Exeter Vs Wasps this Saturday is arguably the standout fixture in this weekend’s Gallagher Premiership. Both teams who finished in the playoff places last season will be looking for a massive victory, as they will consider each other massive rivals in the hunt for the title.
Both clubs began their season with victories in the opening round of fixtures last weekend. The Chief’s had the most impressive performance of the weekend dismissing Leicester Tigers in professional fashion and a score line of 40-6, a damaging defeat for the Tigers that would ultimately cost Head Coach Matt O’Connor his job earlier this week. The Devon men were six points down after twenty-five minutes, but they didn’t concede anymore points for the remainder of the game punishing their opponents in a very clinical manner. Exeter Chiefs director of rugby will be looking for a similar performance this Saturday. Wasps will need to be wary of backrows Matt Kvesic and Sam Simmonds who both played tremendously at the weekend.
“I thought that Matt and Sam Simmonds gave us a target forward with the way they played. Then, you’ve got a big guy like Don Armand backing it all up. Today, it looked a very good combination in that back-row, but the challenge for all of them is whether they can keep it going” Head Coach Baxter’s thoughts on their victory.
Henry Slade is also a massive threat in the backline as he will be looking to have his influence on the game this Saturday. As mentioned Wasps had an opening victory last weekend against Worcester Warriors, but unlike Exeter they didn’t win comfortably as they marginally escaped defeat, winning 21-20. This was helped by a missed drop goal attempt by Worcester Warriors out-half Duncan Weir in the closing stages of the encounter. It wasn’t the ideal start for Dai Young’s men as he branded the performance “nowhere near perfect” but a win is a win especially away from home I suppose. Wasps have been on the boundaries of success in the last few seasons being one of the more consistent clubs, but it could be suggested that they are lurking in the shadows behind both Exeter Chief’s and Saracens in recent seasons. They will be looking for a massive performance at their home Stadium this weekend as it will help them build momentum in this massive season.
Exeter Chief’s look like a well-oiled machine ready to take on any team this season in their challenge for the title, but will this Wasps team be able to improve from their performance last week and beat the 16/17 premiership Champions. It’ll be an intriguing battle between two possible title contenders. Personally, I believe Exeter Chief will have the necessary tools to grind out a big away victory. Let’s all wait and see!
Ricoh Arena, 2 pm, Live on BT Sports
Written by Ciaron Noble – 05/09/18