It’s not often that we get the chance to reflect on our previous predictions and lollygag at our naivety over certain selections. However, for transparency’s sake, we have to remember that Rugby is far from a robotic game, there are variables, uncontrollable variables, and oversights, oh so many oversights, that cause us to miss the mark. I’m a pretty self-assured Rugby fan, and I’d like to think I have a better knowledge than many when it comes to the domestic game, however, did I float atop the drudgery with excellent takes, or did I plummet into punditry mediocrity, like you’d expect to hear on sky sports…
5. Top Try Scorer – Adam Radwan (4/10)
Now I don’t think this is a bad take at all. Newcastle are a middling side when it comes to points scored, but they do typically have prolific wingers. Radwan is now an England squad must-have, and his try scoring statistics on the international stage are other-worldly so far, but he’s scored just the two tries on the domestic scene so far, and now it looks really unlikely that he’s going to surpass some of the leaders.
Malins currently sits at the top of the tree, which lets face it, was massively helped by his try scoring display against Wasps, and not a dead-set for this top spot at all… But it gets worst. The next few names include Nic Dolly on 6, Agustin Creevy on 5 and Courtnall Skosan on 5… How would I have ever guessed that! Quins have a couple of strong shouts in there to finish strong with Lynagh already on 5 with Green close behind on 4, but it looks like a Dolly – Malins race to the end, especially if they miss out on England duties later this year.
4. Top Points Scorer – Marcus Smith (3/10)
Yeah we can pretty much say, unless there is an absolute miracle, that Marcus Smith won’t be hitting his heady heights that he did last year. We should have really equated for his stints with England and good injury form up to this point; perhaps the numbers were a little inflated. The likes of Slade, Gopperth, even James Grayson are all above his slim tally of 35. However, with Leicester’s recent form, it looks like Ford is screwed on to take the tally this year, already 107 points up, triple that of Smith’s. The closest to the guy is Owen Farrell on 62, who is likely to miss a great portion of the season with England as he usually does.
3. Player of the Season – AJ MacGinty (1/10)
TERRIBLE SHOUT ALERT! RING, RING, RING! Oh ye of so little faith, we trusted you MacGinty. Admittedly, we did mention that MacGinty’s chances could be torn apart should he miss big parts of the season through injury, and it looks like we could have that happen again here with him already picking up the off niggle here and there.
However, Sale just looked deflated this season and certainly haven’t kicked on like we thought they would, in fact, it’s another ten from a side that we didn’t pay much attention to in Leicester, that looks destined to take this award this season.
2. Bottom of the League – Worcester Warriors (7/10)
I mean this is a pretty easy pick, and even then, as it stands, we are still wrong. Bath have been woeful this season, truly and utterly woeful, however with a change of coach and a new regime, we could quite easily see them turn over some of this recent form and start picking up results again – sure they are still destined to be in the bottom three, but finishing bottom seems harsh. Worcester on the other hand still look a little toothless.
Admittedly they are better than last season, and we did say that they would be with some decent signings across the squad, however we did worry when it came to international breaks as to whether they could keep form. So far, they had a decent start, and then fell by the wayside in their last few outings.
1. Premiership Champions – Sale Sharks (2/10)
Jheeze Louise Sale what are you doing to me! I really felt assured that they would begin to kick on this season, as they only narrowly missed out on making it to the final last year, but they just look a little clunky so far. They don’t seem to have that grit or snub-nosed aggression that they had last year, and even though they made just a few signings, their first team looks erratic.
I didn’t predict Leicester to be nearly as dominant as they have been so far, and I would have probably picked them for that fourth spot, but with Exeter and Bristol collapsing, the title race is now wide open. Quins remain ever-strong and ever-exciting, Saracens are back to their bullying selves and that mid table shuffle has plenty of names who could rise up and knock Exeter out of top 4 contention for the first time in years. If I were to pick who that would be, I still think Sale could create a renaissance with a little more focus.