Weekend of upsets as Newcastle fall back

Dean Richards

One one match in the Gallagher Premiership this weekend was won by the favourite, with relegation candidates Bristol, Worcester and Leicester all picking up valuable victories.

In one of the big shocks of the weekend, Bristol defeated defending champions Saracens, predicted by just 3% of people on Superbru. This was after Leicester had beaten Newcastle (25%) and Worcester beat Sale (28%), which left the Falcons 7 points adrift at the foot of the table.

The most surprising result was Exeter losing at home to Wasps (1%), whilst Gloucester beat Wasps (93%) and Northampton secured a last-gasp win at Harlequins (16%).

Some people will praise the ‘most competitive league in the world’ but from the games I watched, much of the rugby was fairly average and it seems to be a closely-fought contest between mediocre teams – particularly when Saracens and Exeter are beaten. Do you agree?

What were the main talking points from the weekend’s action? Will Newcastle be relegated?

16 thoughts on “Weekend of upsets as Newcastle fall back

  1. Now a miracle for Falcons to stay up. Best team to ever go down without a shadow of a doubt.

    As a Bath fan, would be nice if learnt how to play more than 20mins of rugby in an 80mins game. One plus point is we’ll have Brexit-style marches if EJ doesn’t pick Cipriani this year

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    1. Freddie B also had the sort of game that reminds you why he was in England contention at one point. Very glad when he and Underhill went off as they were probably Bath’s two most influential players.

      1. When Freddie was good, he was good, however, I really thought he didn’t make particularly sensible decisions when you guys were camped in our half for long periods when we had the lead. It was screaming out for someone to put in a really good clearance and make you play from your own half rather than constantly gifting you possession deep inside our own.

        1. I think that it really depends on what type of game you are trying to play. Glaws do quite a bit of this as well. Last season it only worked some of the time and was so frustrating watching as a supporter. This season, as the players have become more used to this sort of game it works more often. It might have been the game plan not necessarily FB. I did think that Bath looked way more dangerous with him on the pitch and I was quite relieved when Priestland came on.

  2. Didn’t watch any other games but thought that much of the Glaws Bath game was excellent. Bath played a flawless first 20 minutes and then Glaws started putting together some great rugby to edge back into the front by the end. Wouldn’t have said that this was two mediocre teams going at each other.

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  3. Newcastle can still escape but they need a minimum of 2 wins and for Worcester to lose their 3 remaining games and not get any BP’s. It might happen but its not looking good for the northerners.
    Bristol virtually ensured their survival with a win. That was a terrific result.
    The Gloucester-Bath game was a treat. The home side did incredibly well to come back after getting a bit of a lesson early on. Cipriani was again first rate and is plainly a key figure, but they are a team greater than the sun of their parts with everyone making a meaningful contribution.

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    1. Looking at the teamsheet, Glaws only had two current internationals in the match day 23, so we probably are punching above our weight. Not sure that Bath had many more to be fair but Johan Ackermann is doing a fantastic coaching job. Like he did at the Lions before us. Am hoping that we can hang on to him for a bit longer before SA start calling.

      1. We’d love him back next season. I think he will stay for a while longer. I reckon he has a point to prove, both in the UK and in SA. I don’t know what he does or says but he has the knack of welding a group of disparate men into a formidable rugby team.

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  4. Surprised that there’s NO article on Folau’s homophobic comment with its accompanying support from Alaalatoa, Kerevi & Billy Vunipola! Especially so as the latter could conceivably be kicked out of English rugby for his ‘like’ of Folau’s view?

    1. he wont be kicked out as unlike Folau it is his first offence but he will be given a stern talking to about his online responsibilities

      1. Sarries have made a sensible statement and given him a warning and he is up before the RFU this week, for probably more of the same.

        1. As BV has expressed contrition, he’s been put on report. However, if he is a true believer, surely he would have stuck to his guns. As he’s in effect retracted his post, appears he’s not being entirely ‘straight’ about his beliefs. Might have trouble getting into heaven. In any event, doesn’t seem the sharpest tool in the box. Sometimes ‘silence (really) is golden’, OIOW, sealed lips gather no feet.

          1. Don, I think that your getting into the realm of personal beliefs, and your comments on this aren’t really fair on BV. For the record I really don’t agree with what he or Folau posted, but the issue isn’t one of what they believe, it is one of what they say in public. I therefore do agree with your silence is golden comment, which sadly probably goes for sports stars on any potentially controversial topic.

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