After a jam-packed fixture schedule last week, the top 6 clubs are still all in contention for the precious four play-off places with (in most cases) two matches to go. The relegation of Leeds, which has seemed inevitable for a while, was also confirmed.
Last Tuesday, four of the “big six” were in action with Bath and Wasps stealing a march on Leicester and Sale respectively. Leicester did however take a depleted team to The Rec to lose 26 – 12 whereas Sale gave it all they had against Wasps at Adams Park and were better value than the 29 – 19 score line suggested.
On Saturday, Harlequins lost ground on the other contenders by going down 13 – 6 away to London Irish. Irish dominated possession and territory and thoroughly deserved their win but Harlequins defended heroically for large periods of the game and were great value for their losing bonus point. Ugo Monye, fulfilling a role at outside centre was particularly forceful with his tackling.
Comfortable wins for Leicester and Gloucester, against Bristol and Leeds respectively helped their playoff aspirations whilst Bath sneaked through against Worcester to remain in with a chance of a home semi final.
On Sunday Wasps and Sale kept up their charge with victories over Saracens and Newcastle. Sale racked up 53 points against a woeful Newcastle side who managed just one try and 10 points in total. Wasps managed a first half bonus point and resisted a late Sarries fight back to take that match 40 – 29, away from home.
All eyes are on European competition this weekend but now there is a clear path to glory at the end of the domestic season, which team is your money on?
The remaining fixtures for the top six are as follows:
Gloucester: Wasps (a); Bath (h)
Bath: Saracens (h); Gloucester (a)
Wasps: Gloucester (h); Newcastle (a); Leeds (h)
Harlequins: Sale (h); Leicester (a)
Sale: Harlequins (a); London Irish (h)
Leicester: Newcastle (a); Harlequins (h)