The latest news from Rugby is that the Gallagher Premiership rugby is back and the first match was played on 14th August as Harlequins returned with a home win over Sale Sharks by 16-10. As a result of this match Harlequins have climbed into sixth spot. The defeat for Sale Sharks has set them back in their hope of catching league leaders Exeter Chiefs.
On Saturday 15th August Gloucester Rugby scored a big away win as they returned to action against Worcester Warriors and scored 44 points in the process. They have moved up to 7th in the table and if they continue this type of performance then Gloucester will be playing in the play-offs come the end of the season. They have a strong squad and can cause teams a lot of problems.
The league leaders Exeter Chiefs comfortably disposed of Harlequins 26-13 in a decent match. The league leaders scored four tries to one and after a slow start, took control in the later stages of the first half scoring two tries and led 14-7 at the break. Ewers, Hogg, Cowan-Dickie and Simmonds all scored tries to give Exeter a win and after Sale Sharks defeat, they now lead the table by 9 points and at this stage of the season, this should be enough for them to retain top spot come the end of the regular season.
Exeter Chiefs are currently strong favourites to land top spot at the end of the regular season and take a prime spot in the play-offs. They are now odds on at 5/6 (1.83) -183 to win the Grand Final and avenge last season’s defeat in the final against Saracens.
At the time of writing the remaining matches include Bristol Bears hosting Saracens and will feel confident going into that match given the visitors will be playing in the Championship next year after a huge point’s reduction from breaking the rules of the League. The Bears have had a great season so far and will be eager to be amongst it come the play-offs and won’t fear anyone in their quest for the Premiership title.
The second week back of regular season matches features the top two teams coming head to head at AJ Bell Stadium. Sale Sharks will look to make home advantage count and put the defeat to Harlequins behind them and put a marker down for the play-offs with victory over Exeter Chiefs as they bid to land the biggest prize in Rugby.
Northampton Saints and Wasps sit fourth and fifth respectively and both will feel they have a chance of causing an upset in the play-offs providing they maintain their good season form and secure a play-off berth. They will have to do it the hard way having to participate in all rounds of the play-offs but momentum is key and this could count in their favour.
Gallagher Premiership Tip
Sportsbookreviews has Exeter Chiefs as strong favourites and they look unstoppable having shown a fantastic style of rugby through the current season and will have one eye on the final to win their 2nd title in three years. The experience that Exeter Chiefs have of being in the final and winning the crown will stand them in great stead as they are likely to face Sale Sharks who haven’t been in a big final for a number of years.
Six Nations News
With four matches played by most of the teams, England and France are at the top of the table. The one outstanding match to be played in the third round of fixtures is Ireland facing Italy, which should be a comfortable victory for the Irish meaning they have a chance along with England and France to win the title this year.
When the Six Nations restarts the highlight will be the final round of matches to decide the winner. England are favourites to land the title as they have an away match at minnows Italy and not only will they likely win, they have a big chance of securing a bonus point which will all but land them the title.
The only other match which can decide the title is France hosting Ireland in a crunch match to give one side a crack at the title. In the unlikely event of England slipping up or not getting the bonus point then a win and a high scoring game with both teams scoring a number of tries could land one of these teams the title.