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IN THE WORDS OF BIG JIM, HOW DEEP IS THE WELL?


By Seany_boy
November 22 2017

  The final weekend in November, the last England international, and the Premierships' current top two, Saracens and Exeter Chiefs face off at Allianz Park. Over the last 3 weekends, absolutely contrasting results:- Saracens have lost 3 in a row (it's been an awfully long time since that has happened), whilst Exeter have won 3 in a row - so maybe a change of fortunes this weekend?   

We will start with the visiting team, Exeter. Aside from the 40-0 thrashing of Scarlets in the Anglo-Welsh cup, Chiefs haven't looked that convincing. However that said, they have been doing what all good champions do: and that is grinding out wins and taking points when they are on offer. Exeter now have a great team in place and have dangerous men throughout their entire squad. The likes of Olly Woodburn & James Short, (who Saracens are very familiar with) are deadly, and the ball-carrying skills of  Thomas Waldron and Dave Ewers send fear into any opponents they come up against. Also in the front five they have the experience of Geoff Parling, Don Armand, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Jack Yeandle, Moray Low and Ben Moon to name a few. Exeter will definitely fancy their chances this weekend. They are not toobadly damaged by International call-ups or injuries (Nowell, Slade, Simmonds), and they have confidence and momentum coming into the match. Gareth Steenson is on top form at the moment and one to be watched this weekend. Last season he ended up with a successful kicking percentage of 84.6% and finished the season with 183 points, joint third highest overall along with Freddie Burns behind Stephen Myler (190) and Jimmy Gopperth (292). Steenson will be looking to improve on that this season. Saracens will need to be disciplined otherwise they will get punished on the scoreboard.

Excellent support by Exeterfans as always is expected, and the Tomohawk Chop will ring loud and proud around Allianz Park. A strong Exeter team could look like this:

Ben Moon, Jack Yeandle, Moray Low, Mitch Lees, Geoff Parling, Don Armand, Julian Salvi, Matt Kvesic, Nic White, Gareth Steenson, Olly Woodburn, Ollie Devoto, Ian Whitten, James Short, Phil Dolman.

Replacements: Luke Cown-Dickie, Tom Francis, Ollie Atkins, Dave Ewers, Stu Townsend, Joe Simmonds, Sam Hill

As for Saracens, after a disappointing last few weekends by their standards, and close fought games, they will be looking to find that winning formula and mentality. The youngsters gave it their all in the Anglo-Welsh only to suffer 2 close defeats, and last week, the first XV, who has seemed so in control, lost narrowly to a brilliant Gloucester Team 32-17 There appeared to be the last finishing touches missing, which if Saracens want to win, they will need to discover fast against the current Premier Champions. Lots of International call-ups and injuries has tested Saracens' strength in depth recently, but they have the squad capable of winning, and all would be first-choice players in many squads around the country.

With 7 currently in the England camp alone plus Liam Williams (now injured) and Sean Maitland back with Scotland, this is a fantastic opportunity for some up and coming young players to make a name for themselves. And what a test it will be against an in-form Exeter side. The likes of Nick Tompkins and Nathan Earle, with their experience, will be able to guide the new crop of Saracens' youngsters like Max Malins and Matt Gallagher

So an educated guess as to who will make the team:

Richard Barrington, Schalk Brits, Vincent Koch, George Kruis, Will Skelton, Calum Clark, Schalk Burger, Jackson Wray (Ed:-I really do hope he's fit), Richard Wigglesworth, Alex Goode, Chris Wyles, Brad Barritt, Marcelo Bosch, Nathan Earle, Matt Gallagher

Replacements: Hayden Thomson-Stringer, Christopher Tolofua, Juan Figallo, Mark Flanagan, Joel Conlon, Ben Spencer, Max Malins, 

Officials: Referee- Ian Tempest, Assistant Referees - Anthony Woodthorpe, Roy Maybank, TMO David Sainsbury

Match prediction - Chiefs by 11.

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IN THE WORDS OF BIG JIM, HOW DEEP IS THE WELL?
TheSaracens.com (IP Logged)
22/11/2017 17:52
Thanks Sean
Interesting team selection dilemma this week. Will we go for Goodey at 10 or will we let Malins start (if he's good enough he's old enough).
Either way they need to kick their goals.
I fear your prediction could be right but stranger things have happened



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2017:12:03:20:51:49 by Darraghgirl.

 
Re: IN THE WORDS OF BIG JIM, HOW DEEP IS THE WELL?
The Bard (IP Logged)
22/11/2017 18:15
Excellent preview, thanks. Would point out that Parling flew the chiefs nest at the end of last season!
It would be great to see a big game from Joel Conlon, he has shown glimpses but now really should be his time.

 
Re: IN THE WORDS OF BIG JIM, HOW DEEP IS THE WELL?
Seany_Boy0511 (IP Logged)
22/11/2017 18:16
Aah thanks Bard I wasn't sure if he was still with them or not...

 
Re: IN THE WORDS OF BIG JIM, HOW DEEP IS THE WELL?
TonyTaff (IP Logged)
23/11/2017 18:44
Thanks Seany, an excellent preview.

If I may nit-pick, Williams H is with England, so our looseheads might have a chance against whichever fatboys they have left smiling smiley

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