Gallagher Premiership 2018/19 Final: Rate the Match


Here is your opportunity to share your thoughts on the Gallagher Premiership final at Twickenham this afternoon.

What did you think of the game? What were the main talking points?

Let us know your thoughts, as well as any reflections on the season as a whole.

27 thoughts on “Gallagher Premiership 2018/19 Final: Rate the Match

  1. Excellent game. Neither side was angelic at the breakdown or the offside line in D. Nowell for me was MoTM despite being on the losing side. I hope he’s good for Japan later in the year. Maro is a penalty machine, almost on par with Sinks. Goode & Williams yet again immense. Pivotal point in the game for me was Nic White leaving the field. Ex lost momentum and front foot ball almost immediately with hardly any visits into Sarries half. So near yet so far again. Congrats to Sarries. Hell of a win by a superb team , from top to bottom.

    1. As a Sarries fan, yes it was a great match and my nerves can’t take more of that!
      Just wanted to say I thought Exeter were immense, the standout player for me being Jack Nowell – brilliant game from him. So many others were good but I felt he made a huge difference for Exeter.
      Unlucky, well played and good luck for next year.

  2. Easier to rate the response which is remarkably thin!? Only saw the 2nd 1/2 as I watched the Hurricanes. Presumably the game was intense & not as 1 sided as it might have been. Surprised to see that Ex were ahead @ 1/2 time. It’s been opined that White’s exit was the telling factor in the game’s outcome. Pity if true, as it seemed that Ex looked about to fall apart following Maitland’s try. Their defence certainly did, leaving @ least a 3 on 1 overlap! Also their left winger gifted Williams (? I think) a try from Farrell’s stock in trade x field kick in the rh corner. He should have let the Sarries player catch it & then driven him into touch upon his landing. It mattered in the end analysis. However, Ex stuck to it & closed the score if not the board out @ the death. Would give what I saw in the 2nd 1/2 a score of about 6 out of 10. Maybe the 1st 1/2 was more engaging. Expect some of the hacks will be expansive about Sarries ability to walk on water & also the prowess of Farrell, Itoje & the can do no wrong Geo. How these 3 perform in the WC may be interesting. The former 2 @ least didn’t seem entirely impervious to pressure. Maybe the latter WILL hit all his line outs in Japan. We’ll see. We’ll also see if Farrell can do the bizzo as the likely captain over there if Hartley is canned.

    1. Watched the Prem final highlights via the F Fwd Flatman, Burble-Smith (AKA the Saint & Greavesy) show. ‘Gr8 match, excellent game, tremendous game, cracking game’, but I preferred Steve’s ‘fierce, unrelenting, compelling match’ comments. Highlights can portray a ‘glossed’ overview. However, they showed an even-ish contest, swaying back & forth score-wise until c. the last 1/4. Even then, Ex came back, albeit too little, too late, just, @ the end. Although there was back line play sure enough, which was mostly fairly orthodox, albeit accurate, swift enough stuff @ times, scores mainly came through fwd efforts. Either directly, or indirectly, by frequently pounding it up. Affirmation of this was, again, the Sarracen’s burst through the middle of Ex, then rapid distribution left for Maitland’s try. Ex’s defence responded far too slowly & was thus left critically outnumbered. As also already recorded, the other (& fatal) critical moment was Farrell’s x kick to Williams, which again the Ex defence failed to counter. However, by McCall’s after match admission, Saracens play was 2nd best for much of this match. Certainly before 1/2 time. Interesting to know what the stats were, but in the end, those 2 Ex errors & Sarries plays probably were decisive. For me, if not for the majority, I think that there needs to be more innovation, invention & ‘invisibility’ between backs & fwds when handling if they want to improve the game up here. This would benefit the national side too IMO. Still, ‘good game, good game’!

  3. I know this is going off message a little but I echo Don P’s thoughts on Itoje and Faz.
    I also think Jones has GOT to take a look at Ewers before September. He’s a tremendous player. Just to drift even further from the topic at hand, it concerns me how many English players who made the various pundits “teams of the year have been nowhere near a Red Rose shirt.

  4. It was a tremendous match. Fierce, unrelenting, compelling. You couldn’t ask for much more in a final.
    White going off did have an impact, but Saracens deserve great credit for the way they came back into the game. They really are such a resilient side.
    There were a number of standout performances. George was outstanding for Saracens and I thought Ewers had a towering game for Exeter.

  5. It was a cracking game, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all the neutral fans I spoke to after the game.
    Well played to Exeter they took Sarries to the wire, but as mentioned above, the departure of White and Nowell were big contributing factors to the end result. Nowell is the most slippery of customers and I really hope he is fit for the WC because, in that sort of form he is so hard to defend against.
    Saracens big players stepped up, Itoje, Kruis, Billy, Skelton and George especially but also Spencer, whose competition with White to keep the tempo of the game up and keep their respective team on the front foot was great to watch.

