It was an exciting final round of Premiership action on Saturday with many sides having plenty to play for as all the games kicked off simultaneously at 16:00. Home semi-final advantage, playoff positions, Champions Cup Qualification – there was no shortage of motivation for the various teams.
The purpose of the simultaneous kick-off times is of course to generate more excitement surrounding the fixtures but it also removes the potential for any team to have an unfair advantage with regards to knowing what type of result they need.
Unfortunately, this didn’t happen at the weekend because due to crowd congestion at the Ricoh Arena, the Wasps – Saracens match was delayed by 15 minutes. As a result, Wasps knew they needed a fourth try in order to secure top position in the league, at the Chiefs’ expense and avoiding a semi-final with Saracens in the process.
However, the Chief’s head coach, Rob Baxter, had little issue with the perceived advantage for Wasps.
“If it helped them it helped them but it’s not something for me to be concerned about. These things happen. We had a delayed kick-off at Sandy Park a couple of weeks ago.
And if we had been at Sandy Park today and we had trouble I would have expected the game to be delayed,” Baxter told The Telegraph.
Ultimately, Baxter had no problem with the situation.
“We came here and did what we could do and got a five-point win. And they did what they could do and got a five-point win. I’ve got no problem with it.”
The Chiefs will now face Saracens on Saturday 20 May at Sandy Park in what will be a week after the London-based club face off against Clermont Auvergne in the Champions Cup Final at Murrayfield.