May 27, 2016
Aviva Premiership Final Match Preview
Saturday afternoon will see the current holders of the Aviva Premiership trophy Saracens go head to head with first time finalists Exeter Chiefs.
Since Exeter were promoted to the Premiership the two sides have met a total of 12 times, with Saracens winning eight and the Chiefs four. This season Saracens have done the double over the West Country side yet in 2014/15 Exeter managed the same over the North Londoners.
For Exeter the performances of England duo Henry Slade and Jack Nowell are likely to be key. Both products of the Chiefs academy, their performances in attack for the Chiefs have earned them many admirers this season. Exeter also have in their ranks the top points scorer in the Premiership this season, fly half Gareth Steenson. One notable absence for Exeter however will be their top try scorer Thomas Waldrom who was ruled out of the final with a knee injury.
Life at Saracens has returned to routine after their triumph in Lyon earlier this month and they expect to go into the clash fully prepared for the Exeter challenge.
“We’ve got to do our homework on them” said Saracens flanker Mike Rhodes, “but at the same time keep doing what we’re doing focus on ourselves go from play to play throughout the game and really just win the small battles”
“I think we’re fairly similar teams in the style of play we have” he added. “It’s just going to the small different the couple percentage changes that will make it…hopefully we can just do the little things a bit better and come out on top”
With Saracens finishing first and Exeter second this is a final between the two best sides in the Premiership this season. The finalists are on good form as well, with both sides coming into the game off the back of a run of wins. Saracens have not lost since facing Leicester back in March and Exeter come into the game off the back off three wins since their narrow defeat to Gloucester in Round 20.
The teams have met once before in a final, the incredibly close LV final last season. Based on their performances this season this final is likely to bring more of the same.