Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Aviva Premiership Final: Saracens v Exeter Preview

Aviva Premiership Final: Saracens v Exeter Preview

Aviva Premiership Round 22 Preview

After another blockbuster season of Aviva Premiership rugby, this year’s title will be decided at Twickenham on Saturday, 26 May, when the Exeter Chiefs take on Saracens, writes Shaun Goosen.

Aviva Premiership Final
Saracens v Exeter 
26 May 16h00
Twickenham Stadium, London

To Win (80 mins)
Saracens 13/20
Draw 20/1
Exeter 12/10

After finishing the campaign in first and second place respectively, it is perhaps fitting that the two best teams in the competition fight it out for top honours in a rematch of the 2016 final.

In that encounter, it was the Saracens who came out victorious by 28-20 after finishing top of the log and six-points ahead of Exeter in second. Over the past few seasons, Saracens and Exeter have dominated the domestic scene and solidified their standings as the two best clubs in England.

This marks Exeter’s third-successive Final appearance following their win over Wasps last year, while Sarries have been involved in four of the last five title-deciders.

Both Sarries and Exeter employ low-risk percentage-based rugby focused on minimising their errors and capitalizing on those of opposition. The fact that both sides lost just 11-games between them this campaign speaks volumes for the success of these strategies.

Exeter have taken all three fixtures between them this season. In their first meeting in November, the Chiefs pipped Sarries 20-18 at the Allianz Stadium before running riot in a 43-20 Anglo-Welsh Cup win at Sandy Park three months later. In early March, it was again Exeter who triumphed 24-12 at home.

For a long time this season, it looked as though Saracens were dead in the water after a run of seven consecutive losses. The fact that they now stand the chance at taking home silverware after that mid-season collapse is testament to how good they really are.

Saracens were men possessed in last week’s semi-final against the Wasps. In arguably their best performance all season, they outscored their opponents by six tries to five in an eventual 57-33 thumping. The intensity and willingness of the side to attack harked back to the Sarries of last season and a similar showing on Saturday will drive Exeter close.

After all, the Chiefs did enjoy a phenomenal campaign of their own. They wrapped up top spot with weeks left and looked far and away the best team in the tournament. Considering the quality of both sides, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see yet another extra time finish at Twickenham.

Verdict: Saracens 13/20
Such a tough one, but Saracens must surely have the edge after last week’s performance. I’m going for them to edge it by between three or more to claim their fourth Premiership title.

Written by Shaun Goosen for @Hollywoodbets.net

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