Big wins for Exeter and Sale in Gallagher Premiership

Rob Baxter

Round 13 of the Gallagher Premiership was slightly more predictable, with 5 home wins out of 6.

Here are the weekend’s results, along with the predictability on Superbru.

Worcester 10 – 16 Northampton 73%
Sale 39 – 0 London Irish 98%
Saracens 24 – 13 Leicester 93%
Exeter 57 – 20 Bath 94%
Wasps 39 – 22 Gloucester 88%
Bristol 28 – 15 Harlequins 87%

Exeter continue to lead the way, but Sale’s results in recent weeks have caught the eye with their 60-point drubbing of Saracens and another 39 points score with 0 conceded here. It looks more and more likely that they’ll stay in the top four, and if they clinch a home semi-final, they’ll be extremely tough to beat.

Some of the winning margins here are quite surprising, with only 1 losing bonus point in round – Worcester at home to Northampton – and it raises some questions about the competitiveness of the league.

It was interesting to note the discussion on last week’s results, with some people saying they are less interested because there is no relegation battle, and that this should be a warning to the advocates of ring-fencing the league.

I have been one of those advocates – mostly because I think the whole season structure needs some fundamental changes, not just in England but globally, and a closed shop would make some of those changes simpler. However, the apathy towards the Gallagher Premiership this season is indeed a warning.

What did you make of the weekend’s league action? Are Exeter marching towards the title?

7 thoughts on “Big wins for Exeter and Sale in Gallagher Premiership

  1. Inconsistency? Sale have almost seem to have come from nowhere. Northampton looked likely early on, but have also been up & down. As for Bath & Gloucester, 2 stalwarts? Also bobbing up & down like bath ducks. Are Wasps pulling their socks up? Bristol, top 4? Leicester still clogging along under Murphy? Quins? A bit of a lottery. Good at out Exetering Exeter 1 week, then falling off stage the next. I guess there’s incentive for the top 4, but thereafter, who knows? With ring fencing would there be an action replay of a lack of interest outside of the top 4 each season? Probably. Is this in the interest of, not only the Prem, but rugby overall throughout the community & country? Does commercial interest only rule, ok? Mmm.

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  2. Somewhat surprising in that there is 1 comment only here, or until now of course, as my 2nd comment will make it 2! These are dwarfed compared to England’s 6N’s 130 however! Has the Saracens affect really taken interest in the Prem through the floor? Is TRB’s ambivalence indicative of a wider nosedive in interest? Bring on ring fencing? For more of the same? Concerning? As I don’t know attendance figures, hard to state.

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  3. I’m commenting from an entirely personal point of view and would not wish this to be construed as speaking on behalf of everyone.

    I for one am bored of the seasonal format. It’s too long. I get the feeling that at no point are we seeing the best of our players. The English season has run back to back (basically) since the Lions in 2017. There is so much that I would do to change things and it would all revolve around ‘less is more’. A couple of thoughts, not exhaustive and nor for that matter particularly thought through.

    1) Reduce the GP to 10 teams.
    2) Do away with the play-offs and grand final – surely the league would have more merit if it was in fact, a proper league.
    3) Reduce the size and length of the Champions Cup.
    4) Align the 6N’s so the team go straight into the SH tour after the tournament.
    5) Keep promotion and relegation in the GP.

    Financial fair play…? Sure, the Sarries situation has left a sour taste in the mouth and devalued their previous wins and has contributed to my apathy this season. Knowing that they are not playing their strongest teams and their players are, probably, de-motivated.

    Basically, in short, I am bored – which is awful to say about the sport I love.

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    1. SJ, as much as I agree with you, sadly the chase for the final pound will keep things as they are. It may well be that the golden goose is eventually put out of its misery. Anyway look on the brightside, I’m a Gloucester supporter and I am now feeling very demotivated about the season!

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    1. Personally suspect that the season is done. Can’t see any play resuming before players are out of contract at the end of May I think, and it would be a mess for the season to continue beyond that. I think that the standings will stay as they are for European qualification, with relegation and promotion as you say Tim. Probably no champion this year either I would suspect.

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      1. Sorry, realised that I am guilty of spreading fake news! Players contracts must go on beyond May as the final this year was meant to be in June I think. However the point still stands that there is a point where players are contractually bound to new clubs and after this point Premiership rugby cannot continue.

        News today that all other club rugby done for the season. Feel that Premiership will have to follow whether they wish to or not. 6N is a different animal as players obviously do not change countries (well very often!), but are there enough dates left in the calendar to continue in the autumn?

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