Aviva Premiership: will there be final round drama?

Tuilagi

It’s the final round of the Aviva Premiership this weekend, and the playoffs, Heineken Cup places and relegation will all be determined.

It looks as though the Top 4 is already sorted with Leicester and Saracens secure with home semi-final draws. They’ll probably play Gloucester and Northampton who seem pretty safe in 3rd and 4th, but we don’t quite know who will play whom just yet.

Both the Tigers and Sarries have been tough to beat at home this year, so we could be in for a repeat of last year’s final come the end of May.

Can Saracens exact their revenge?

Bath have claimed one of the other two Heineken Cup places as they can’t be caught by Harlequins, but London Irish will need to stay ahead of Quins to guarantee the other spot.

Of course, if Quins win the Amlin Challenge Cup, there will be seven English teams in the main European competition, but they won’t want to rely on that.

Both of them face stiff competition as they take on the first- and second-placed teams, although Quins have the advantage of playing at The Stoop. With home semi-finals already guaranteed, there could be some rested players among the opposition ranks, so nothing is certain just yet.

In the relegation battle, Leeds have to win or draw against the Saints to stay alive. Jim Mallinder is likely to rest some of his key players given their busy month ahead with the knockout stages and a Heineken Cup final to contend, so Leeds might just get a lifeline.

Newcastle, meanwhile, face a tough trip to Bath, who have the slimmest of chances of reaching the knockouts. It’s probably their last game of the season, and they’ll want to go out with a bang – I don’t fancy the Falcons’ chances of getting anything at The Rec, so it’s all eyes on Franklin’s Gardens to see if Leeds can survive.

Can they pull it off? Have you made your SportGuru predictions?

Here is the Aviva Premiership table as it stands:

Aviva Premiership Table

17 thoughts on “Aviva Premiership: will there be final round drama?

  1. Hutch – how long did you spend doing that graph! putting those management consultancy days to good use!

  2. Haha, glad you like it, but I can’t take credit…it’s a screenshot from SportGuru.

    Jimmy, you need an avatar…I’ll get one for you.

  3. depends on who the 2nd string saints side is.
    Leeds will want it more, therefore they will win.

  4. I can’t see Leeds pulling off a win at Franklin’s. That being said I think it’s probably all irrelevant anyway as the Cornish are looking good for a win in the championship and as such nobody gets promoted. Other than that I think the Quins might beat the Sarries to overtake the Irish (who will lose to Leicester). And finally as a nice end to their season I think the Chiefs are gonna pull out a win over the wasps at Sandy Park to pip them to the entirely irrelevant 8th place.

    So play off places finish as they are now. Leeds relegated (but not actually cos of the championship result). Bath get a Heineken spot but so do the Irish because of a win by the Quins in the Amlin.

    Leinster win the Heineken, Munster the Magners and Leicester the Guinness. So there’s no need to watch any more matches this year. I’ve told you all that will happen. Roll on the World cup.

  5. Thanks Moggy, that’s saved us all a lot of time and effort. I actually agree with everything you say, although I think it could be a Leinster double in the Magners and Heineken.

    Roll on the World Cup indeed. 127 days to go.

  6. well said moggy.
    does anyone else think the Miles harrison sounds like an excited child who doesnt know anything about rugby but is really excited?

  7. Jimmymc1 – be thankful for Harrison, Barnes, Morris, Greenwood et al…until you’ve had to sit through an hour of the Australian version of The Rugby Club you don’t know what excited children masquerading as pundits sound like. I love pretty much everything about living over here but i was so disappointed by that show. I don’t bother with it anymore because they do an excellent highlights show with no analysis, just 10 minutes on each game of the weekend.

  8. on this topic (!) i’d like Gloucester to win the prem, then Saints, then Saracens, then Leicester but the opposite will probably happen.

    I think it’s old news now but when did the premiership become pretty much a closed shop? I thought most people agreed that this was a bad idea and would seriously hinder Championship clubs from securing long term backers? Regardless of how well the franchise mentality works in other countries, we have a history to respect and denying clubs the chance of progressing up the leagues and rekindling their glory days (or getting the glory for the first time) isn’t right. What’s the issue with the grounds? Is it the capacity? So what if a club only has room for 3,000 supporters? a packed 3,000 seater stand is better than a quarter-full 12,000 seater stadium. Let them in and give them a chance to redevlop over 10 years if they can sustain their performance on the pitch for that long and remain in the top flight.

  9. The Premiership has been as good as a closed shop. Before Exeter broke in last season it has been 12 out of the same 13 teams since Rotherham were relegated in 2004. It’s a question of ground capacity, I think 6,000 is the cut off. The ridiculous thing being that none of the Championship semi-finalists apart from Worcester are even close to that.

    And I agree on Miles Harrison, I’ve always thought that, deep down, he doesn’t actually know that much about rugby, he can paint a picture of all the superficial bits and get excited in all the right places but beyond that, nothing. Having said that, he’s way better than all the other Sky commentators who are without exception dreadful. And apart from Barnes and Greenwood the summarisers are pretty awful as well. Can’t even listen to Tyrone Howe. I’m slightly concerned that the Sky rugby coverage is becoming the slightly smug, pleased with itself affair which the football did under Keys and Gray (only without the added bonus of casual sexism).

  10. stuart i actually think Tyrone how is one of the more articualte summarises with ieun Evans and Dean Ryan.

    martin corry – now theres a joke.!

  11. Now now, let’s not get libellous…plus, any more Harrison-slating and you’ll upset Nick!

    I quite like the Sky coverage, and prefer it to ESPN games…

  12. does nick love harrison?
    he is good and his commentating on both 97 & 09 lions tours were superb.

    does anyone know the commentator on the Munster v Quins game with Morris, i don know his name but hes and irishman and really superb.

  13. Hutch – do you not rate Healey though? I think as an analyst he’s excellent, and I do chuckle at some of the mickey taking that goes on between him and Ben Kay. Kay overrall leaves a lot to be desired though.

    As for promotion, I don’t think we’ll see any team “do an Exeter” for a long, long time. I think it’s unfair to demand a team meet all this stringent criteria when its long-term sustainability largely depends on it’s ability to stay in the top flight. I’m all for ensuring that top league sides are sustainable, but what’s sustainable about a side increasing stadium capacity to 10k for, what could effectively be, just 11 Premiership matches?

    It’s nonsensical in it’s risk, and means that the Premiership is already ringfenced to most.

  14. Don’t get me wrong, I quite enjoy listening to Harrison and he’s very good at the exciting bits. Just suspect he’s never really played. Jimmy, Tyrone rubbed me up the wrong way during the Cornish Pirates v London Welsh game where he had clearly done research on about 3 players and just banged on about them the whole time as if he’d been watching them all season and hardly mentioned anyone else.

Comments are closed.