1. West is best
Friday night showed us once again why the West Country derby is still the best rivalry in the Premiership. Neither team were really troubled by international call-ups so were able to name strong starting XVs and, due to the poor weather, the game was a nervy, tight affair with Bath edging it by two points. The match itself didn’t disappoint, there was late drama, yellow cards and controversy and almost a case of sweet poetry as Freddie Burns – Bath born and bred – scored all of Gloucester’s points and nearly won the game for them.
2. Cockers is back!
Ah the angry little ball of criticism is back and we’ve missed him haven’t we? Haven’t we? Of course we have, and although he seemed slightly mellowed at the weekend even though his side lost, be sure that in a few weeks he will be back to his good old self. Who’s got the pool going for when he’ll get in trouble next? Put me down for three matches.
3. It’s English fly-half season
It wouldn’t be a ‘5 things we’ve learned’ without praise for an English fly-half and this week is no different. In the past Toby Flood, George Ford and Freddie Burns have all been featured and this week is the turn of ol’ comb-over himself, Andy Goode. Goode has quietly been impressing in a Wasps’ shirt this season and against Leicester, he was on fire. In windy conditions, he controlled the game superbly and kicked 17 out his side’s 22 points to punish his former team.
4. Relegation’s a sore subject
Worcester are without a win yet this season and have only two points in the Premiership so it’s understandable that there are a few doubts over when, or indeed whether, Dean Ryan’s side will kick-start their season. So when a reporter from a local paper asked Ryan about relegation, he replied “To be talking about relegation – especially from a local paper – I think is pretty poor.” Alright Dean, steady on mate, the guy’s only doing his job.
5. Saints are top dogs
Northampton have finally put paid to Saracen’s dominance this season after they well and truly smashed them on Saturday. They managed to score six tries against the league leaders and kept them on the back foot all game, with Samu Manoa and Sam Dickinson being their usual physical selves and Ben Foden and Stephen Myler controlling the game from the back. They look the new team to beat.
By Calum Gillon (@C_Gillon)
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images