Most of you have heard of an upside-down cake, even if you have no idea what one is and have never tasted one. How about an upside-down table? Ever heard of that? Well, if you were a casual rugby follower you might be forgiven for thinking that the present Premiership table is such, with the honourable exception of Exeter. Who among us could have predicted that after six rounds of games the bottom four would read London Irish, Wasps, Leicester and Saracens?
三级成人视频It is possibly a little precipitous but, barring last season, this league has a habit of separating groups early to fight out the play-offs and relegation. At this point, London Irish, Wasps and Leicester could all be in the scrap to stay up.
Make no mistake, Saracens on their current form will easily make up their 35-point deduction for breaching salary cap rules, which means that there is a real possibility of one very big club going down this year.
三级成人视频How can I make a claim for Saracens so blithely? Just go and watch them at the moment; they are playing supremely well, without necessarily having to pick all their top players. When they do turn out most of their best starting XV, you see how potent they are.
The seven-try demolition of Bristol was a superb performance against a team who are not as bad as the result suggests and who had started the season well. If Saracens were to lose Liam Williams then no matter, they would only have Elliot Daly, Alex Goode and now Max Malins to fill the No 15 shirt.
Malins’ form has drawn comparisons with All Black Beauden Barrett,三级成人视频 which might prove onerous, and it is probably better not to put unnecessary pressure on a player who is still only 22. Nonetheless, it is quite a feat to draw such accolades.
三级成人视频What should concern the other three teams in the bottom four is that they all lost at home and in a variety of unsatisfactory ways.
Irish were so benign against Bath that it was easy for the West Country team, who duly obliged by registering six tries. If you want to gauge how significant that is for Les Kiss, Irish’s head coach, it is Bath’s first bonus point in six games. Irish have had significant investment this season and to find them struggling to get over the gain line more than a handful of times during the game is not acceptable.
For Leicester and Wasps, it was a different matter. Both went into leads early on but could not sustain their efforts and eventually lost. There are two ways for fans to look at this. On the one hand you can try to gain comfort from knowing that your side can play well and create, and score tries – then it is a case of more consistency and all will be well.
三级成人视频On the other hand, you must question the fallibility and mental strength of your players when they throw away potential winning positions and appear unable to arrest the momentum of a game once it turns against them.
Wasps三级成人视频 probably have a little more with which to comfort themselves. They were not on top against Harlequins in the set-piece during the game but manufactured a 17-point lead and at least had a fightback in the final 15 minutes.
For the Tigers, it is worse. 三级成人视频They were playing Exeter, the team now at the top of the league, but the Chiefs had several regular starters missing, and players such as Luke Cowan-Dickie were not even available from the bench. In contrast, Leicester had all six of their England World Cup players back to start.
Tigers supporters might note that this was the first game this season when their side have managed to score more than one try, but what is the good of this if you cannot defend the lead you create? How is it that a team so full of experience are unable to manage a game when they are not rampaging forward and getting front-foot ball? The starting XV on Saturday had something approaching 500 international caps between them and when you look at teams you want to see the spine being strong and experienced.
The spine is defined as Nos 15, 10, 9, 8 and 2 and Leicester have Telusa Veainu, George Ford, Ben Youngs, Sione Kalamafoni and Tom Youngs in these positions respectively. All are internationals and all played well in the first 30 minutes; particularly Veainu, who was a constant threat.
What the Tigers’ management and Geordan Murphy, their head coach, must ask is where are the wins going to come from if they cannot win at home against a weakened Chiefs side? Too big to go down? Not even Leicester fans now think this.