As the WR5s season draws to a close, Leicester Tigers and Norfolk Knights are aiming to win Premiership and Championship league titles. The finals weekend, held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, will see Premiership teams compete on the 31st August, whilst the Championship sides meet on the 1st September.
It’s shaping up to be an intense finale at both ends of the table. Leicester Tigers are just two points ahead of Ospreys A at the top, and Ospreys B only 2 points behind Team Solent Sharks at the bottom.
Tigers, buoyed by the arrival of 2017 European Champion, Daniel Dawoud, have fought off competition from Ospreys A this season. However, with Ospreys’ experience and technical expertise in the shape of Coach Paul Jenkins, the two teams are very even. It looks set to be another tight match.
Meanwhile, at the bottom end of the table Ospreys B and Team Solent Sharks are battling to save themselves from relegation. Sharks have the upper hand this season and are on course to maintain their Premiership status. Despite their league position, the Hampshire side have the fifth-best ‘goals for’ record, even outscoring fourth-placed Bournemouth Lions.
When asked about their ambitions for the upcoming tournament, Shark’s Gus McKechnie said, “For us obviously it’s about staying up. We have a good group of players who have worked hard this season and have enjoyed the experience. With 5s you get the challenge of competing against some Invictus UK players, this for us is invaluable and we have learnt lots.”
In the Championship, Norfolk Knights are chasing down promotion. The club is sitting pretty at the top of the table, 4 points ahead of second-place Newcastle Falcons. However, as the last WR5s weekend showed, anything can happen.
Norfolk have been incredibly consistent over the course of the season. Knights have only lost one game and have been able to deliver results even in the tougher matches. This has seen them top of the league and on course to head into the Premiership.
H4H Endeavour jumped from 6th place to 3rd, Coventry WRC fell from 3rd to 4th and Hatfield Comets fell from 7th to 8th. The placings were a shock as Endeavour made themselves promotion candidates with a string of impressive performances. The military side even beat Norfolk Knights by seventeen tries.
At the bottom end of the table, Bournemouth Rising sits in eighth place just one point behind Saracens (formerly known as Hatfield Comets). The newly formed side have found adjusting to life in the division tough, however, there is much to be positive about. Earlier in the season they even beat relegation rivals Saracens in a hard-fought victory.
It’s going to be an exciting end to the season with all sixteen teams set to find out their fate. Will Tigers continue their great Premiership form? Will Knights cruise to promotion? Get yourself to Stoke Mandeville Stadium on 31st August – 1st September to find out!