It’s a Tough Ask, But Can Worcester Warriors Climb The Premiership table?
Autumn is in full swing now and the Aviva Premiership table is beginning to take shape as we edge to the end of October and into the start of November. The table does not make pretty viewing for one club after the opening rounds of fixtures, with Worcester Warriors looking like they could be in for a long and difficult 2017/18 campaign.
Worcester have been in the Premiership for the last two seasons, doing incredibly well to establish themselves as a top-flight side. The North Midlands outfit achieved a tenth-placed finish during the 2015/16 campaign, before once again avoiding relegation last season, finishing 11th. This season, once again under the coaching of Carl Hogg, Worcester’s sole aim for the season will be to survive in English rugby’s top flight.
As mentioned, the table is beginning to take shape, with the Premiership’s best team, Saracens, and last season’s champions, Exeter Chiefs, the two clubs looking to once again set the pace. The likes of Jamie George, Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell make Saracens favourites to win the competition, with odds as short as 11/10 offered for customers looking to bet online.
Worcester will not be worrying about the likes of Saracens and their quest to win the title, and will have sole focus on themselves, with the possibility of a watchful eye on the sides surrounding them in the Premiership table. For now, though, the Warriors have their own problems, with Hogg’s side picking up a worryingly low amount of points from the opening two months of the season.
The Warriors managed to pick up just one point from their opening six fixtures of the season, and there are serious questions whether they can turn things around and climb the Premiership table to avoid relegation for a third consecutive season.
One worrying factor from the early stage of this season has been Worcester’s attack, who are averaging a little over ten points per game in the Premiership. Although teams are often built on a solid defence, without an attack capable of scoring tries, Hogg’s side will struggle to secure vital bonus points over the course of the season. There was a promising display recently when Worcester turned their attention away from the domestic competition.
Hogg’s side recorded a 30-20 victory over Brive in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, scoring an impressive four tries, mainly thanks to a hat-trick from an unlikely source, hooker Joseph Taufete’e. Worcester will hope that the performance in Europe in mid-October is the perfect sign that things are starting to pick up at the Sixways Stadium, after such an encouraging attacking performance.
FULL-TIME | Worcester Warriors 30-20 Brive.
5⃣ points! pic.twitter.com/aV2dXKaZfH
— Worcester Warriors🏉 (@WorcsWarriors) October 14, 2017
It’s a big ask for Worcester to pull themselves completely away from the relegation zone after such a poor start to the Premiership season, but there is every chance that Hogg would bite your arm off at an 11th-placed finish and another year of top-flight rugby. However, recent signs have been encouraging, and if Worcester can build on their recent success in Europe, they could begin their climb up the table.