Premiership Rugby Resumes In UK
Exeter Chiefs and further strengthened their position at the top of the Gallagher Premiership rugby table by winning both their matches since the restart in early August. Exeter are now +100 favourites to win the Premiership with sportsbookreviews.com and it’s going to take along of stopping for them to land the title.
Since the restart, Exeter Chiefs opened up with a 26-13 home win over Leicester Tigers and after a shaky start the home team dominated and was always in control. Dave Ewers, Stuart Hogg and Luke Cowan-Dickie both scored tries and with a penalty try from Sam Simmonds this gave the Chiefs plenty of breathing space in the match. Joe Simmonds added two conversions on top to enable an even bigger winning margin.
With nearest rivals at the time Sale Sharks losing away at Harlequins, this gave Exeter Chiefs an eight point lead at the top of the table. Prior to the restart Sale Sharks were looking like a team who could put up a good fight at the top of the table and maybe clinch top spot if they continued their good form. Unfortunately this didn’t materialise.
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs
The most recent match at the top of the table on Friday 21st August saw Sale Sharks host Exeter Chiefs and it was the visitors who put in an awesome 2nd half performance to blitz the hosts and cut the odds on them winning the Premiership rugby title. Now leading the table by 8 points, Exeter Chiefs are well on their way to a 2nd title in 3 years.
Looking at the key events of the match it was Exeter Chiefs who scored in the first minute with a Sam Simmonds try followed by a Joe Simmonds conversion. Then the home side scored two tries without reply through impressive Tom Curry and Robert du Preez and it was du Preez himself who also scored both conversions and give the Sharks a 14-10 lead at the break.
The second half was pretty much all one way traffic as the visitors showed their class and huge resilience which makes them now strong favourites to land the title. Even with a du Preez penalty to open the point scoring in the 2nd half, Exeter Chiefs then scored three tries in a row through Jacques Vermeulen, Stuart Hogg and Luke Cowan-Dickie to lead 32-17. Both Hogg and Cowan-Dickie are in red hot form scoring tries in both weeks since the restart and this impressive play is sure to make them hard to beat.
The final score in the match came from the home side to reduce the deficit to 32-22, but the night belonged to Exeter Chiefs who sit firmly at the top of the table and do look unstoppable. All over the pitch they have top class talent and with players who can give them the edge in the back positions, they can score tries when they want which gives them the edge over the rest.
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) August 22, 2020
Gallagher Premiership Rugby Tip
The Exeter Chiefs are now +100 to win the Premiership rugby and make it two Grand Final wins in three years. Last year they came so close to winning the title, but came up against better opponents on the day in Saracens, but with their issues this year, they won’t be contesting this year’s final.
Apart from Exeter Chiefs, the only team who are in form after the restart are Bristol Bears. They have risen to 2nd in the table and with a home win over Saracens, following by a strong away performance over Gloucester winning 33-24, they can push Exeter Chiefs all the way in the competition and it may well be these two teams who contest the final.
We could therefore be in for a pre final taster as Bristol Bears host Exeter Chiefs next in the Premiership which takes place on Tuesday 25th August. It will be great to see how this match evolves with both teams in such good form. Can the home side make a statement that they can challenge for the title? Or will Exeter Chiefs show their class and experience and move even further clear at the top of the table?
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