Aviva Predictions

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Aviva Predictions

Post by SirBurger on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 4:52 pm

First topic message reminder :

With the season less than a fortnight away and most (if not all) recruitment done, how do people see the Aviva finishing this season?

Personally, I think it could be an odd one. Saracens and Exeter will remain very strong, but you could make an argument for almost all of the rest of the sides potentially slipping from where they were last season (other than probably Newcastle). In that sense, I think it is the hardest season to predict in ages. I am going to go for (with a very rushed summary of each side):

1. Saracens – Have recruited strongly, have an identity and will be well-coached. No surprises here.

2. Exeter – Same as for Saracens. The current Champions and no reason to expect them to be worse than last season.

3. Wasps – Pack still a little bit lacking compared to the two above them, but still have some electric backs, even accounting for the loss of Beale.

4. Bath – Haven’t been too impressed with their recruitment, but still a very strong squad across the board. If Burns clicks for them and they can keep Faletau, Joseph and Watson fit then they could potentially finish higher.

5. Leicester – Simply not the force of old. Recruitment has been focused on flashy backs, when I think it is their pack that is lacking compared with the big boys. If Ford, Manu and May go well then they have a chance, but then they will also lose these players during the international window.

6. Newcastle – My surprise package. They have recruited well and are a very difficult team to beat at home. Will have confidence after a strong season last time around and will take advantage of the teams in decline around them.

7. Northampton – Similar to Leicester in that Reinach, Francis and Horne are potentially great backline signings, but the pack is not the force it once was and the failure to adequately replace Picamoles will definitely hurt them. For the first time in ages, the front row seems to be lacking a bit of depth.

8. Harlequins – If Catrakalis can fit into their style of play, or the other players can adapt to him then they could be higher, but somehow I think they will struggle. The loss of big name stars during the international windows, along with the injury crisis that they are beginning the season with in the back row, could be their undoing. Too much quality to finish any lower though.

9. Sale – Another side that have recruited well, but question marks remain as to whether a De Klerk-O’Connor half back pairing is suitable for Premiership Rugby. Strauss and Ross will add meat to the back row, but it may take them a while to click.

10. Gloucester – Ackermann has been brought in to carry out a revolution and change the Gloucester mentality. Sadly, I don’t see it happening. Slater will improve the pack, as will Ackermann’s son, but I just don’t see enough quality for there to be immediate rewards from the new coaching setup.

11. London Irish – Much more of a team outfit than last time they were in the Premiership. Will definitely be in a relegation battle but a strong front row platform and a bit of magic out wide from Lewington, Cokanasiga and Nalaga will keep them safe.

12. Worcester – Already seem to be suffering with injuries and pre-season does not appear to be going well either. Hougaard missing the start of the season again is a big blow. They will be hoping that they have picked up some points by the time he is back, but I think they will struggle without a recognised starting fly half.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by Cumbrian on Mon 28 Aug 2017, 7:53 pm

To my mind there isn't much to 'work out' about Exeter. They work hard, pressure the opposition and have a strong pack of forwards. They are incredibly hard to play against (particularly down in Devon) and for my money will be somewhere around the top 4 again, I wouldn't bet against a top 2 finish personally.

I believe Bath will have a good season this time out (I predict this every September mind), on paper they have a very good squad and at some point they will have to click.

I believe my Falcons will have a decent season (not been this optimistic in a long time) Deano has put together a hard nuggetty pack and a surprisingly exciting back line. I hoping for a top six finish. I worry for fellow northerners Sale though, they have got lots of exciting young English talent, but their pack looks lightweight and paper thin. I can see them stalling in the heavy winter months. I hope I am wrong but I can see them being involved in a relegation scrap.

My prediction for what it is worth:

Saracens
Exeter
Wasps
Bath
Leicester
Harlequins
Newcastle
Gloucester
Northampton
Sale
Worcester
London Irish
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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 29 Aug 2017, 9:29 am

As an outsider who watches virtually all the games on TV I'll have a go

Saracens
Leicester
Exeter
Wasps
Harlequins
Bath
Northampton
Newcastle
Gloucester
Sale
London Irish
Worcester

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by beshocked on Tue 29 Aug 2017, 11:21 am

Interesting most of you think Saracens will end up first. Whilst I think on paper, they have the best squad, the Lions absentees could mean early losses and fighting on 3 fronts could hurt.

Bath could well turn a corner this season IMO.

