Here are some of the exciting matches that will be played during the festive season between 21 December and 6 January 2019 which include a repeat of last season’s Premiership Rugby Final when Saracens beat Exeter Chiefs to lift the trophy. Saracens are favourites to win the Cup again this season where so far they are unbeaten in the league. However, there is still a chance that tables may be turned at any point of the season.
This match is seen as one of the most important games of this round given that the Saracens are leading at the tables with 42 points while Exeter Chiefs are at the second position with 40 points. It is expected the Exeter Chiefs will try to build onto the vigour that they showed in March of this year where they beat Saracens at Sandy Park.
However, the Saracens have been in an unbeaten run for 22 matches since they were last defeated at Leinster in the quarterfinals of the last season’s Champions Cup. Thus, they are quite a tough team to beat.
The two clubs recently met at Twickenham for the Premiership Rugby final where they ended their winless run against the chiefs that had stretched to over five games. This game is particularly tough for Saracens since they have not won a game at Sandy Park since September of 2016.
The Chiefs were beaten to a 19-27 score by Gloucester in the last match they played at Sandy Park in a Champion’s Cup match. However, for the previous two years, they have not had any back to back defeats in the field. Both teams have no significant injuries to speak of that might have an impact on the outcome of the match. Therefore, this is likely to be an exciting match with many punters believing that it could go either way.
Remaining Gallagher Premiership Round Ten Fixtures
Friday 21st December, Kick- Off 1945hrs
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Bath Rugby are currently at position six with 19 points while Leicester Tigers are at position eight with 18 points. With no much of the point difference, winning this game is a priority to both teams. Each of the teams currently has had eight wins, eight losses and one draw. None has any drop goals or conversions.
Both teams last met in April at Twickenham stadium where Leicester Tigers beat Bath Rugby 34 to 19. This was towards the end of the last season. In this game, Ellis Genge, who had had shoulder surgery in December of 2017, led Tigers to destroy their rivals who had viewed the game as a do or die game.
Bath Rugby has had a number of injuries. Its point man, Jonathan Joseph, is likely to make a comeback on Sunday since breaking his foot and damaging the leg ligaments last spring. Tom Homer has now recovered from the shoulder injury, and Paul Grant is also likely to have recovered from a calf injury. On the other hand, Leicester’s centre, Manu Tuilagi, has had several injuries, including a knee strain on the left knee during training at the start of November. He may not feature in the tie with Bath Rugby. Tom Youngs may also miss all the fixtures for the rest of the season due to a knee injury he suffered at home during a match with Saracens.
Remaining Gallagher Premiership Round Eleven Fixtures
Friday 28th December, Kick- Off 1945hrs
Saturday 29th December, Kick-Off @1500hrs (Unless Stated)
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Currently, Northampton Saints stand at position 10 with 17 points while the Wasps stand at position 4 with 24 points. It may seem like the tables are tilted in favour of wasps. However, in their last meeting in November of this year, Northampton Saints beat Wasps 34 to 17 in a thrilling match. The game saw the 26-year old Taqele Nayarovo put up a stunning display of skill, especially in the first half.
Northampton Saints are locked at 17 points with Worcester while Leicester Tigers and Bristol are tied with 18 points. Therefore, a win in this match for the Saints coupled with a loss for any of the teams mentioned here will push their standings on the table. The Wasps are tied in with Harlequins at 24 points and are looking to narrow the gap with Gloucester who have 28 points at position 3.
The Saints may not have the services of Haskell who has had ankle surgery and might not have recovered until a later date in January. However, this is subject to confirmation at the end of December.
Wasps expect Nathan Hughes, the number eight commonly referred as ‘touch and go,’ to be in the lineup for the January 6 match. He suffered a hip injury when Toulouse beat them in Champions Cup tie. He is expected to play Bath Rugby before meeting with the Saints. They will also have Nizaam Carr, who was on a three-week leave after suffering from a shoulder injury when the team played with Worcester Warriors.
Remaining Gallagher Premiership Round Twelve Fixtures
Friday 4th January, Kick-Off 1945hrs
Saturday 5th January, Kick-Off @1500hrs (Unless Stated)
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