Aviva Premiership: Pre-season predictions revisited

In the name of accountability, we can now look back on our pre-season predictions for how the Aviva Premiership table would finish.

Exeter ChiefsExeter Chiefs exceeded expectations

As you can see from the table below, we were fairly wide of the mark…!

1.Bath RugbyLeicester Tigers↑ 2
3.Leicester TigersGloucester Rugby↑ 3
4.Northampton SaintsNorthampton Saints
5.London WaspsBath Rugby↓ 4
6.Gloucester RugbyLondon Irish↑ 2
8.London IrishExeter Chiefs↑ 4
9.Newcastle FalconsLondon Wasps↓ 4
10.Leeds CarnegieSale Sharks↑ 1
11.Sale SharksNewcastle Falcons↓ 2
12.Exeter ChiefsLeeds 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?

7 thoughts on “Aviva Premiership: Pre-season predictions revisited

  1. Absolutely…what a great story. I suspect they’ll be picking up a few well-deserved awards tonight, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they get on early next season when other clubs are shorn of their internationals.

    I’m impressed with Gloucester as well with their crop of young talent that bodes well for the next few years.

  2. Exeter are the obvious success story – what a season. I hope Baxter gets the coach of the season award this year. Wasps have to be the disappointment of the season, as shown by the table.

    Gloucester have in my opinion been the most consistently exciting team to watch through the latter half of the season. Sharples has been excellent, Robinson has got the back line firing, and JSD has been electric. Good to see him back after his recent injury and scoring another cracking try – please please please give him a chance in New Zealand!

  3. I agree that Wasps have been very disappointing this season but I don’t think our expectations were particularly high in the first place, were they? I actually think Bath have been the biggest disappointment. They had a fantastic finish to the season last year and they have since acquired some amazing personnel at the top end (not to mention a multi-millionaire owner). Everybody had them pipped to be contending at the top. Look at RB’s prediction for a start! Losing Barkley to injury couldn’t have helped to fair, but they weren’t playing well in the first half of the season when he was playing.

    I’m going to be bias here, but I think Quins have been the unluckiest and most under-rated team in the Premiership. Their points difference is 4th in the league and their bonus points are equal top with Leicester (yes, I know, albeit ‘losing’ bonus points). At the end of the day they haven’t converted games that they should have won. But it will be a travesty if they lose the Amlin Final and not make the Heineken Cup next year.

    Oh the frustration of being a Quins fan!!

  4. Hats-off to Exeter! They’ve done an incredible job in not just staying up but posting some very credible results!

    Saints did very well to stop that losing streak and Gloucester have played some great rugby. I’m surprised that they haven’t renewed Nicky Robinson’s contract, as he seemed to be at the heart of everything they did in attack, or that Wales continue to ignore him!

    Saracens are worthy finalists – they seem to have a good mix of new lads and old hands and a great club culture – and my tip to win.

  5. What’s the big deal with Exeter? They didn’t win anything and haven’t done a great deal better than Worcester did in their first Premiership season.

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