1.Exeter - they are a consistent well oiled machine
2.Saracens - strong squad should see them make the playoffs.
3.Bath - backrow should be very strong this season.
4.Wasps - not enough reinforcements in forwards IMO.
5.Leicester - ditto.
6.Quins - good first XV but call ups will hurt them more than others.
7.Newcastle - should keep improving.
8.Saints - not reinforced the squad enough, losing Picamoles is a huge blow IMO and feel Mallinder has run out of ideas.
9.Gloucester - could be higher but still lack composure at times to close out games.
10.Sale - just lack the quaility of other sides IMO.
11.Worcester - ditto
12.London Irish - ditto

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by formerly known as Sam on Tue 29 Aug 2017, 12:33 pm

Three fronts? Sarries will put the kids and squad players out in the LV same as most sides do. The HEC definitely caught up with Saracens at the end of last season. Owen Farrell looked dead in his feet in the playoff semi final and threw two interceptions and a couple of hospital passes, most unlike him.

I think Sarries are to consistent not to finish in the top 2.

Interesting point about the strength of the Bath backrow. However, Falatau is on Lions stand down and I've heard rumours that both Louw and Underhill are injured. Any Bath fans know what the latest is? That could hamper the start of the season and Bath's tight five isn't anything special.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 29 Aug 2017, 12:42 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:Three fronts? Sarries will put the kids and squad players out in the LV same as most sides do. The HEC definitely caught up with Saracens at the end of last season. Owen Farrell looked dead in his feet in the playoff semi final and threw two interceptions and a couple of hospital passes, most unlike him.

I think Sarries are to consistent not to finish in the top 2.

Interesting point about the strength of the Bath backrow. However, Falatau is on Lions stand down and I've heard rumours that both Louw and Underhill are injured. Any Bath fans know what the latest is? That could hamper the start of the season and Bath's tight five isn't anything special.

Lets hope the "new saviour" at no.7 is not another sicknote like Rees and Fraser were....

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by beshocked on Tue 29 Aug 2017, 1:03 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:Three fronts? Sarries will put the kids and squad players out in the LV same as most sides do. The HEC definitely caught up with Saracens at the end of last season. Owen Farrell looked dead in his feet in the playoff semi final and threw two interceptions and a couple of hospital passes, most unlike him.

I think Sarries are to consistent not to finish in the top 2.

Interesting point about the strength of the Bath backrow. However, Falatau is on Lions stand down and I've heard rumours that both Louw and Underhill are injured. Any Bath fans know what the latest is? That could hamper the start of the season and Bath's tight five isn't anything special.


Internationals/ resting from Lions tour.
AP
ERCC

That's 3 fronts.

Potentially losing to internationals.....

England: Mako,George,Kruis,Itoje, Isiekwe (unlikely but maybe),Billy,Wigglesworth (unlikely but who knows?), Lozowski,Farrell

Wales: Williams

Scotland:Taylor and Maitland

Farrell Jr last season didn't play much in the AP.



For teams that lose very few players during the AIs and 6 nations they can gain ground.

If Saracens had a full strength team vs the likes of Worcester or Gloucester during the 6 nations last season I doubt they'd lose.

Makes the difference between coming 1st and 3rd.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by Recwatcher16 on Tue 29 Aug 2017, 1:53 pm

At Bath, Louw has had shoulder surgery and Underhill has injury niggles but both are allegedly available for selection against Leicester at Welford Rd.
However given we also have Saints and Wasps away, with the small matter of Saracens and Newcastle at home in the first five games some rotation will be inevitable. Young Ellis will be a big miss this season.
I expect good things from the front row resources however as with three sets - all English, being strong combinations. It has been well documented the injury levels last season that Blackadder had to grapple with- if that can be avoided, a top four finish is the minimum. I have no idea on the euro comp with Toulon & Scarlets in the same pool.
Newcastle are my surprise package this season. Quins, Sale & Glaws are possibly going to struggle with new/ light resources at fly-half.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 29 Aug 2017, 1:56 pm

I wish people would stop pushing us on....we just want to slip under the radar quietly please...

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by Recwatcher16 on Tue 29 Aug 2017, 2:01 pm

Meant to add - suspect that George Ford will make Leicester a serious proposition, as he will back enjoying his rugby, which sadly I don't think he was last season.
On the upside, he will only be with them for about four of the roughly eight months of the season.


Apologies Geordie !

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Re: Aviva Predictions

Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 29 Aug 2017, 2:11 pm

I said previously I have put a cheeky one on Leicester for the title.

If they can keep Manu and Toomua fit that's a serious and physical midfield...May adds another level on the wing and they have some steel in that pack.

Strength in depth, covering injuries and England call ups might be the problem though.

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Re: Aviva Predictions

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