Ollie Phillips: A mouth-watering Premiership final awaits but my money is on Saracens

 
Ollie Phillips
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Premiership Rugby Awards 2018
Exeter and Saracens have played the best rugby by a country mile this season (Source: Getty)

What a Premiership final we have in store on Saturday. Exeter and Saracens are comfortably the best two teams in the country and it is testament to them and the rugby they play that both are in the final.

Saracens had a stumble before Christmas when they lost seven successive matches across all competitions but they are back with a bang and their performance in the semi-final against Wasps, when they racked up 57 points, was phenomenal.

Factor in defending champions Exeter’s grit, determination and ability to play incredibly smart rugby and it is all set up to be a mouth-watering contest.

If I had to put my money somewhere, however, then it would be on Sarries.

Even though Exeter are a fantastic side and Rob Baxter has assembled a stunning group of players with an enviable spirit, I just think Saracens’ key decision-makers have stardust and tip the balance in their favour.

The Saracens spine from 2-10 is just formidable. Jamie George, George Kruis, Maro Itoje, Billy Vunipola, Richard Wigglesworth or Ben Spencer at scrum-half and Owen Farrell – that is such a powerful group heading into a crucial match.

That's not to say, however, that Exeter do not have ample quality across the pitch – they do – but if those names turn up at Twickenham and play to their utmost then they will take some stopping.

Exeter, though, have been superb defending champions and have shown how class an outfit they are by topping the Premiership table at the end of the regular season.

Winning the Premiership title takes a huge amount of effort and, in some respects, it is possible that any side can deliver a one-off season, a freak moment which nobody quite believes the romanticism of.

Football’s Leicester City winning the Premier League two years ago is a case in point, but Exeter have shown they are much more than a one-hit wonder.

The Chiefs have a very impressive team and environment and should be extremely proud of their achievements.

Ollie Phillips is leading a group of inspiring individuals to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro this October. To join him visit https://www.360-expeditions.com/expeditions/ollie-phillips-kilimanjaro/

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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