The weekend’s Premiership action marked the halfway point of the season. While some teams have found themselves in familiar positions, this year has also seen some surprising performances. Here is our half-term report.
Leicester Tigers – A*
It was going perfectly for the Tigers, who had gone the entire season without losing – until Sunday. They’ve been European team of 2021-22 so far, and kudos to defence coach Kevin Sinfield, who’s whipped his side into sensational shape.
Saracens – A
Saracens couldn’t have asked for too much more from their return to the top flight Premiership – already in the home semi-final places. They managed the last period of games without internationals well, which will be important in the coming Six Nations weeks.
Harlequins – A
The defending champions know from experience that any top-four place provides a path to silverware. Quins are third and are motoring nicely, brilliantly mixing the experience of Joe Marler and Danny Care with the youth of Alex Dombrandt and Marcus Smith.
Gloucester – A*
Arguably the surprise of the season, Gloucester have found themselves in the Premiership top four at the halfway mark after finishing 11th last year. The side have scored over 25 tries from mauls this season and opponents have struggled to stop them rolling over the line.
Northampton Saints – B
Saints are in a curious position, in the Champions Cup spots without really impressing or performing to their capabilities. Their influential players have shone, however, with Courtney Lawes and Dan Biggar rarely disappointing.
Exeter Chiefs – B
Chiefs seemed to struggle with new law adaptations towards the beginning of the season which hindered their preferred attacking style, but into the groove they’re starting to resemble the Exeter side the rest of the Premiership fears.
London Irish – B
Three draws this season already, Irish are one of the most enjoyable to watch. They’ve settled into their new stadium and were barely hit in the international window, a huge advantage in this tight season.
Newcastle Falcons – C
Falcons have been a little off the ball this season, but they’re growing a really exciting core of young English-qualified talent. They’ve always been on a budget but they’re showing others how to make it work.
Wasps – C
Wasps have been hampered by a monumental series of injuries this season, and they’ve struggled to get anything close to their best Premiership XV on the pitch. Should improve in the second half of the campaign.
Sale Sharks – D
Sale have been one of the major surprises thus far: top four last year but now lingering towards the bottom. They’re somewhat lacking leadership and their lack of discipline has been costly.
Bristol Bears – D
This must be the shock of the season to date. Pat Lam’s side’s form has gone straight out of the window. They’re lacking confidence but have started putting in a good string of Premiership matches of late.
Worcester Warriors – C
Worcester looked lost in the opening months of the Premiership season, until Steve Diamond turned up. They’ve always had a smart roster of players but it’s never quite clicked. They’re starting to find their formula, though.
Bath – F
There’s very little to say about Bath. If there was still relegation they’d be without Stuart Hooper – alas, there isn’t. They may have won at the weekend but they were unconvincing, as they have been all year.