European Break gives time to reflect on the Premiership.
With the European Break on until the 29th January, we can take a look at the winners and losers so far in the Aviva Premiership.
There have been some outstanding performances throughout the season that have been nothing short of a pleasure to watch. Saracens have been a solid bet all season long, with one single defeat in the whole season.
Exeter Chiefs, Harlequins and Leicester Tigers have had a fabulous run too, with just two games lost. 8 Points separate the top four and the competition is only halfway through.
Middle league is a good place to be, but that leaves a strong finish in the second half of the season if you want to get into the top four. A strong comeback is not the answer if there is no consistency in your game.
This seasons come back kings have been Northampton Saints. 5th in the league at the European Break, they have played some fabulous Rugby this season, but each game has either been a game of catch-up or full power from the start and a lack of concentration in the latter half of the game.
Wasps, Gloucester and Sale Sharks have all had positive starts to the season with some really entertaining rugby, but moving up the league is going to need a bit more concentration and a lot less silly mistakes. When handling errors become a feature in your game, it’s time to go back to basics and regroup.
At the other end of the table the 2015/2016 season it has been hard. To say that the bottom three teams (four if you include Bath) have been plagued by a worrying case of “error management”.
The handling errors and lack of play have left them with nowhere to go and a mountain to climb if they want out of their rut.
Bath Rugby is in a pickle at the moment and there is hope, but they really need to up their game if they don’t want the middle of the pack to pull away. Won 3 lost 5 is not hopeless, but they need to start pulling something out of that bag of tricks.
Worcester Warriors, London Irish and Newcastle Falcons are in a bad place. Each boasting a staggering 7 losses and no real vision of hope.
We know that there is something inherently wrong at the Falcons, and they have admitted as much themselves. The way things are looking at the moment, bottom is where they will stay.
At the Warriors and the Exiles it’s more than just poor form that is keeping them sunk. Player fitness and game strategy seem to have taken a toll too, but there is some light for the Warriors whose last 2 games showed some real passion and desire. The Exiles on the other hand will probably spend the rest of the season swapping position with Newcastle.
The European Break comes to an end in 8 days with the first games being played on the 29th January at Franklin’s Garden where the Saints take on the Wasps.