The final round before the play-offs is upon us and the efforts of Bristol, Exeter, Sale and Harlequins have seen them secure for themselves the top 4 spots – with some distance, as there is an 11 point gap between 4th-placed Quins and 5th - placed Northampton Saints. The final round takes the form of a ‘Super Saturday’, meaning that all fixtures will be played at the same time.
The round kicks off with Bath hosting Saints at The Rec. Saints lost out rather narrowly to Exeter last weekend in a hard-fought game which requited the defending champions to give their all in order to secure a positive result. The gutsy Saints finished the game with 14 players on the pitch after suffering a red card but still managed to push the Chiefs until the very end.
With something of a Covid-19 outbreak in the Gloucester camp, Bath’s Round 21 fixture was called off. Stuart Hooper’s charges will thus be fresh for this encounter though they face a battle-hardened Saints outfit.
There was not much in it the last time these teams met – at Franklin’s Gardens in Round 11. The visitors came away with a 1-point victory after Saints started at a furious pace, running in 3 tries before the half-hour mark. Bath dotted down just before the break courtesy of Zach Mercer, who scored their second try as well as it became evident that Bath were resurgent. It was a great second half performance which ultimately saw the visitors triumph.