What a start we have had to the Premiership - long may it last! The teams are playing some fantastic rugby with plenty of offloads and attacking running rugby. It has been an absolute joy to watch the first two rounds and seen the progression of both players and coaches.
Watching Leicester and Harlequins play that sustainable attacking rugby last season - which got them to the final - has certainly rubbed off and has shown us all that it is the way forward.
All round game
It is great to see the likes of Northampton and Saracens also getting into the spirit of things. Saracens had a better second round game against Sale where they were more of a unit - they are going to have to play like that if they want to take on Leicester and Harlequins.
Northampton are also trying to get up there and with the two Pisi brothers they may just do that. They just need to take their noses out of the trough as far as the forwards are concerned, I am a big advocate of forward power but you can slightly over do it. Jim Mallinder knows that and will be working to get that balance right. I still think they have a problem at ten - he won't admit it because it will be admitting failure, but I think if Nick Evans had been there for two years they would probably have won a Heineken Cup and a Premiership title!
Northampton are also trying to get up there and with the two Pisi brothers they may just do that. They just need to take their noses out of the trough as far as the forwards are concerned, I am a big advocate of forward power but you can slightly over do it
Quotes of the week
I am actually really fearful for London Welsh though. Two games in and they just cannot handle the pace of the game and I cannot see how they are going to get up to speed. Every club will be targeting them to get maximum points so it is not going to get any easier for the Premiership new boys.
There were plenty of standout performance and I thought that the 8, 9 and ten from Gloucester were excellent. Ben Morgan looked really fit at the back of the scrum, Dan Robson was very quick around the base and Freddie Burns certainly has an eye for the gap.
Manu Tuilagi was superb for Leicester too. The Tigers beat 22 defenders - Tuilagi beat nine on his own, that is the type performance I want to see from him.
Another performance that was sublime was Charlie Hodgson's for Saracens against his old club Sale. There has been plenty of talk about what Sale have got in Danny Cipriani but for me it has been all about what they have lost in Hodgson. I know there were offers on the table for Hodgson but they should have done whatever they could to keep him up in the North. I also thought that Ugo Monye for Harlequins against London Welsh was good.
This week we should see an fantastic game between Saracens and Leicester at Wembley and will have a better idea of how far Sarries are to the game plan that we know they want to play - against Leicester it is going to be tough but it should be a fantastic game.
Dewi's team of the week15. Nick Abendanon (Bath)
14. David Lemi (Worcester)
13. Manu Tuilagi (Leicester)
12. Phil Dollman (Exeter)
11. Ugo Monye (Harlequins)
10. Charlie Hodgson (Saracens)
9. Dan Robson (Gloucester)
1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
2. Dylan Hartley (Northampton)
3. James Johnston (Harlequins)
4. Graham Kitchener (Leicester)
5. George Robson (Harlequins)
6. Steve Mafi (Leicester)
7. James Scaysbrook (Exeter)
8. Ben Morgan (Gloucester)
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Peter Vernon says...
Hi, I went to see London Welsh yesterday and they are developing nicely. To beat Exeter is excellent but to have a team put together in as fewer a weeks as the Premier League allowed them to and compete after three games, is nothing but a miracle!! They played probably the hardest two teams in the league in Harlequins and Leicester and had obviously learnt alot - Sale on Friday is the test on how far they have come.
Posted 11:32 17th September 2012
Greg Cambier says...
I thought Barkley had a great game and in ways was better than Hodgson - althougg some superb tackling from Charlie!
Posted 10:39 14th September 2012
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