The Aviva Premiership has begun! It’s been an enthralling, fanatic and energetic start to the 2016/17 season.
Saracens carried on their dominance over English rugby with the largest win of the weekend against Worcester Warriors. Leicester Tigers produced a record breaking comeback against Gloucester to come out on top at Kingsholm.
Meanwhile in Newcastle, the Falcons managed to pick up the victory thanks to a late miss from Sale Shark’s Dan Mugford. Bath managed to record a win at Franklin Gardens for the first time in 16 years thanks to the right boot of George Ford.
New boys Bristol produced a great effort however couldn’t defeat Harlequins in the second leg of the London double header. In the last game of the weekend, Wasps beat Exeter Chiefs at the Ricoh Arena. With so many good performances and memorable moments in week one, here is my team of the week.
At loosehead prop is Nathan Catt who showed enormous strength in defence to make sure Northampton Saints didn’t score while he was on the pitch. The hooker in my team is Tommy Taylor who had a tremendous debut for Wasps scoring a try and making brutal hits. The young tight head, Kyle Sinkler showed why he’s on Eddie Jones’ radar with a strong showing for Harlequins.
The second row consists of two English players who are constantly playing quality rugby for club and county. New Wasps captain Joe Launchbury produced a stunning display in his attempt to force his way into the England second row. The man who he is trying to replace George Kruis showed why he’s in the team with his set piece skills and power around the pitch.
The back row is full of try scorers from this weekend. At blindside flanker is Schalk Burge r(despite playing openside for Saracens), the new signing scored a try as well as showing his silky skills to set up another.
Brendon O’Connor likewise got a try and an assist in a game where he inspired a late comeback. Thomas ‘the tank engine’ Waldrom steamrolled over for another try and more impressively managed to keep quiet Nathan Hughes.
At scrum half is the man who got the points for Leicester Tigers. Sam Harrison got his two tries and two conversions where he was lively and a threat throughout. George Ford is my fly half courtesy of his 18 points for Bath in a match where he controlled the game.
At inside centre is Jimmy Gopperth who appears to be trying his best to not let Danny Cipriani over shadow him. The Kiwi fly half who played at inside centre scored a try and was impressive off the kicking tee. Outside Gopperth is the Scotsman Matt Scott who scored two tries to help Gloucester put Leicester on the back foot.
Debutant JP Pietersen makes into the team for his try and constant attacking threat he gives Leicester, this man could lead the Tigers to glory this year.
Marland Yarde was his usual pacey and powerful self even scoring from the back of a rolling maul to show how much he’s changed and developed as a player.
Alex Goode player of the season last year, creates space and chances whenever he gets his golden hands on that ball and was solid in defence.
The team of the week- round one.
1. Nathan Catt
2. Tommy Taylor
3. Kyle Sinkler
4. Joe Launchbury
5. George Kruis
6. Schalk Burger
7. Brendan O’Connor
8. Thomas Waldrom
9. Sam Harrison
10. George Ford
11. JP Pietersen
12. Jimmy Gopperth
13. Matt Scott
14. Marlon Yarde
15. Alex Goode
Patrick Perry, Pundit Arena