Another action-packed season of Gallagher Premiership rugby has ended and through the highs and the lows. Of course, success is defined quite strongly through the lens of expectations.
Last Word on Rugby reporter Robert Rees grades each team’s season across all senior platforms and compares their performance to start of season predictions.
Only the second* team to complete the ‘Double-Double (Premiership and Champions Cup) twice. A fantastic season for Sarries which saw them dominate in heavy periods despite losing many of their internationals.
Alongside their triumphs in the league against Exeter and versus Leinster in the Champions Cup there was also a final appearance in the Premiership Rugby Cup.
*Leicester are the other.
Predicted 2nd, finished 2nd.
Despite a mediocre effort on the European front it has been a great season for the Chiefs. To top the league by an impressive eight points is some feat.
Coming second in a group which contained the French champions, Munster and Gloucester was nothing to be sniffed at, but they fell when it came to points collected. Chiefs fans will be reasonably happy with the season but will be gutted not to gather any silverware.
Predicted 1st, finished 1st.
A magnificent rise from ninth to fourth in the Premiership has seen the side regain its position of a playoff team for the first time since 2014-15. Add in a strong run in the Challenge Cup where they lost to the eventual winners Clermont in the quarter finals and it’s a good balance of form.
Their strong attacking flair has led them to some silverware this season. The Premiership Rugby Cup was lifted back in March. This season has truly been a success as they regain top flight European rugby whilst maintaining a strong domestic form.
Predicted 7th, finished 4th.
A first playoff appearance for eight years after a rise from eighth to third under Johan Ackermann has seen Gloucester rejuvenated. Despite the poor loss to Saracens in the semi-final it has been a successful league campaign for them.
Elsewhere it hasn’t been a success story though with a group stage exit in the Champions Cup, albeit in a difficult group. Add to this an early drop out from the Premiership Rugby Cup and it slightly takes away from what has been an otherwise marvellous season for the Cherry and Whites.
Predicted 4th, finished 3rd.
The highest points tally by a newly promoted club ever in the history of the Premiership must be seen as a success by the fans. The club can now keep going from strength to strength and build on these foundations.
A quarter final loss to the Challenge Cup runners-up La Rochelle also gave the fans an exciting away trip. Nothing special in the Premiership Rugby Cup but a season to remember for the Bears.
Predicted 9th, finished 9th.
A disappointing end to their Premiership season saw them lose their playoff spot to the Saints after a poor run of form. Despite this hiccup, it does secure Champions Cup rugby for next season, something they didn’t have this year.
A narrow defeat to the eventual winners of the Challenge Cup in the semi-finals was a major focal point of their season despite the disappointing Premiership Rugby Cup.
Predicted 3rd, finished 5th.
Champions Cup rugby will once again be played at The Rec after a top six finish for Todd Blackadder’s men. It was all about the league for the West Country team who failed to make it out of the pool stage in both the Champions and Premiership Rugby Cups.
A strong farewell from Blackadder who’ll leave his side in a good place for next season.
Predicted 6th, finished 6th.
A frustrating season for Steve Diamond’s men who scraped into the Champions Cup via other results. An inconsistent set of results in the league left them battling for an average season but a semi-final in the Challenge Cup helped them boost their fortunes.
A fairly average Premiership Rugby Cup left a lot to be desired for at the AJ Bell who looks a promising outfit ahead of next season.
Predicted 5th, finished 7th.
A group stage exit in the Champions Cup gave them a poor start to the season which never got going. Embroiled in both a top six battle as well as a relegation fight at one point goes to show how much of a rollercoaster season they’ve had.
Bottom of their Prem Rugby Cup pool and an eighth-place finish in the league is a below par season for the Ricoh outfit.
Predicted 8th, finished 8th.
Surviving relegation was probably the biggest relief of Warriors fans this season and pretty much in line to where they thought they’d be. Topping their group in the Prem Rugby Cup and a run to the Challenge Cup quarter finals allowed them something to cheer away from domestic duties.
A good side is lurking at Sixways and can build ahead of next season.
Predicted 11th, finished 10th.
The worst season in the history of a proud club. Never before had they finished in the bottom half of the Premiership table, but somehow found themselves scrapping for survival.
A dismal Premiership Rugby Cup and Champions Cup to match, the Tigers really were relieved more than anything else.
Predicted 10th, finished 11th.
Relegated, albeit with a reasonably high points tally has to be a failure for the Falcons. Causing disruption and a rebuild project at Kingston Park it wasn’t what the Tyneside faithful wanted.
Not even a table-topping Premiership Rugby Cup result, and some big wins away to Toulon in the Champions Cup could raise their seasonal cheer.
Predicted 12th, finished 12th.
See all of the Last Word on Rugby predictions with six rounds to go here.
Also, see the seven teams who had representatives in our team of the season.
“Main photo credit”