AVIVA Round 1: Premiership Rugby At Its Best
September 1st marked the start of yet another premiership rugby season – and what an opening weekend it was. A total of fifty tries were scored collectively. What this comes down to is that 11 of the 12 teams scored 3 tries or more in their respective games – action-packed rugby to say the least. We take a look at some of the matches that were played.
Gloucester 28 – Exeter Chiefs 21
The season opener at Kingsholm saw the defending champions lose by 7 points to newly appointed Johann Ackerman’s side. Exeter Chiefs started out by dominating the game during the first quarter – when Gloucester barely touched the ball at all. Exeter seemingly started to relax a bit, and this is where Gloucester saw an opportunity and seized it.
Newcastle Falcons 35 – Worcester Warriors 8
The Falcons stunned last season – managing a finish in eighth place overall, the highest position attained since back in 2006. The summer really was a summer of magic – with the squad having brought back Toby Flood and incorporated Maxime Mermoz. Exiting times are clearly ahead for the rest of the year, and yet it was largely the same team as last year that managed the surprise feat against the Warriors.
It was Alex Tait who first warmed things up in favour of Newcastle – with Juan Pablo Socino sweetening the deal by clinching the bonus point. The pioneers had spoken and the squad simply followed suit from then onwards.
Saracens 55 – Northampton Saints 24
Last year saw Saracens de-throned by Exeter Chiefs after having reigned as Aviva Champions for two years in a row. However, the win against Northampton Saints at Twickenham issued a stern warning that Saracens had every intent of reclaiming the kingdom’s territory.
Saracens scored a grand total of nine tries. Schalk Brits – dubbed by one newspaper as being one of the most valuable imports in the league’s history – scored one try and had a deciding hand in two more. One is left wishing that 36 year old Brits – now in the final stages of his professional career – had been imported earlier.
Wasps 50 – Sale Sharks 35
Dan Robson helped the Wasps to secure an early lead by becoming only the second scrum-half in the history of the league to have scored four tries. However, let it not be said that the Sale Sharks took the punishment lying down. They managed five tries of their own – with Faf de Klerk and Josh Strauss each managing a debut score.
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