The Premiership season kicks off this weekend and already pundits are predicting what teams are likely to triumph and who are likely to struggle over the next nine months.
Much is often made about fixture lists and how certain teams’ opponents fall throughout the season but ultimately the Premiership is a simple league, each team plays each other twice – there are no conferences or any other confusing elements which potentially give teams an easier ride.
So when Pundit Arena put it to Will Greenwood that certain teams like Gloucester and Worcester Warriors have a tough start to the season which could potentially hamper them for the next nine months, Greenwood quickly refuted this assertion and stated that there are no easy games in this league, due to the fact that so many teams are improving all the time.
“You look at the sides coming up this year and next year, which will undoubtedly be Bristol, there just aren’t [any easy games], they just don’t exist. It’s not a case of looking at who has a nice schedule, it’s more important to understand that every single one will be utterly brutal. So well coached, so well organised, defensive accuracy, dynamism…”
Gloucester’s start consists of hosting the champions Exeter before travelling to Harlequins and Leicester Tigers in the following weeks. While Worcester are away to Newcastle in the first round before hosting Wasps and Exeter.
Greenwood believes the start is important in terms of generating momentum but such is the standard of the Premiership and the rate at which all teams are improving, he finds it difficult to assert that one side has an easier beginning to the season than another.
“I think the start is critical but I’d be loathed to say someone else has an easier start because I just don’t think any clubs are underprepared anymore.”
Taking a look at the following infographic produced by Canterbury, we get an idea of which clubs, statistically, have an easier or more difficult start to the season.
- Gloucester have a tough start – their first three games all rank among their toughest 10 [provided by Canterbury]
- Worcester have a rough start, with six of their ten toughest games in their first nine fixtures and the joint-longest wait for one of their five easiest [provided by Canterbury]
What is interesting about the above infographic is that certain teams face tough fixtures at crucial elements of the season. Leicester Tigers, for example, face a tough Christmas period while Northampton Saints face a challenging end to their season which could prove crucial in a potential top four or top six position.
Much can be made about statistics such as these but ultimately we will get an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of both teams after the first few games of the Premiership season.
For more information on Canterbury’s guide to the season, please visit https://www.canterbury.com/clubhouse
[gravityform id=”1″ title=”true” description=”true”]
Read More About: Aviva Premiership 2017-2018, will greenwood