Exeter and Gloucester-Hartpury will battle it out for their first Premier 15s trophy
The Premier 15s will crown a new champion this season as two clubs who have never lifted the trophy are in the final. Exeter Chiefs will take on Gloucester-Hartpury at Kingsholm stadium on 24 June.
Only two clubs have won the league since it formed in 2017: Saracens and Harlequins. Quins did not make the semi-final play-offs for the first time this season and Saracens were beaten 24-21 by Exeter in the semis.
The last four match at Sandy Park was a thriller. Saracens were ahead with two minutes to go but Eilidh Sinclair scored a stunning late try to seal the win. The London club were attempting to become the first to win an Allianz Premier 15s away semi-final but fell at the last hurdle.
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Gloucester’s semi was also a tight encounter against their West Country rivals Bristol Bears. At half-time Gloucester were 14-0 up but Bristol hit back after the break to close the gap to just two points. However, Rachel Lund scored with 12 minutes left to help Chris Lynn’s side prevail 21-12 against the Dave Ward-coached Bears.
Gloucester’s win saw them reach their first Premier 15s final with Exeter having played in the showpiece last season. Susie Appleby’s side lost 43-21 to Saracens last campaign but the head coach is determined to set the record straight.
“We’ve done the hard work to get us to the final, but last year we made it to the final and we left a performance off the field,” Appleby told BBC Radio Devon.
“This time the performance has to go on their field and see if we can get to where we really want to go, which is to get that second cup in the cabinet this year.” Exeter have already won the Allianz Cup.
Premier 15s: How did the regular season pan out?
The regular season saw Gloucester-Hartpury top the table, only losing two matches. Exeter were just a point behind the Cherry and Whites with Saracens and Bristol four and 17 points off the league-leaders.
At the other end of the table, Wasps finished last with just two points. Wasps’ season took a huge hit after their parent club suffered financially. The parent club then moved forward without their women’s team which saw players leave the club and results were tough to come by.
Wasps and DMP Sharks will not be involved in the league next season due to the re-tendering process. The clubs will be replaced by Ealing Trailfinders and Leicester Tigers.
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