1. George Ford made the right move
There was a lot of speculation this summer as to how 20-year old Ford will do in Bath colours after moving to The Rec, having spent five years at Leicester Tigers, but Friday night might have silenced some doubters. The young fly-half was the star of the show as his new club travelled to Newcastle in torrid conditions. He kicked 11 points and played the elements superbly, constantly putting the Falcons on the back foot and making them play out of their own half. If he keeps this up, Ford will be in prime position to join England’s EPS squad in the near future.
2. New scrum laws will come good eventually
It’s safe to say that there has been a lot of controversy over the new scrum laws and whether they will make the game better or worse, but over the weekend there were promising signs that the laws will have a positive outcome. There were plenty of teething problems as scrums needed to be reset, but as players adapt to the new rules hopefully we will see an improvement. Saracens were one team that took full advantage of the quick ball to send Billy Vunipola and co. crashing over the gainline.
3. Dylan Hartley is atoning for his recent mistakes
To say Dylan Hartley has a chequered past when it comes to discipline is a bit of an understatement, especially after his sending off in last season’s Premiership final, but there is no doubting that he is a talented captain and player. He led from the front on Saturday’s dismissal of Exeter, scoring his team’s first try and covering the whole pitch to make an inspirational nuisance of himself.
4. BT Sport have started well
BT Sport made an impressive debut during the opening round of the Premiership. They have a whole host of talent to fall back on and offer insightful views, including Martin Bayfield, Matt Dawson, Lawrence Dallaglio, Austin Healey and Ben Kay, and whether you love them or hate them, there is no doubting the fact that the new pitchside interviews and camera angles offer the rugby fan something they’ve never been able to get before.
5. It’s going to be a mixed season for the northern teams
Dean Richards and Newcastle received a harsh reminder of what life is like in the Premiership as they conceded 21 unanswered points at home to Bath. They were dominated up front and they are going to have to improve before Friday, when they head 150 miles down the M1 to face a Sale team who caused the upset of the round after defeating Gloucester 22-16 at Kingsholm. Sale looked solid enough in the pack and had enough about themselves in the backs to cross the line twice and concede only once.
What else was noteworthy from the opening round of the Premiership that we missed?
By Calum Gillon (@C_Gillon)
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images