Connect with us

Representative Rugby

Rhiannon’s Premiership Round Up – It’s tight at the top

It was a fascinating weekend of rugby with clubs fighting tooth and nail to secure those crucial points and now that only four points separate second and seventh place in the table – ‘It really is all to play for’ – may be the most over-used phrase in Aviva Premiership rhetoric but it truly is tighter than James Haskell’s training top!

So I’ve decided to start by mentioning Exeter Chiefs, who currently lie in fourth place and in my opinion, will continue to climb the table in their current form. My key player of the weekend has to be the compelling and composed Henry Slade, who conjured up 27 points alone out of Exeter’s 32, as they trounced the Harlequins on Saturday at the Stoop to secure a solid 21-32 victory.

The Quins seemed to play more as individuals rather than a team. But Exeter were in good shape and with a home game next weekend against Bath, what a West Country derby it will be! I cannot wait.

My team of the weekend however, has to be the superb Sale Sharks, storming to a crucial 14-10 win at the AJ Bell stadium over third placed Saracens; and they hadn’t beaten them since 2011! It was an exceptional performance from the word go for the Sharks and with the news of Danny Cipriani showing his loyalties and signing a two-year deal with his club; what a perfect party piece to celebrate. Sharks – you’re sharp.

But undoubtedly the game of the weekend for some was first versus second, as Bath looked to beat the Saints at the Rec, for the first time in four years – but they struggled. And what a dent to Bath it was as Northampton stole the show with tries from James Wilson and Mikie Haywood to clinch it, 13-21. A sorry succumbing for Bath, the first time they have lost at home this season; but they remain in second place – and all eyes will be on Sandy Park on Saturday!

And what another tight game it was at Kingston Park between Newcastle Falcons and Wasps. It was level pegging from the off, with oodles of flair from both Sinoti Sinoti and Elliot Daly but even with a fantastic interception and a crossing of the white wash from Juan Socino for the Sharks, it wasn’t enough for the win and a frustrating 23-23 draw had to do. Who would have thought it at the beginning of the season? The Falcons must be delighted but I can’t imagine that Wasps will be happy with this, so we will certainly look for them to turn this around next weekend.

Another team who also need to turn it around in terms of tries scored, are Leicester Tigers. Who… haven’t scored a try since 4th January. They managed to scrape the 6-12 win at the Madjeski Stadium based on a drop goal and penalties from the boot of Freddie Burns and David Mele; but the conditions were poor; as was the scrummaging, which prevented it being a satisfying or interesting game for the most part. But a win’s a win – as Richard Cockerill constantly says – and I think Tigers may be able to continue to creep up the table on this form. For now however, they are in sixth place.

Back in the West Country and eighth placed Gloucester battled the hail and demolished the long suffering London Welsh 48-10, to fix the bonus point win at Kingsholm. Two tries came from Henry Purdy and others from Ross Moriarty, Matt Kvesic, Charlie Sharples and Sila Puafisi, not to mention the boot of James Hook adding 18 points to the tally. A great confidence boost for the Cherry and Whites as they travel to the Ricoh Arena on Sunday to meet the hungry Wasps, who will be ready and relishing the chance to redeem themselves after their performance this weekend.

Who will make it into the play-offs? Well we all know, you just can’t call it at the moment.

But what this situation does do, is create an incredibly exciting 2014/15 season as teams pull out all the stops, explore creative moves, experiment with new game plans and scramble for points. The survival of the fittest or the domain of the cleverest? It’s possibly the closest I’ve ever seen it – I can’t wait to see what’s in store…

Round 15 Results:

Bath 13-21 Northampton Saints

Gloucester 48-10 London Welsh

Harlequins 21-32 Exeter Chiefs

London Irish 6-12 Leicester Tigers

Newcastle Falcons 23-23 Wasps

Sale Sharks 14-10 Saracens

Aviva Premiership Table

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

BP

Points

1

Northampton Saints

15

12

0

3

8

56

2

Bath

15

10

0

5

7

47

3

Saracens

15

9

1

5

6

44

4

Exeter Chiefs

15

9

0

6

8

44

5

Sale Sharks

15

9

0

6

7

43

6

Leicester Tigers

15

9

1

5

5

43

7

Wasps

15

8

1

6

9

43

8

Gloucester

15

7

0

8

7

35

9

Harlequins

15

7

0

8

6

34

10

Newcastle Falcons

15

4

1

10

5

23

11

London Irish

15

4

0

11

7

23

12

London Welsh

15

0

0

15

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