    1. Like Waterloo, ‘A near run thing’. Therefore the aforementioned Saracens players only stepped up AFTER White’s exit it would seem. It was only in the last 1/4 that their team managed to get more of a grip. And Itoje, once again, stepped off.. for his by now usual diet of yellow. Someone may need to explain the facts of life to him before the WC. 2 other telling points were the Maitland & then the Williams tries. For the former, the Ex defence was AWOL, which may have been the result of Sarries’ upped tempo catching them out of posi.. but by a 3 man overlap? Some Ex (lack of) thinking then? The latter try? Already covered in that Simmonds’ (?) error. If he’d tackled Williams as he should have, it could have turned the match result. But that’s history & it was what it was. In the end, Saracens’ had more resources than Ex. Hence my view on their buying up of Int’al mercenaries. A touch of buying victory in the end as well?

      1. Usually you make sense Don, but when it comes to Saracens you seem to have grit in both eyes. They had 11England qualified players in the starting line up and a shed load who have come through their academy in the squad. They have also invested time, money and effort in improving nearly all their foreign players, many of whom were either not internationals or had been discarded by their countries when they arrived. You really do need to stop being so sour about them, they give the rest of the Prem something to aspire to.

        1. Totally agree with you Andy. I am not a Sarries fan, but I admire the culture they have built and you can see that whole squad have each other backs and the will to win, and you simply cannot give them an inch in a match. Whatever Don P rants on about mercenaries etc their ‘mercenaries’ seem to want to win for the club and not just collect a paycheck. Plus every other teams all have their fill of ‘foreigners’ but it is irrelevant to what needs to be admired about Saracens. Whether you like them or not, they have done the business this season and I just hope their England players take this confidence & experience onto the WC stage this year.

          1. PS D Maul, perhaps England could send Sarries to the WC, seeing as they walk on water, instead of their actual picks.

        2. That’s scientific D Maul. As I have an alt take on Saracens, I’m a ranter? As you basically resort to name calling, surely you’ve lost the argument haven’t you? Yr view seems a tad insular & lacking wider perspective. Besides, what have I stated that’s actually untrue?

        3. Must be ‘True Grit’ then Andy. Unsure whom you’re trying to convince though, me or yrself? Think my D Maul response also applies to you. Anyway, if yr ‘eye offends you, pluck it out’. Also, I just can’t understand, especially in light of yr permanently wearing yr ‘I love Sarries’ badge, how I’m still receiving the occasional ‘thumbs up? How odd. BTW, were you a lecturer in yr working life?

          1. Two reasons you receive the occasional thumbs up Don. Firstly, you sometimes make a lot of sense (though not about Saracens), and second, there are actually people out there deluded enough to have voted for Donald Trump, so statistically there are likely to be a few who agree with you. Yes, I did some lecturing but was mostly a sports coach, PE teacher and massage therapist. Perhaps it was the articulacy and precision of my argument that led you to ask the question? Were you a tester in a wooden spoon factory?

            1. Ironically, you can occasionally seem as tolerant as the other Donald Andy. He may, or may not, be flattered being compared with me however. Our Sarries takes come from different angles, that’s all. What have I specifically stated that’s untrue about them? This statistical stuff about thumbs up is surely disingenuous isn’t it? I mean, some here endorse yr views too don’t they? Although you have ‘home’ advantage of course. It was more yr sometimes penchant for a superior tone that begged my ? & as it turned out, accurately. Dunno about its precision though. Concerning yr imprecise & (again, ho hum) subjective ? about wooden spoons, isn’t a rhetorical one? WS’s, NZ’ers & rugger don’t usually go together to best of my knowledge. Now, that reminds me. Where did I put my favourite (metal I hasten to add) breakfast spoon? All this posting bizzo has made me hungry!

              1. It was you who started the references to “thumbs up” as an afirmation of the rightness of your argument, not me Don. Specifically, I think that your references to “foreign mercenaries” is outdated and no longer true. They have certainly used judicious overseas signings as a springboard to becoming a successful club, but the difference between them and others has been the character and quality of those imports who have been used to help bring along their home grown players.
                Hope you enjoyed your breakfast. I tucked into smoked salmon and kedgeree with my “superior” silver monogrammed cutlery and will try to think up a few more rhetorical questions for you when the butler has cleared the table.

                1. Yes, it certainly was Andy. The point being, it’s not just me who holds an alt view to yours. You may need to inform some others from up here about the term ‘FM’s’ too. Like the ‘disappeared’ AlexD if you can find him. And it was relatively recently that Jones of the S Times went on & on like a nun’s knickers the rape of he Pacific ‘ & all that. Look @ England & Sarries still, in the hear & now. Pots & kettles or what?! The difference between Sarries & the rest is still largely one of dosh, whether you care to bury yr head or not & 4 points last Saturday. I don’t eat flesh & I hope yr Butler wasn’t Eddie. I’ve now moved on to ‘3 Talking Points’. Do try to keep up & not get too weighed down by that salmon brekkie.

