More and more, efforts of a teams’ season is determined by standings. If not for the final result, knock-out football is often another stage of the season. Reach that position, sides can take a deep breath and re-focus on a semi-final match. At the pinnacle of Premiership Rugby, this weekend ‘it is all up for grabs’
Accomplishing most of the coaching teams objectives, now the four best performing sides have two chances to reach their collective goals. Each have the opportunity now to convert a full season of 22 testing matches, into a Premiership.
At the Pinnacle of Premiership Rugby
Meet the top four sides in Premiership Rugby.
EXETER CHIEFS (1)
Could this be the year of improvement for the Chiefs? Few would argue not. More wins, more exciting football and by the scale of crowds at Sandy Park – more fans.
Aside from the regulation wins all season, an occasional upset has occurred. Think back to Round One, and following losses to the Falcons, Worcester Warriors and Wasps. But it has not seemed to corrupt their self belief.
A run of successive wins rounded off the season firmly, and set the Devon side up for another tilt at the title.
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) May 16, 2018
The side whom have been the barometer for so long, continue to hold that place (with pride). Even while the memories of 2017 are hard to take, the ‘Sarie support base hope that this year they can rid themselves of the devils.
Reaching the pinnacle of Premiership Rugby is one thing. Scoring more tries, conceding less and being fully prepared for the crucial matches. If Mark McCall’s men can turn from being a qualifier to being ready for sudden-death, then they could be a finalist in 2018.
Form is the key. Even as they might have faltered mid-season, then the Saracens are more than able to recover. The Saracens winning culture will be sure to ‘peak at the right time’ of the season.
With acquisitions over the season, they look better in 2018/19 than they possibly do now, but don’t let a Wasps fan know that. Their supporters have been calling it like they see it – winning!
The Coventry side may be well financed yes, but were not entirely fancied at the seasons start. Perhaps winning the Premiership 7s is never the form guide, but they certainly have stayed near to the leaders. Dai Young helped his side compose a six game winning streak that placed them at the pinnacle of Premiership Rugby, and several bonus point wins have given supporters hope that they can go ‘one better’ in 2018.
Attack is not always the issue, but defensively they have leaked too many points. A plug needs to be purchased, if they are to survive sudden-death football.
The surprise package. Maybe not to all, but certainly finishing above Gloucester is an achievement in itself. But the Dean Richards coached squad is certainly not low on confidence.
Not exactly the high scoring team, ala Saracens, the Falcons have been solid, dependable and at times, formidable. Qualities that a champion team hold – but are they Premiership material? Some might wonder if they are a Vauxhall, going up against a Jaguar but, reliability might very well carry them through.
Andy and Paddy give their Premiership Rugby predictions
To gain more insight, listen to the ‘In the Bin’ rugby pod with Andy and Paddy. Covering the full schedule of Aviva Premiership, through the Autumn Internationals and the European Rugby competitions, they provide an in-depth view.
And while Last Word on Rugby can endorse the boys Premiership Rugby play-off judgement, their views are as typical as any. Pundits and commentators alike, we are more like the fans….we just want to see some fantastic football.