Friday, 25 May 2012

Aviva Premiership Final Preview

Tomorrow will be the day of the Aviva Premiership final between table topping Harlequins and nine times
winners Leicester Tigers.

The final also marks the eighth consecutive Premiership final in which the Tigers have appeared in, however out of the seven already played, they have won just three of them. Harlequins will also be the Tiger's fifth different opponent in these finals which really shows their accomplishment.

Lets not forget though that Quins are not just here to make up the numbers, this is the team that finished top of the table in the regular season and have been there since pretty much the start of the season. They have quality players all around the park, with the pack containing one time England skipper Nick Easter, along with current captain Chris Robshaw who will bring both power and leadership to the side. Behind the scrum there will be no shortage of pace with back in form scrum half Danny Care as well centre Jordan Turner-Hall and the dangerous Ugo Monye. You of course have the vocal point of the team who is the sensational New Zealand fly half Nick Evans, how this man has only 16 caps for the All Blacks i'll never know as he is without doubt one of the most talent players the Premiership has ever seen.

Unlike Quins, Leicester didn't start the season nearly as well. The Tigers got off to a disastrous start as they lost five of their opening six games, this of course was not helped by the players on World Cup duty as well as a number of injuries. This was still not good enough from a team such as Leicester and once the missing players had returned, the pressure was on to salvage their season. They did just that as they went on to lose just the one game in the calender year of 2012, this included winning the LV cup by beating local rivals Northampton Saints in the final. Along with already known stars of Tigers (Flood, the Tuilagi's, Murphy ect), new talent emerged including one of the players of the season Steve Mafi and 19 year old George Ford who will start this years final.

The result of the match hangs in the balance, the final may be decide by one player's brilliance on the day as the two teams seem evenly matched. A lot will also rest on the shoulders of George Ford and his temperament on the big occasion, also getting the ball to Manu Tuilagi will key in order to get some forward momentum. The last time the two met was at the Stoop, the Tigers came out on top that day by winning a thriller of game which ended 33-43. If the final is as half as entertaining as that game, we are in for a treat.

This game seems too close to call, hopefully it will be another cracking game and sorry to use a cliche but at the end of the day, may the best team win.   


Harlequins: Brown; Williams, Lowe, Turner-Hall, Monye; Evans, Care; Marler, Gray, Johnston, Kohn, Robson; Fa'asavalu, Robshaw (capt), Easter.
Replacements: Buchanan, Lambert, Collier, Vallejos, Guest, Dickson, Clegg, Hopper.
Leicester: Murphy; Agulla, M Tuilagi, Allen, A Tuilagi; Ford, Youngs; Ayerza, Chuter, Cole; Skivington, Parling; Mafi, Salvi, Waldrom.
Replacements: T Youngs, Mulipola, Castrogiovanni, Kitchener, Newby, Harrison, Flood, Hamilton.

Aviva Premiership final

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