Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Gallagher Premiership semi-finals Preview

Gallagher Premiership semi-finals Preview

Shaun Goosen takes a look at the Gallagher Premiership semi-finals with fixtures set to take place on Saturday 10 October.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone 

Saturday 10 October

Wasps v Bristol Bears
Ricoh Arena

Wasps will look to qualify for a first final since 2017 when they host Bristol at the Ricoh Arena in the first semi-final on Saturday.

The side have gone from strength to strength since Lee Blackett took over the reins from Dai Young in February and now find themselves two wins away from claiming a first title since 2008.

They head into this one red-hot after winning all six of their previous matches in a late-season flurry that saw them end up in second. Despite having no crowd to cheer them on, playing in the familiar surroundings of the Ricoh will do wonders for the team’s confidence on game day.

Bristol’s rise in recent years has been nothing short of astounding. The Bears have no shortage of honey to call on after Stephen Lansdowns takeover, and the club’s major signings have propelled them to a first semi-final since 2007. It’s odd to think that such a talented squad finished eighth in the Premiership last season and played in the RFU Championship just a year before that.

The Wasps may be the more experienced bunch, but Bristol won’t lie down and should put on one of their typical attacking displays on Saturday.

Verdict: Bears

This match will be a close one, but I’m backing the Bears to upset the Wasps by a narrow margin and head into their first final.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Exeter Chiefs v Bath
Sandy Park

Table-toppers and Champions Cup finalists Exeter may prove too strong for Bath in Saturday’s second semi-final at Sandy Park.

The Chiefs are set on building a dynasty to match that of Saracens’. Under Rob Baxter, the side plays some of the smartest, most clinical football on the club scene.

On 17 October they will face Racing 92 for the right to be crowned European champions for the first time. And, following a domestic season that saw them cement first-position with weeks left to play, they will be eager to claim a coveted double in sealing a second Premiership title.

Coming up against Bath in the semi-final here, they will be confident of getting the job done. Baxter’s first-choice players have been resting and recuperating for some time and will be refreshed and reinvigorated ahead of this one.

Bath have been good this season under Stuart Hooper. They let themselves down to a degree in allowing Sarries to fight back last week after leading by a comfortable margin, but lessons will have been learned. But enough to topple Exeter on Saturday? Well, that’s a dubious question.

Verdict: Exeter

The Chiefs should claim a comfortable win to reach the final for the fifth time in succession.

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