In the name of accountability, we can now look back on our pre-season predictions for how the Aviva Premiership table would finish.
Exeter Chiefs exceeded expectations
As you can see from the table below, we were fairly wide of the mark…!
|1.||Bath Rugby||Leicester Tigers||↑ 2|
|3.||Leicester Tigers||Gloucester Rugby||↑ 3|
|4.||Northampton Saints||Northampton Saints||→|
|5.||London Wasps||Bath Rugby||↓ 4|
|6.||Gloucester Rugby||London Irish||↑ 2|
|8.||London Irish||Exeter Chiefs||↑ 4|
|9.||Newcastle Falcons||London Wasps||↓ 4|
|10.||Leeds Carnegie||Sale Sharks||↑ 1|
|11.||Sale Sharks||Newcastle Falcons||↓ 2|
|12.||Exeter Chiefs||Leeds Carnegie||↓ 2|
The arrows in the last column shows the difference between the actual finishing position and our prediction to illustrate which sides performed better than we expected, and which played worse.
It’s no surprise to see that Exeter Chiefs have the biggest number next to their green arrow as they surpassed nearly everyone’s expectations this year. I didn’t see a single pre-season prediction that they would survive, and they’ve done that emphatically.
Gloucester also performed better than we thought they might, and have made the playoffs despite a pretty dreadful start to the season. After losing to Exeter and London Irish and beating Leeds by just a point in the first three weeks, they moved quietly up the table and fully deserve their spot in the Top 4.
Bath and Wasps were the biggest disappointments, each finishing four places below our prediction, and based on the fact that both have parted company with their coach this season, we weren’t the only ones that had higher hopes.
Which teams and players have done better or worse than you expected this season?