Aviva Premiership Round 7: 5 things we learned

1. Wasps benefit from absentees
They beat Leicester last week and Gloucester this week and Wasps seem to be on a bit of a roll at the moment. It helps that they have only a couple of players away on international duty so they have been able to name near full-strength squads for every game and Saturday’s win made it four from four in all competitions. Gloucester, on the other hand, are third from bottom in the league and have only two wins to their name. Bleak times at Kingsholm.

2. All about O’Connor
And quite rightly so. Bad boy James has only been in the country a few days, probably doesn’t know any of his teammate’s names and had a hangover, yet he was the best player on the pitch against Northampton. He was quality from the back and made more metres than anyone else. Give him time to adapt, give the players time to work out how he plays and wait till Marland Yarde is back and he could take London Irish soaring up the table.

3. Is Strettle the answer?
Most people are talking about Christain Wade at the moment and who can blame them? The boy has electric feet, pace like a cheetah and can hold his own in defence yet he isn’t the leading try scorer in the Premiership this season. That accolade belongs to David Strettle who has six tries to his name now and seems to be one of the forgotten men of English rugby. He has international experience and due to the international form of Chris Ashton and Marland Yarde’s average debut, why not take a punt on him?

4. Newcastle’s impotence
They may be sitting in ninth place and are probably in a better position than most would have predicted at the start of the season, but Newcastle are sitting at the bottom of the ‘points scored’ table. They got thumped 40-3 by Saracens at the weekend and they have managed a measly 69 points from 7 games, less than 10 a match. If Dean Richards wants his side to stay in the Premiership this season then they had better start scoring points and sharpish.

5. Front Mo Union
Dylan Hartley cops a lot of criticism for some of his actions but there is no denying his intentions now that ‘the season to show just how bad men are at growing facial hair’ has started. Dylan has started a donation page entitled ‘Front Mo Union’ to raise money for Movember and to promote the awareness of prostate cancer. If you wish to donate, you can do so here: http://uk.movember.com/team/1023541

By Calum Gillon (@C_Gillon)

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

18 thoughts on “Aviva Premiership Round 7: 5 things we learned

  1. Why not take a punt on Strettle? How about because England have taken 14 punts on him and he’s scored just 2 tries (one against the Pumas in an otherwise forgettable display)? He never takes his club form onto the international stage.

    1. Exactly, Strettle is proof that at international level you need a little bit extra- club form doesnt mean everything (Dickson is another example).

    2. Exactly. Good club level player but has failed to make the grade internationally.

      Yes he’s on a hot streak, but overall his record is 36 tries in 123 premiership matches, this isn’t the strike rate of an international winger (or even remotely close to it).

      1. I agree. We have Wade and Yarde, and players like Sharples, May and even Varndell waiting in the wings (no pun intended) – plenty of options without having to keep making the same mistakes with players who can’t cut it. Ashton can count himself very lucky, but rumours are Wade will take his place against Pumas. It’s about time.

  2. Strettle. Yeah, no thanks. He’s absolutely awful. Much rather bring back Sharples before we think about Strettle (though I personally think the future’s Wade and Yarde)

  3. Not to labour the point re: Strettle

    But he was taken to Argentina along with Wade, Yarde et al

    And he butchered at least 3 clear try scoring opportunities by simply fumbling the ball.
    He isn’t the same threat he was when playing for Quins.

  4. Bingo. Strettle is a perfectly decent winger who in a pinch I wouldn’t mind playing – don’t think he’d let you down, but we know what he is. May, Yarde and Wade are punts. Let’s find out what they can do before settling for Strettle.

  5. Does the author actually bother checking facts?

    Leicester were missing men, yes, but Glaws had 1 man missing, the out of form Morgan, who had barely started for them anyway. Their other England men (Burns, Trinder and Kvesic) were all available, 2 started and one came off the bench.

    Wasps were missing 1 man, the very much in form and hardworking Launchbury. With Wade being their other England man who was available.

    Strettle has had many punts, and his tries come from being on the end of the line of the top team in England. Any left winger should have been dotting them down.

    1. Man what the hell is going on with Ben Morgan? He was playing just fine in Argentina but his club form has nosedived this season. Very disappointing, although it has given us a chance to observe Billy V playing hard and showing us just what he can do.

  6. Say what you will about Newcastle, the margin of victory is not always that important, it’s the victories that are crucial and scoring wins over other relegation rivals in the Exiles, Sale and Worcester can only put them in good stead to stay up. The “for” column won’t be the one they’re looking at at the end of the season, it’ll be the “points” column that matters. Dean Richards is a pretty shrewd guy. He’ll know what his side need to do to stay up and that is what they’re doing at the moment, getting points out of the sides around you

    1. Where has that been released? I thought the team selection was at 10.45 this morning. I know the team normally gets released somewhere but from what I’ve read it says Wade will start and Yarde or Ashton will get dropped.

      1. The Times this morning suggests that Ashton is to be dropped for Wade. Wilson/Hartley/Corbisiero in for Cole/Youngs/Vunipola (who appears to be injured).

        Dickson retained (for one last chance?), and Foden (not Ashton) considered as cover for Yarde who appears to be carrying an injury.

        Thats the view of the Times anyway.

  7. Lots of anti-Strettle sentiment about???

    I have always like him, but I would agree with McMurphy – I would not be unduly upset were he to be picked, BUT there are others who we should play before him.

    I also agree with whoever noted that he was better at Harlequins (and I would add, he played 14, not 11). Noting Chris Ashton, (and acknowledgeing that Strettle is the top try scorer) Saracens don’t appear to do too well with their imported wingers.

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