DMP Durham Sharks versus Wasps
At last the Prem 15s has caught up with its tail. The constant rejigging of the whole season had a big impact on clubs and players.
As Wasps travelled north to face DMP Durham Sharks in the last of the rearranged matches only five players retained their place from the original Round 12 line-up. And three of them had a change of position.
The big news broke mid-week: with so many Wasps called up for national service, Giselle Mather answered her club’s call and agreed to play No 10. Unfortunately this exclusive came precisely two days before kick-off on 3 April. So the club had to make do without her on-field pedigree.
Back in the world of cold reality there were so many players on international duty (both 15s and 7s) that only 20 names were listed for travel. This was more in line with suggestions that World Rugby was proposing, to reduce the number of replacements allowed.
But the benchers more than held their own. Wasps managed five tries to ensure a vital bonus point, although DMP had the delight of achieving their best result, Beth Blacklock scoring two late tries and converting them.
Result: DMPDS 14 Wasps 27
Referee: Ben Rayner
ARs: David Charlton and Rebecca Rees
with thanks to rugbyreferee.net
How things look
With every side having completed sixteen fixtures, we get a clearer picture of how things lie – see table below. As I suspected, Wasps have now moved a comfortable seven points ahead of Lightning, who are still threatened by the ever-improving Chiefs. Two places in the knock-outs are still undecided.
Much will depend on who is still available for the last two rounds which are scheduled for 17 April (England’s blank weekend) and 8 May. Who will survive the 6 Nations uninjured and who will be whisked away for much needed 7s practice? Lightning are more vulnerable to these two possibilities than the Chiefs. And they face a tougher run-in despite two home games.
Here are the remaining fixtures for the five parties concerned:
Saracens v Lightning A; v Worcester A
Quins v Worcester H; v DMPDS A
Wasps v Glos-Pury A; v Bristol H
Lightning v Saracens H; v Sale H
Exeter v Sale A; v Glos-Pury H
Table P W L D B Pts
Saracens 16 13 2 1 14 69
Harlequins 16 12 3 1 13 63
Wasps 16 12 4 0 12 61
Loughborough 16 11 5 0 10 54
Exeter 16 10 6 0 8 48
Glos-Pury 16 9 7 0 9 45
Worcester 16 5 11 0 8 28
Bristol 16 4 12 0 6 22
Sale 16 3 13 0 3 15
DMPDS 16 0 16 0 0 0