      2. How many of those “international mercenaries” were on the pitch in the final 20 minutes Don? From memory I count two. Maitland and Williams, but even Williams was subbed at some point in that last 20. The rest of the team were either English players brought in like Wolstencroft and Lozowski or academy players like Adams-Hale and Isiekwe. Funny how you’re not mentioning any of the “international mercenaries” that Exeter had in their team? Armand, Ewers, Dennis, White, Steenson, Francis.
        As for Itoje he is a player who is trying constantly to get away with as mush as he can, playing on the edge, as most of the best players do. A bit like Richie McCaw I suppose?!?!

        1. Is this a contest to see whom is the most defensive between you & Andy, Dazza? Yr ? about the last 20 is subjective & cherry picked. What about the last decade & in other recent games preceding the ‘final’? Agree that Ex also had Int’als, but it was relative & again yr picking of 1 game is subjective & misleading of a trend over c. the past decade, in respect of Saracens. Regrds, Ritchie? He had x3 yellows in a 15 yr Int’al career. Not 1 per game like Itoje. Well, almost. Worth sitting latter down with SCW for a talk on TCUP? What, with an upcoming WC & all that!? Bit concerning innit?

          1. Not being In the slightest bit defensive Don. As a Quins supporter I just look at Sarries and see a well run club with a mostly English pool of players who all clearly want to be there, and admire the clarity of their vision both on and off the field. As usual when challenged you resort to the argument that people are being “selective”. Maybe you should take a look at where your antipathy towards Sarries originates and ask yourself whether it is outdated. Re McCaw, his judgement of when to intervene was certainly better than Itoje’ s, who seems to be something of a marked man and is not difficult to spot. Maybe now Richie has retired he could sell Maro the cloak of invisibility that covered him as soon as he lay on the wrong side of the ball.

            1. ‘Not being the slightest..’ After that Ritchie comment? Surely you’re having a giraffe Andy? Do you actually know the difference between subjectivity & objectivity? It’s no skin off mine whatsoever. I don’t support a particular club anymore. Used to with Wasps when Worsley, Dallaglio, Shaw, Reece, Abbott, Rees, Waters, Denny etc played the best all court game in England that I can recall.. & with ltd resources, unlike yr Sarries, but not since they did a runner to Coventry. Nor was I particularly a McCaw lover (I admired Marty Hola), but only 3 yellows in 15 (May have actually only been 14, but what the hey!)? This was actually true Andy, whereas you only offer a contention about RM’s, presumably consistently, lying on the wrong side of the ball (BTW, won’t you upset Cole with this comment?). It can only be perception (shared by a few up here methinks), or.. sour grapes? it’s a non specific, generalised opinion. I gave you a fact. You offer perception. You need specific details, facts, like when, where, how often etc Andy. Otherwise aren’t you really contending that there was a WW IRB conspiracy regrds Ritchie, whereby refs were instructed not to ping him? Please. The solution, of course, was to have played better rugby. Still is. Need to get yr head straight Andy.

          2. I totally agree that previously in seasons gone by Sarries have chosen quite a lot of top international players to boost the squad, but that is in the past. I am interested in the here and now and the future of the club. Of the matchday 23, 10 have come through the academy. 16 of them are English born (although I am including Barrington who was born in Jersey!!). So 7 players born in another country out of 23. I would say that is a turn around from the days of Lynagh, Sella etc. As for recruitment for next season, two Welshman and four more Englishmen.

  6. Definitely gutting as a Chiefs fan, but have to go with what Baxter said at the end which was along the lines of ‘yes we lost, but we’re that much closer’. Yes closer doesn’t win you trophies, but given how far Sarries are ahead (I sometimes query the level of punditry fawning, but definitely don’t question the results!), closing the gap in any measure is still progress. I suppose the main regret (outside of not winning of course) will be not knowing if a fit and in-form Cordero might have made a difference (that Wasps injury was a real curse). That said, I think it was a case of Sarries winning the match at the end, rather than Exeter losing it – so it wasn’t for lack of ability and guts from those chosen on the pitch.
    Hoping the players do come back fired up for another great season, ready to push on both domestically and in Europe, rather than let it get to them – and I look forward to what Hoggy will bring!

      1. Don’t worry, not a comment intended to imply a different result if a full fit starting XV in place, as Sarries were definitely the less for having Mako absent too. And as said, I don’t think Exeter lost anything on the pitch, and it was Sarries seizing it rather than Exeter dropping it. The regret has as much to do with knowing there’ll be no Cordero next season, as with anything he might have achieved on the pitch at Twickers. I’m going to miss those dancing feet.


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