THE UNFAIR PLAY LEAGUE

THE UNFAIR PLAY LEAGUE

Rugby is a sport dominated by good sportsmanship and friendship.

But, with just two weeks of the Aviva Premiership's regular season to go and many issues still to be settled, it is that time of the season when, as well as cheering on your own team until you are exhausted, it's perfectly acceptable to hope someone else's team slips up in a bad way.

You can even cheer if you like when they concede a try or when news of their defeat is read out on the PA at your particular club.

It's dog-eat-dog in the final furlong so don't be shy, embrace it, and feel no guilt for wishing ill upon other clubs and their supporters.

Living Rugby looks at the teams you should be wishing ill of this week.
 

Saracens

Saracens - The Fez heads have already booked a home semi-final so their supporters can just sit back, relax and watch other teams sweating as they jostle for position. But it wouldn't do them any harm for Leicester Tigers to lose to give them a better chance of finishing top. And a defeat for either Harlequins or Northampton would be good to lesser the confidence of a potential semi-final opponent.

 

Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers - Any loss for Saracens would open the door to the top-placed finish that Richard Cockerill said the club were after last weekend. A loss for Harlequins, meanwhile would secure home advantage in the play-offs, whatever Leicester do at Bath.

Harlequins

Harlequins - If Leicester lose at Bath, the champions' chances of a home semi-final are still alive. But Quins recent form means fans should probably focus their energy on hoping that Gloucester lose at home to Saracens - a result that would secure Quins' place in the play-offs at least.

Northampton Saints

Northampton - The Saints will also be hoping that table-topping Sarries can beat fifth-placed Gloucester at Kingsholm. If Northampton can better Gloucester's points haul from this weekend in any way, they will also be guaranteed a top-four finish. Whether they would rather finish fourth - and face a trip to Saracens' artificial pitch, or third - and face a likely trip to local rivals Leicester, is anyone's guess.

Gloucester Rugby

Gloucester - It's a weekend for the traditional Gloucester supporters to pretty much hate most clubs in the top eight. The trouble is, they can't all lose. Defeats for either Northampton or Harlequins would open the door for the Cherry & Whites to try and nab a play-off place. While below them, defeats for two of either Exeter, Bath or Wasps would greatly increase their likelihood of playing Heineken Cup rugby next season.

Exeter Chiefs

Exeter - The play-offs are a very remote possibility for the Chiefs so it is below them in the table where Exeter fans should focus their ill-will. Two games are huge for Chiefs fans this weekend. The ‘Tribe' will become honorary Leicester fans as a Tigers win at Bath would mean Exeter could secure a Heineken Cup place that looked a mile away last month, with a win over eighth-placed Wasps at Adams Park.

Bath Rugby

Bath - Bath fans would like Wasps to beat Exeter but not by scoring too many tries. That result would mean that they would take the crucial sixth spot if they can beat Leicester at The Rec. A Gloucester loss would be nice too - but, then again, they think that every weekend as it is.

London Wasps

Wasps - Dia Young's men have suffered a rough run of late with five league defeats on the bounce after their wonderful win over Gloucester. That has ended their hopes of a top four slot but their hopes of Heineken Cup rugby are still well and truly alive. If they beat Exeter at home on Sunday while stopping the Chiefs getting a bonus point – and Leicester beat Bath at The Rec, Wasps will sit in sixth place with one game left and that is a trip to already-safe Sale Sharks.

Worcester Warriors

 

Worcester - Warriors fans can' wait for the end of the season but they would rather finish ninth than 11th, that's for sure. They need to stop the rot at home to Harlequins and hope that Sale and London Irish both lose.

Sale Sharks

Sale - Last week's results meant that Sale could stop looking behind them and look up the table instead of down. As a result, Sharks fans should be hoping Worcester fans endure more misery this weekend as ninth place comes into their sights.

London Irish

London Irish - The Exile are safe but there's a mini-league at the bottom now with ninth place as the prize. Irish will take over that ninth place going into the final weekend if they can beat London Welsh and Northampton beat Sale.

London Welsh

London Welsh - There's frustration and bitterness at the Kassam Stadium. The Exiles would still be fighting relegation were it not for their five-point deduction for administrative irregularities so Welsh fans will be directing their anger at the RFU, instead of any other club.


 


Living Rugby are partners of the Bournemouth 7s festival of rugby sevens.

Britain's biggest rugby 7s tournament - the Bournmouth 7s

 

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