5 things we learnt from round 16 of the Gallagher Premiership

Bath’s win over Saracens could prove critical in their turbulent season 

In what has been a rather stop, start season for Bath, their win over Saracens on Friday night was needed more than ever, if they stand any chance in holding a top six place by the end of the season.  Bath on Friday night started to find some form and and off the back of Saracens ill-discipline won 20 penalties against the London club. Saracens at times looked sloppy and they now sit eight points adrift of Exeter who sit top of the table. Bath, who have suffered two late defeats in previous weeks finally got the win they have been looking for as Todd Blackadder’s men find something to shine from. 

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Bristol get another valuable win 

A last gasp victory at Franklins Gardens saw Bristol take another five points from a match leaving them in striking distance of a top six finish at the end of the season – something that Pat Lam aspired to at the start of the season. 

After their performances in recent weeks Bristol are more than clear from the relegation zone and will live to see another day of Premiership rugby. Bristol have entered into this competition with the belief that they are worthy of their place and thus, have in return been rewarded with some comprehensive wins. 

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Newcastle needed the win more than Wasps 

The intent that Newcastle showed at the weekend proved how much they desperately needed the win against Wasps to stand any chance of premiership survival.  A sense of grit and resilience was shown by the Falcons and at just the right time with their season slowly slipping away. They have suffered five premiership defeats inside a two-month spell and in a turn of form have now had two back to back wins. 

It is worrying for Wasps, who seem to have inhabited a losing streak at home and have had a rather worrying season. Due to them sitting comfortably in the middle of the table, it maybe hasn’t been picked up enough, but for Dai Youngs men another loss at home could prove worrying. 

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Gloucester will have a semi-final 

Harlequins v Gloucester on Sunday was set to be the biggest game of the weekend if not of the season so far. Two sides who have been battling it out consistently for that top four place. It was set to be an exhilarating encounter. Nonetheless, a more one sided affair took place in London as Gloucester almost cemented themselves to a top four finish. The Cherry and Whites needed to respond to the loss against Bristol last time out and their one-sided win against Harlequins certainly did that. Gloucester’s victory was their first away win of 2019 and with it ended Harlequin’s five match winning run. 

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What does Danny Cipriani need to do to be in the England squad? 

No question about it, Cipriani had one of the best games he has had all season. He controlled the game beautifully and produced some wonderful cross field kicks and passes, yet his counterpart Marcus Smith, who had a less spectacular game than Cipriani got the call up to the England squad.

Smith will be a fantastic England player and when his time comes will be crucial to the England set up but he is just 20 years old and has been playing in the U20 Six Nations this year. Jones will need to take three fly-halves to Japan just to ensure he has enough cover and is a 20-year-old Smith really going to be that fly half?

Cipriani chose to play his rugby at Gloucester this season with the intention to have an England call up in the very near future. He has most defiantly been one of the unluckiest players in the premiership at the moment to not have an England call up. What does Danny need to do? Change his name? 

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