Aviva Premiership Round 1: 5 things we learned


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

4 thoughts on “Aviva Premiership Round 1: 5 things we learned

  1. On the BT Sport comment could we have a mention to ITV Sports Aviva Premiership Highlights please, the point being can the flaming cameraman stay still whilst Mark Durden-Smith is doing the links between matches? All the panning in and out and swinging around makes you feel seasick, its a sports highlights program not the latest Bond film for pities sake!

  2. re BT sport coverage, it’s nice to see 4 games in a weekend (or 3 as it will go down to), but I am disappointed they never sorted a deal to get a game on free TV. The quality of the coverage, the commentary, the not having Stuart Barnes, it’s really enjoyable, but I’m also really enjoying their chat show elements where they’re analysing moves and discussing the laws. It’s so much more interesting that the rugby club which is a bunch of stuffy old men ranting. Hopefully they keep it up/

    1. Quins vs Saints on Friday evening is free to air according to Rugby Tonight this evening. I presume it’ll be on the BT Sport trailer channel.

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