Bristol and Worcester ensure their Premiership survival

Dean Richards

Last year’s semi-finalists, Newcastle Falcons, are now on the brink of relegation after their latest defeat at home to Northampton.

Bristol and Worcester both won their matches to ensure Premiership survival, and whilst Leicester can still mathematically catch the Tigers, there’s nothing to suggest that Newcastle will win both of their final two matches – away at 3rd-placed Gloucester, and home to Bristol.

It’s quite a fall from grace for last season’s team of the year, and for Dean Richards, so recently heralded as one of the league’s great managers on the back of that success.

Where do they go from here? Will they bounce straight back? Will it precipitate a change of league structure?

Elsewhere, Gloucester booked their place in the playoffs with a losing bonus point against Worcester, whilst Harlequins almost shocked league leaders Exeter at Sandy Park but slipped to 5th courtesy of the Saints’ win at Kingston Park. Sale beat Bath in a 6-3 thriller, whilst Wasps were comfortably beaten at home by Saracens.

The race for that final playoff spot is all that really remains over the last two weeks of the season, although it is incredibly close – Northampton, Quins, Sale, Wasps and Bath all have a realistic chance of making it to 4th.

Here are the final two rounds of fixtures?

Round 21
Bristol v Sale
Harlequins v Leicester
Gloucester v Newcastle
Northampton v Worcester
Saracens v Exeter
Bath v Wasps

Round 22
Exeter v Northampton
Leicester v Bath
Newcastle v Bristol
Sale v Gloucester
Wasps v Harlequins
Worcester v Saracens

Who do you think will qualify? An away trip to Exeter or Saracens awaits the lucky team!

What were your highlights from the weekend?

15 thoughts on “Bristol and Worcester ensure their Premiership survival

  1. Given Saints play Worcester next a team who have nothing left to play for followed by Exeter in the final week and with top spot already secured for the chiefs it is likely that they will rest a bunch of players for the probable rematch the following week

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  2. Sale v Bath a thriller??? Seriously? Did you watch the game? I am aware that I do not come from a neutral perspective in my judgement of the game, but even the commentators were at times apologetic for the lack of spectacle and anything near approaching quality rugby on display in those dire 80 minutes…

      1. Ah, apologies, missed that completely *face palms*… but it was more subtle than the level of sarcasm I would have used on that particular display of ineptitude and woefulness (fortunately) rarely seen in a premiership rugby game these days (p.s. I’m still fuming at how utterly useless we were and that I’ve got a trip back home booked to see the Wasps game this weekend coming).

    1. Agree. 9 pts in 80!? Lack of tries!? Going back to the good ol’ bad ol’ days. Not too many WC bolters on display here then?

  3. Slightly off topic but seems relevant now that Newcastles fate has been likely sealed, I find it very interesting how there is much clamour for Dean Richards to get into the england role or even DOR at a club with bigger budget and ambition eg Bath. Im very aware that they performed extremely well last season. But he seems to avoid criticism for a team that hasnt performed this season in a way that other coaches and DORs cannot.

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    1. Totally agree with you on that one James. I’m from the the old school “ your as good as your last game”, “ one swallow doesn’t make a summer”. If Deano was hailed as the architect of Newscastle’s high end finish last year, he must take the denigration for going down this year and I don’t see where a coach on the demise fits in to a higher echelon club or in deed an international placement.

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      1. I think the champions cup was too much of an ask, stretching a relatively small squad and realistically, several much higher intensity games than they would have had in the challenge cup.

      2. Maybe Sharpy, but I read that Newcs spent the least amount on incoming players in the Prem. Not the only reason for their plight I guess, but couldn’t have helped much either.

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