Gallagher Premiership 2019/20: Round 5 Results

Jonny May

It was another tricky round of unpredictable results in Round 5, as we had a brief return to the Premiership before the Champions Cup resumes this weekend.

Here are the results and Superbru predictability for context:

Bath 12-25 Saracens, 88%
Exeter 38-3 Wasps, 96%
Northampton 36-13 Leicester, 94%
Worcester 20-13 Sale, 45%
Bristol 27-27 London Irish, 1%
Harlequins 23-19 Gloucester, 38%

Sarries are clawing their way back to the rest of the teams on the table, and on the evidence of this weekend, Leicester and Wasps are in trouble in terms of the relegation battle.

Both suffered heavy defeats away at Northampton and Exeter respectively, and you’d think Saracens might sneak past them early in the new year.

Two teams that used to fight regularly for the titles are now battling it out to avoid the drop, and you wonder if that, along with Saracens’ cheating, will expedite the ring-fencing of the Premiership.

The Saints continue to lead the way, playing an attractive brand of rugby, and they’d be top after 5 rounds even without Saracens’ 35-point deduction.

How do you think the league is shaping up this year?

24 thoughts on “Gallagher Premiership 2019/20: Round 5 Results

  1. Is it a 2 horse race between Exe & Nthampton already? Sarries likely to continue winning games, but shouldn’t dent these top 2. The rest look mostly mid table or lower reaches also rans, although will Bris continue with their early form? Still hard to state how Worcester, Sale, Glous will pan out, but currently don’t see their challenging for the play offs. Irish a dark horse? Dunno, but probably not. Do Quins, Bath, Leicester, Wasps, particularly the latter 2, need to revise their coaching set ups pronto? If they don’t, for whom does the trap door beckon? Don’t get ring fencing forecast due Saracens’ cheating & relegation threat though?

    1. Hooper only just started at Bath as DOR this year though it’s already not looking good for him based on the showings so far. The set piece is solid, as is the defense, but they look pretty rudderless in attack. Dempsey is supposedly a sound attack coach so is it that Priestland/Burns aren’t up to the task, or that the focus on ballast has left Bath lacking in the skills department?

    2. I took a quick look at squads to see if I could make an educated assessment of the relative strengths.
      1. Sarries
      2. Exeter
      3. Sale
      4. Leic
      5 equal Bath, Glouc
      6 equal Quins, Saints
      7 equal Wasps, Worc, Bristol, Irish

      This was an initial assessment. I did not look at how well teams have spread out the talent, although just a quick look at Sarries and you see their strengths/distribution at back row. Anyone else have an opinion?

    3. Still too early to tell. Star players slowly coming back from RWC but need to be carefully managed. Sale could make the top 4 if they can keep their players on the park and then one from Briz, Irish, Worcs or Glos. Bath could make top 4 if they get their act together fairly quickly but they will struggle to gain any confidence from a double header against Clermont

      If it is a two horse race then i can’t see past an Exeter title as they have too much power up front for Saints

      1. If it only revolved around the international players how come Glasgow with its many internationals got beat at home by Leinster second side this weekend? I think coach at Saints is doing a great job. Easily punching above their weight and sum of the whole is greater than its parts.

        1. Not just about internationals but no doubt any teams best 23 will include most of the returning players. These guys have played a lot of rugby over the last 2 years hence the need to carefully manage these players to do enough to get to the playoffs but also to peak for the playoffs.
          Leinster Glasgow is a perfect example of poor player management throwing exhausted players (Physically/Mentally) straight back in and expecting them to perform at their best

  2. I took a quick look at squads to see if I could make an educated assessment of the relative strengths.
    1. Sarries
    2. Exeter
    3. Sale
    4. Leic
    5 equal Bath, Glouc
    6 equal Quins, Saints
    7 equal Wasps, Worc, Bristol, Irish

    This was an initial assessment. I did not look at how well teams have spread out the talent, although just a quick look at Sarries and you see their strengths/distribution at lock. Anyone else have an opinion?

    1. I feel your assessment of strength is too subjective/emotive and based on what you know of the players/squads more than how good the players/squads actually are.
      Top 2 are probably about right but the rest is garbage

      2
      1. Exactly. The chart is only derived from what I know of the individual talent within each squad. Info obtained from Wikipedia. I always find it fascinating when a coach comes along and makes a bunch of relative ‘no-namers’ into a force to be reckoned with. Over the years the two coaches who have consistently underachieved have been Diamond and Young (sale and wasps). Then one has the Saint Gatland who has made a group of average players in an average league into world beaters. Lately of course BAth and Leic have fallen into this underachieving class given the talent available to each. And finally wouldn’t it be great if Leinster entered the Premiership? Their second side can beat all of 1st XV teams in Pro14 .

        1. Dunno about Wales being w beaters. Mostly ( exception recently v Aus) they’ve been egg beaters v the SH. Weren’t too flash in WC playoff. To state players like AW-J, Williams, Tuperic e.g., are ‘ordinary’ seems inaccurate. Wouldn’t be gr8 for Pro 14 if Leinster were to join Prem.

        2. Still I think you know more about some teams than others as evidenced by Leicester being 4th in your table compared to Saints equal 6th
          HK adv LT
          LHP adv LT
          THP adv NS
          Locks adv NS
          Backrow adv NS
          Scrum Half adv NS
          Fly Half Draw
          Centre adv LT (just)
          Outside backs adv NS

          1. It wasn’t meant to be one guy versus another but the general overall talent. One can always make a case on an individual basis when its the best in one vs the best in another. I’ll take your point though. Put the squads next to each other again and I would change my initial reaction to Fwds advantage Leic and backs closer to parity but I still like Leic.

            1. And that is why your perception is wrong the Leicester pack is a shadow of its former self

              T.Youngs and Cole are past it
              They have lost all their decent locks like Kitchener/Slater/Fitzgerald/Williams and replaced them with Cptn SinBin (Lavanini)
              I only recognise two of their backrowers (Kalamafoni and Thompson)

              2
    2. Maybe a bag of a mixed bag I think Pete. Also gauging by results, past & more current, N’thampton must be right up there. Bris looking good too. OTOH, Leicester, Quins, Wasps look right down there. Sale, Worcester, Bath, Irish somehbing to prove? Glous, perplexing. Look gd, play not so gd always. Exe prob still best, but deduction has likely done for them in the Prem. Coaching has a big part to play IMO.

    3. Assessment of the relative strengths of each clubs playing resources:-
      1. Saracens
      2= All of the rest as they have spent pretty much the same. Therefore coaching, injuries and probably a little luck separate them out come the end of the season.

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