nerves of steel, kicking the 50m decider in the 82 nd minute to steal a 24-23 victory from the London side. The ball seemed to take an age to reach safety and Kingsholm just erupted. Similarly, on Sunday, London Irish clinched a dramatic 28-26 win over 5 th place Exeter Chiefs with a last-minute kick from Captain Shane Geraghty.

Does anyone have any nails left?

So now let’s move onto the pummeling that both Quins and Sale dished out this weekend. I don’t use this term lightly either. With Sale showing resilience after losing to Wasps last week, it was a testament to their strength and defiance within the team to pull off such a solid 20-7 winning performance against the Premiership Champions, Northampton Saints. Not much room left for errors now Saints!

As for the Harlequins, well this is exactly what the doctor ordered to provide a confidence boost. The Stoop can be rocking at times and I’m in no doubt the atmosphere aided the boys to dig deep, scoring four tries to take a 32-12 victory against the Tigers who pushed Bath to the limit last weekend! This result pushes them up to 7th spot in the league. Coming from behind like last season?

And as for Newcastle Falcons, well are they the most improved side this season? I was never in doubt that they’d demolish the London Welsh pack and they did exactly that. They oozed confidence and assertiveness across the park and put in a mammoth shift on Sunday, racking up six tries and the bonus point 38-7 win against a London Welsh that need to tighten up and polish in all areas to see their first win. Such a shame for the Exiles.

As we break for Europe and prior to the Six Nations, it’s important we look at where clubs are sitting in the Premiership table.

It’ll begin to get a little shaky as squad rotation takes priority in the coming weeks and I think the teams that won’t suffer so greatly are London Irish and Exeter Chiefs who seem to have great fitness and stability in camp.

And who knows, can London Welsh capitalise at this time?

Let’s see how it pans out! But if I was the DoR or Head Coach of the top four sides, I’d be pretty happy with where Northampton, Bath, Saracens and Wasps are sitting right now.

But has anyone got a crystal ball?

Aviva Premiership Results:

Gloucester 24-23 Saracens

Harlequins 32-12 Leicester Tigers

Bath 39-26 Wasps

Sale Sharks 20-7 Northampton Saints

London Irish 28-26 Exeter Chiefs

Newcastle Falcons 38-7 London Welsh

Aviva Premiership Table

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

BP

Points

1

Northampton Saints

13

10

0

3

8

48

2

Bath

13

10

0

3

7

47

3

Saracens

13

8

1

4

5

39

4

Wasps

13

7

0

6

8

36

5

Exeter Chiefs

13

7

0

6

7

35

6

Leicester Tigers

13

7

1

5

5

35

7

Harlequins

13

7

0

6

6

34

8

Sale Sharks

13

7

0

6

6

34

9

Gloucester

13

6

0

7

5

29

10

Newcastle Falcons

13

4

0

9

5

21

11

London Irish

13

4

0

9

5

21

12

London Welsh

13

0

0

13

1

1

By Rhiannon Chandler-Day

@RhiannonCDay

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

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