PWR – Round 11 – Preview

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At present qualification for the play-offs looks sewn up: Bears lie nine points ahead of Lightning. But Lightning do have a leeway of one game, which can make a big difference before decision time. This weekend the gap could narrow to a mere four points.

Fixtures

Saturday 10 February

Loughborough Lightning v Leicester Tigers, Franklin’s Gardens KO 14.00
Saracens v Quins, StoneX, KO 12.30

Sunday 11 February

Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks, Sandy Park, KO 13.00
Gloucester-Hartpury v Bristol Bears, Kingsholm, KO 14.00

Bye: Trailfinders

Table ​​​

                                    P​     W​      L​      Pts

Saracens                  9      8      ​1        40
Glos-Pury         ​​       8     8      0        39
Exeter​​​                       9     6      3        33
Bears       ​​                 9      6      3        30
Lightning                8      4       4        21
Harlequins  ​​           9      3       6         18  ​
Trailfinders      ​​​     9       2       7         13
Tigers​​​                     9       1        8         9
Sale         ​​                8       1        7         8

We almost had a chance of another Leicestershire derby, still a great rarity on the rugby calendar. But no, Lightning use their other ground way down south in the next county. At least they will be keen to reinforce their recent advance.

Quins’ chances of progress must be delayed for another week. Glos-Pury may have been able to lower Sarries’ colours recently, but if Quins repeat the dose, it will be the shock of the day.

After Round Ten Ellie Kildunne was awarded Player of the Week; she scored four tries. But they were against the bottom club, Sale Sharks. Now Quins need her and her team-mates to produce the same sort of dominance against the strongest teams.

A worry for a lot of us: Quins offer a series of portraits of Emily Scott across the years. She doesn’t seem to have aged at all. What’s her recipe?

Sarries and Quins may have dubbed their match ‘The Duel’, but the Big One this week is at Gloucester, where Bears face another test of their ability to string wins together. It’s taking a long time for Glos-Pury to lose their unbeaten record, and they’ll have the advantage of the Kingsholm roar.

All the same, Sarries deserve huge congratulation for selling over 2,500 tickets two days before kick-off.

Chiefs have the privilege of playing the bottom club this weekend. Fair-minded people will be hoping that Sharks can start putting some decent results together. That’s vital for the well-being of the whole league.

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