5 things we learnt from round 15 of the Gallagher Premiership

Bristol look to be clear from relegation

Friday night’s game was an amazing spectacle at Ashton Gate and Pat Lam’s Bristol side almost defiantly cemented their survival in the premiership. Two Gloucester tries with a quarter of the game left to play looked like the game had been swung in a different direction but Bristol’s resilience saw them creep back into the game and after being awarded a penalty try just 14 minutes before the end of the match Bristol held onto a famous victory against Gloucester, for the first time in 11 years. 

At the start of the season Pat Lam said that his side had aspirations for the top six by the end of May, and after the performance on Friday they look to potentially be chasing that top six place, with relegation almost certainly off the table. 

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Should rugby pitches be played on football pitches? 

I am primarily taking about THAT lineout. Gloucester’s lineout in the final seconds of the game was thrown in from the green line (that had been painted in over in green from the football touchlines) rather than the white touchline. Nothing came from the lineout and Bristol still won the game, however, it raises the question as to whether more needs to be done to cover lines up if the pitch is being shared for different sports. Throughout the game it was quite confusing trying to see the which lines were for rugby and which were football. The pitch could be the same width for both sports, which is something that could be looked at if needs be, but it certainly raises the question of pitch sharing. Something else that was brought up from that game was how the assistant referee failed to notice that the hooker was on the incorrect line when he was stood in front of him. 

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Should Wasps have been awarded a try?

Clock in the red, no try- held up, should therefore be an attacking 5m scrum. However, JP Doyle on Saturday ended Wasps’ hopes of levelling the scores against Tigers or even winning the game. At the moment, you can’t go back for the 5m scrum once the clock has gone red if the team attacking is losing unless there is a penalty awarded. The questioning to the TMO has also raised a debate. The question, ‘try yes or no’ was asked indicating that there has to be clear evidence that the ball has been grounded. Thus, suggesting that JP was not certain that a try had been scored. Had the other question of ‘is there any reason why I can’t award the try’ been asked then the outcome of Wasps’ game could have been very different. I thought after the match that whether new laws need to be in place about the questions asked to the TMO and if the scrum should have been allowed to be taken. 

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Newcastle’s win is critical in their survival hopes 

If the premiership was ring fenced Sunday’s game wouldn’t have been as enjoyable as it was. The bottom two sides have struggled this season; however, the Falcons win over Worcester hasn’t moved them up the table but could play a vital part in their hopes of premiership survival. It was a pointless second half which is worrying for both teams because had they come up against any other team in the premiership not scoring any points in the second half could have very easily cost them the game.

Newcastle have a tough fixture list for the remainder of the season and if they stand any hopes of premiership survival they will need to take points from all of their remaining games and hope that Worcester don’t do the same. At the moment, I can’t see any team other than Newcastle being relegated and they will dramatically need to pull out all the stops to ensure that they do go down this season.  

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Bath could struggle to make top 6

After losing to Harlequins at home on Saturday, Bath are at risk of failing to compete in top flight European rugby next season. They currently sit seventh in the table, however the teams who are currently above them are all performing better that the blue and white club. Two weeks running and Bath have lost a game in the final stages of the match and are failing to build up a strong enough score in the first half or when they have the lead to ensure that they aren’t in reaching distance of a loss at the final stages of the game. Bath have been under-performing this season despite their strong squad depth and don’t seem to have a player that brings them the x-factor that they need. They have good backs but no one seems to really stand out in their backline or poses a big threat like other clubs do, something that they will hopefully look to approve upon with signings for next season

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One thought on “5 things we learnt from round 15 of the Gallagher Premiership

  1. Really good to be able to catch up on your commentary over in the Caribbean Katie! Interesting your comments on the pitch marking at Bristol. First paragraph a bit long and a bit confusing did you mean reliance or resistance or resilience ? We’ll have to catch up when I get back lots of love


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