Preview: Premiership, Round 10

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 15:55
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: With just three points separating five teams in the middle of the Premiership table, you can get set for another compelling weekend of top flight action across England.

This weekend's journey starts at Sale Sharks on Friday, finishing at Newcastle and Worcester on Sunday as we get closer to the halfway point in the battle to earn a place in the Premiership semifinals.

One of the key games is Northampton Saints' trip to Leicester Tigers, which - according to flank Michael Paterson -  is a "must-win" game for Saints.

Paterson was part of the Saints side who conceded a late score against Newcastle Falcons last Friday.

Saints battled valiantly into a 16-15 lead with five minutes left on the clock, despite having prop Kieran Brookes sent off two minutes before half-time.

However, Saints' hearts were broken late on as wing Niki Goneva crossed before Joel Hodgson kicked the extras.

Jim Mallinder's side visit Welford Road on Saturday, and Paterson insists it will be lively affair, and a vital game for Northampton against their close rivals.

Northampton Saints' trip to Leicester Tigers is a "must-win" game for the side, according to flank Michael Paterson, who is set to play in his first East Midlands derby.

Paterson was part of the Saints side who conceded a late score against Newcastle Falcons on Friday.

Saints battled valiantly into a 16-15 lead with five minutes left on the clock, despite having prop Kieran Brookes sent off two minutes before half-time.

However, Saints' hearts were broken late on as wing Niki Goneva crossed before Joel Hodgson kicked the extras.

Jim Mallinder's side visit Welford Road on Saturday, and Paterson insists it will be lively affair, and a vital game for Northampton against their close rivals.

"It's a must-win game for us, considering the manner in which we lost last week, which was bitterly disappointing," he said.

"We have to keep our discipline for 80, maybe 85 minutes and play with 15 men on the field.

"We have to make sure we stay disciplined and everyone does their jobs. If we go there and upset a Tigers team, you never know what might happen."

Paterson did not shy away from the significance of the fixture itself, a local derby and a notoriously feisty affair with Welford Road likely to be a cauldron of noise.

He said the nature of the fixture carries added weight for the players, and would not simply be just another game.

"Welford Road is a tough place to go, not many teams go there and get a win," he said.

"It's always going to be heated and confrontational, there's definitely something extra in it.

"The atmosphere the Tigers supporters build and the away support we bring always helps as well.

"There's a big history and rivalry between us and big players on both sides who are fighting to get bragging rights."

Paterson was frank about Saints' league position, seventh, and recent inconsistent results, and has vowed the players and staff at the club are doing everything possible to put a run of wins together.

"It's not going as well as would have liked so far, but that's not to say we're not trying hard in training and on the field," he concluded.

We look at all the Round 10 action!

Friday, December 2

Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs
(AJ Bell Stadium - Kick-off: 19.45; 19.45 GMT)

Sale Sharks only victory in the last four rounds of Premiership was 31-13 at Bristol on October 30.

The Sharks have lost three of their last five home games in the competition.

Exeter Chiefs have won their last two Premiership encounters, at Newcastle and at home to Worcester, scoring twelve tries in the process.

The Chiefs have not won successive away games in the competition since December 2015.

The last four encounters between the two clubs have all gone in favour of the home team whilst Exeter's only previous victory at AJ Bell Stadium was 18-16 in November 2013.

The teams:

Sale Sharks: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Sam James, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Josh Charnley, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 TJ Ioane, 7 Ben Curry, 6 Cameron Neild, 5 Josh Beaumont (captain), 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 James Flynn, 18 Halani Aulika, 19 Jonathan Mills, 20 David Seymour, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Sam Tuitupou, 23 Paolo Odogwu.

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Ollie Devoto, 12 Sam Hill, 11 James Short, 10 Gareth Steenson (captain), 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Kai Horstmann, 6 Don Armand, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Carl Rimmer.
Replacements: 16 Shaun Malton, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 Michele Campagnaro.

Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Peter Allan & Paul Dix
TMO: David Rose

Saturday , December 3

Bath v Saracens
(Recreation Ground - Kick-off: 12.15; 12.15 GMT)

Bath 's single point defeat at Harlequins on Sunday ended a four game winning run in Premiership and also doubled their tally of losses in the tournament this season.

Bath have won their last six home games at the Recreation Ground in Premiership since Saracens beat them there on April 1.

Saracens have lost just one of their last sixteen Premiership matches: 10-17 to Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop in round 4.

Saracens only other away defeat this season came in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on a trip to Gloucester.

Saracens have lost just one of their last 13thirteen encounters with Bath stretching back to 2010: 11-21 at the Recreation Ground in October 2014.

Saracens have been victorious on six of their last seven visits to Bath.

Teams:

Bath: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Max Clark, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Dan Bowden, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Tom Ellis, 6 Matt Garvey (c), 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Max Lahiff, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Beno Obano, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Paul Grant, 20 Zach Mercer, 21 Darren Allinson, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Jack Wilson.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Alex Lozowski, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Mike Rhodes, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Titi Lamositele.
Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Mark Flanagan, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Marcelo Bosch, 23 Nathan Earle.

Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant referees: Roy Maybank & Roger Baileff
TMO: Rowan Kitt

Gloucester v Bristol
(Kingsholm - Kick-off: 16.30; 16.30 GMT)

Gloucester's only win in the last six rounds of Premiership was 36-18 at home to Wasps in Round Eight, although one of these games was drawn and in three others they picked up a losing bonus point.

Bristol are still without a victory in Premiership this season, but they have at least picked up three losing bonus points in the last four games.

Bristol have not won away from home in Premiership since their trip to Newcastle in March 2008.

The two famous old rivals have not locked horns since 2008/09 when Gloucester won both encounters in Premiership.

Bristol have beaten Gloucester just once since 2006: 29-26 at Memorial Stadium in February 2008, whilst their only victory at Kingsholm since 1994 came in Premiership in March 2006.

Teams:

Gloucester: 15 James Hook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Willi Heinz (captain), 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Jacob Rowan, 6 Lewis Ludlow, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Tom Savage, 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paddy McAllister .
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Josh Hohneck, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Joe Latta, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Ollie Thorley.

Bristol: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Ryan Edwards, 13 Jack Tovey, 12 Will Hurrell, 11 Jack Wallace, 10 Adrian Jarvis, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Jordan Crane (captain), 7 Olly Robinson, 6 Mitch Eadie, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Jon Fisher, 3 Gaston Cortes, 2 Rob Hawkins, 1 Kyle Traynor.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 James Phillips, 20 Nick Fenton-Wells, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Luke Arscott.

Referee: Matthew Carley (51st Premiership game).
Assistant referees: Ross Campbell & Paul Burton
TMO: Stuart Terheege

Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints
(Welford Road - Kick-off: 17.00; 17.00 GMT)

Leicester Tigers have lost just once in the last four rounds of Premiership: 10-24 at Champions Saracens in Round Seven.

The Tigers have been defeated just once in any competition at Welford Road since February, by Wasps in Premiership on September 10.

Northampton Saints have scored just seven tries in the last seven rounds of Premiership, although they have won three of these games.

The Saints have been victorious in three of their last five away games in Premiership with the defeats being at Saracens and at Harlequins.

The Tigers have won their last three encounters with The Saints in Premiership since Northampton's 23-19 victory at Franklin's Gardens in December 2014.

The Saints have not won at Welford Road since a single point victory in February 2007.

Teams:

Leicester Tigers: 15 George Worth, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Owen Williams, 11 Tom Brady, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Jono Kitto, 8 Luke Hamilton, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Greg Bateman, 2 Tom Youngs (captain), 1 Logovi'i Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Lachlan McCaffrey, 20 Will Evans, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Manu Tuilagi, 23 JP Pietersen.

Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden (captain), 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 JJ Hanrahan, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Tom Kessell, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Ben Nutley, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 James Craig, 4 Michael Paterson, 3 Paul Hill, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Alex Waller.
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Nic Groom, 22 George Pisi, 23 Ken Pisi.

Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce & Wayne Falla
TMO: Trevor Fisher

Sunday, December 4

Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins
(Kingston Park  - Kick-off: 15.00; 15.00 GMT)

Newcastle Falcons won at Northampton on Friday and have not recorded successive Premiership victories since February.

The Falcons have won just three of their last eight home games in Premiership, against London Irish, Sale and Bristol.

Harlequins only defeat in the last four rounds of Premiership was 6-25 at Leicester in Round Eight.

The Londoners' only victory in their last eleven away games in Premiership was 32-25 at relegated London Irish in round 21 last season.

The last five encounters between the two clubs have all gone with home field advantage whilst ‘Quins only victory at Kingston Park in Premiership in the last decade was 35-9 in December 2013.

Teams:

The teams:

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Mike Delany, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Fred Burdon, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Alex Tait, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Michael Young, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Mark Wilson (captain), 6 Callum Chick, 5 Will Witty, 4 Evan Olmstead, 3 David Wilson, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements: 16 Ben Sowrey, 17 Alex Rogers, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Opeti Fonua, 20 Nick Civetta, 21 Sonatane Takulua, 22 Marcus Watson, 23 Dominic Waldouck.

Harlequins: 15 Aaron Morris, 14 Alofa Alofa, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Jack Clifford, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 James Chisholm, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Will Collier, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Mark Lambert.
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Adam Jones, 19 George Merrick, 20 George Naoupu, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Charlie Walker.

Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant referees: Tim Wigglesworth & Gareth Copsey
TMO: David Grashoff

Worcester Warriors v Wasps
(Sixways - Kick-off: 15.00; 15.00 GMT)

Worcester Warriors have recorded only one win in the last thirteen rounds of Premiership: 11-9 at home to Newcastle Falcons on 2nd October.

The Warriors only other victory this season was against Bristol in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

Wasps last five matches in Premiership have been won by the home side on the day with their most recent away victory being 20-15 at Northampton in Round Four.

Wasps have won their last four fixtures against Worcester in Premiership since the Warriors 29-23 victory at Sixways in March 2013.

Teams:

Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Jamie Shillcock, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Alafoti Faosiliva, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Dewald Potgieter (captain), 5 Darren Barry, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Val Rapava Ruskin.
Replacements: 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Na'ama Leleimalefaga, 18 James Johnston, 19 Andrew Kitchener, 20 Phil Dowson , 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Connor Braid, 23 Josh Adams.

Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Alapati Leiua, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Alex Rieder, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 James Gaskell, 3 Marty Moore, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Matt Mullan (captain).
Replacements: 16 Jack Willis, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Guy Armitage, 23 Piers O’Conor.

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant referees: Dean Richards & Andrew Pearce
TMO: David Sainsbury

Source: @premrugby

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 10 December 2016
Saracens v Sale Sharks 17h30 Allianz Park
Sun, 11 December 2016
Wasps v Connacht 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Montpellier v Castres 14h00 Altrad Stadium
Toulon v Scarlets 16h15 Stade Felix Mayol
Exeter Chiefs v Bordeaux 17h30 Sandy Park
Fri, 16 December 2016
Glasgow Warriors v Racing Metro 19h45 Scotstoun Stadium
Sat, 17 December 2016
Bordeaux v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 Stade Chaban-Delmas
Leicester Tigers v Munster 15h15 Welford Road
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Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 10 8 0 2 38
Wasps 10 8 0 2 37
Bath 10 8 0 2 35
Leicester Tigers 10 7 0 3 31
Exeter Chiefs 10 5 1 4 30
Gloucester 10 3 2 5 23
Harlequins 10 5 0 5 22
Newcastle Falcons 10 5 0 5 22
Northampton Saints 10 4 0 6 20
Sale Sharks 10 3 1 6 18
Worcester Warriors 10 1 2 7 10
Bristol 10 0 0 10 4