Pundit Arena’s Andy Goode gives his take on a crucial weekend of Premiership action, with Wasps and Exeter battling for one home semi-final berth.
This weekend throws up some interesting fixtures.
I think Saracens are well able to attack on both fronts; the Premiership and the European Cup.
They had a team trip to Debrovnik the week before they played Newcastle. They had three or four days away to bond and have a few beers. I think they have the ability to do the double.
The match that interests me this weekend is who will get the other semi-final. Sarries have one, and if Exeter go down to Harlequins and win, they’ve got the other. If Exeter lose and Wasps beat London Irish, then Wasps get it.
I think it’s going to be Sarries against Leicester in one semi-final, and the other will be Exeter vs Wasps, the only question is where.
It’s not going to be an easy game for Wasps, as Irish will already have an attitude of ‘nothing to lose’. They’re already down, so there is no fear factor of losing. They can’t stay up.
In the last game of last season, it was the same. I was playing for Wasps against London Irish, who had nothing to play for. We needed a draw to guarantee ourselves a top 6 finish, and qualify for the Champions Cup this year.
We ended up drawing 42-42. They chucked the ball around, and had the ability to play under no pressure at all.
It’s similar this weekend, but I think Wasps will have too much for them.
In the other game, I think the fact that ‘Quins have everything to play for, because they want to qualify for the Champions Cup, they can guarantee that this weekend by beating Exeter.
I fancy ‘Quins to win against Exeter, and Wasps to beat Irish and end up with the home semi-final.
There has a lot of chat about award ceremonies about Players’ Player of the Year this week.
I was lucky enough somehow to be voted as one of the top five nominees for the RPA Players’ Payer of the Year which was very humbling considering I only played seven games!
I am delighted the guys from around the league have voted for George Smith, myself, Thomas Waldrom, Nathan Hughes and Charles Piutau. It is very humbling and nice that your fellow players have voted for you.
George Smith will win it hands down I think.
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