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By Seany_boy
September 6 2018

Here we go... Back at Allianz Park for our first home game of the New look Gallagher premiership!   Round 2 sees Current premiership champions Saracens take on the Championship Champions Bristol on what could be a fine Saturday Afternoon.  

Both teams have a win to their name from round Round 1. The new rebranded Bristol Bears held their own against a strong Bath team in front of 26,000 fans on a fabulous Friday night at Ashton Gate. The positivity and the buzz around the stadium could be felt even just watching the game on TV. Much credit to Bristol for bringing the city together like this, long may it continue!
Bristol themselves have a lot of new players who are experienced Premiership players, the likes of Jordan Crane, George Smith, Yann Thomas, and million pound man Charles Piatu to name a few (unfortunately Charles is currently unavailable due to injury) and that experience shined through on Friday night against local rivals Bath. In Pat Lam the Bears have a fantastic coach who loves rugby and his Passion and belief is incredible, Lam is talking about targeting a Top 6 finish and champions Cup rugby next near! Some people may think this insane and will never happen, but look at Exeter Chiefs, who would have thought bthey would come on they way they have and win the Premiership within 8 or 9 seasons? Rugby is full of surprises, and thanks to the togetherness of Bristol and a very unfortunate drop over the line by Bath Full back Tom Homer Bristol ended up claiming 4 points, during the game itself they looked ready and dangerous and their wingers caused havoc with Alapati Lieau scoring the vital try near the end of the game  to win 17 - 10 (he could well have had another has it not been Ruled out for a forward pass in the build up) and Bristol themselves are marshalled brilliantly by Irish International Ian Madigan, they will be relishing the chance to take on Saracens on their own patch, oozing with confidence, and positive vibes, expect the line up to be very similar as to that that beat bath on the opening weekend.
Onto Saracens then, and they took Maximum points up in Newcastle in front of a sell out at Kingston Park. Saracens didn't have things there own way early on though, Toby Flood kicked two penalties to give the Falcons a 6 - 0 Lead. But as we all know, Saracens never give up and it only takes one moment of magic for them to create something from nothing... Which is exactly what happened after about 12 mins, excellent break in midfield and David Strettle, making his return to the Men in black almost had the chance to score in the corner, but his ability to stay in field and know exactly where the touchline is showed as he offloaded to the onrushing Jamie George to score, Farrell converted and Sarries took a slender lead, unfortunately moments later Sean Maitland had to go off with what seemed to be a finger injury and enter another Saracens newbie, Alex Lewington who ended up scoring twice on his debut. Knowing his abilities as a world class finisher, would be interesting to see how many tries he ends up with this term, and will England come calling for his services just before bthe world cup In 2019? Unfortunately Dave Strettle took a nasty bang to the head, resulting in a HIA failure, so Nick Tompkins was called upon, he too would score in the final moments to secure a bonus point win after a stupendous offload by Skipper Brad Barritt, a special mention to Will Skelton also who has clearly lost weight and got himself fitter, he was absolutely everywhere causing problems at the break down at every opportunity! Mark Wilson grabbed a brace for Newcastle and two yellow cards towards the end made the game very one point, but Sarries didn't panic and won over 21 - 32 and took the maximum 5 points. 
So with an Injury list piling up already and now news that Super Duncan Taylor got injures during the Storm game and Figallo out for the foreseeable future, could be a chance for some young guns to stand up and shine. Dave Strettle could potentially miss the game due to Concussion also..
A Sarries line up may look like this
M Vunipola, George, Koch, Itoje, Skelton, Rhodes, Burger, Wray, Spencer, Farrell, Lewington, Barritt, Lozowski, Maitland, Goode
Tolufua, Barrington, Thomson-Stringer, Kruis, Isiekwe, Wigglesworth, Tompkins, Gallagher
Match prediction : still early season but feel Saracens will be too strong overall, Sarries win by 23 points
Ref Andrew Jackson
assistant refs: Matt O'Grady and Robert Warburton
TMO: Stuart Teeherge
Citing Officer: 
John Byett

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Discussion started by , 06/09/2018 20:25
06/09/2018 20:25
Thanks Sean, hope your predicition is correct!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018:09:16:12:27:45 by Darraghgirl.

The Bard
07/09/2018 21:53
Excellent preview, thanks. Bristol appear to be resting some of their bigger guns but I think they will still be very competitive.

08/09/2018 08:03
Cheers Sean, that's great.

Pat Lam has come a long way since his spell ad a trainee touch judge at VR!

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