Don’t laugh – but I had a pretty good week with my Premiership predictions (why else would I be writing this first thing on Monday?).
In the end I managed 5 ½ out of 6 right. I gave myself the ½ for predicting that Saints would triumph at the Rec. I claim a moral victory for this as Bath were the home team!
There will be a lot of good match reviews for last weekend (this isn’t one of them, obviously)
The key aspects of the weekend was that first off – I’m guessing that there were more tries this weekend than we’ve ever had in the Premiership before – certainly more than I can remember and they included three hat-tricks.
This provided great entertainment for supporters – in the stands and, thanks to BT Sport all those on the sofa surrounded by pasties and Heineken. I’d hold my hand up if it didn’t have a Ginsters in it – no chance of any sponsorship I suppose chaps?
However, the guys behind the laptops whispering into hidden mikes would have been tearing their hair out and wondering why the defensive patterns they’d been working on all season were suddenly falling apart. It was sometimes like watching a Baa Baas game.
Late on Sunday several things had been decided – we know three of the play-off teams – Saracens, Saints and Tigers; Wasps will play off against Stade Francais for the last place in the new Champions Cup (or whatever the Heineken is now called) and the Warriors have been relegated.
But there are still two matters yet to be decided. Bath drew with Saints at the Rec and Harlequins just managed to edge out the Chiefs in the last few minutes of their game at Sandy Park. This means that when Harlequins face Bath on Saturday at the Stoop it really will be winner takes all – that is unless they draw – in which case Bath will be the happy side and enter the play-offs.
But that’s not all – Tigers could yet pip Saints for a home semi-final. This would need Saints to lose without a bonus (at home to Wasps) and Tigers to beat Saracens at Welford Road and get a try bonus point. This is extremely unlikely on both counts. If the Tigers win and match the Saints points and thus end up with the same number of season wins they still won’t move ahead as their points difference is worse.
I hope that makes sense – it doesn’t matter as I am certain that Saints will definitely be at home in the play-offs!
There could potentially be one further twist however (I knew you’d be pleased!) – if Tigers lose to Saracens without a bonus and Bath beat Quins then Bath would leapfrog Tigers and face Saints in the play-offs. There are even more combinations depending on bonus points but I’m not going to bore you to death with them.
For the record the results were –
Bath 19 – 19 Saints
Gloucester 38 – 30 Irish
Wasps 44 – Falcons 38
Saracens 44 – 20 Warriors
Sharks 22 – 42 Tigers
Chiefs 29 – 30 Harlequins
So at least three games will have a potential effect on the play-off places next weekend – keeps it exciting doesn’t it?
The table looks like this – with only the top 4 likely to change –
I’ll be posting this week’s postulations for the final round of the Premiership in a couple of days’ time. Thanks for reading.