Exeter Chiefs prevailed 18-16 against Saracens in a colossal semi-final at Sandy Park to reach their second successive final. The Devon-based side are now unbeaten in 16 league games, last tasting defeat at home to Bath Rugby in Round 7 back in October. Exeter have never won the Aviva Premiership and, if they beat Wasps to continue this hot streak of form, they’d become the ninth team in history to be named champions of England.
Wasps’ last-gasp 21-20 semi-final victory over Leicester in front of 29,051 at the Ricoh Arena sent Dai Young’s side through to their first Aviva Premiership final in nine years. The Coventry-based side have done so by winning seven of their last eight league games – including that semi-final – with their most recent defeat coming away to Harlequins in Round 21 at the Twickenham Stoop.
In the two previous league meetings between the sides this season, Wasps beat Exeter 25-20 in Round One before playing out a high-scoring 35-all draw at Sandy Park in February. Exeter are 10/11 to be the first side to reach 10 points this weekend, and both sides will be looking to gain the upper hand early on in proceedings. In what could be a tight game, Exeter have odds of 9/2 to prevail by 1-5 points.
Wasps’ replacement winger Josh Bassett scored the crucial try on Saturday to send his side through to their first final since 2008, and they’re priced 10/11 to score the final’s first try. They’re also priced 10/11 to score the last try, and whilst tries will undoubtedly have a big part to play in proceedings, fly-halves Gareth Steenson and Jimmy Gopperth will look to keep the scoreboards ticking over for their respective sides. In a final – effectively knockout rugby – it’ll be important for both teams to take the points on offer and turn pressure into points when play is in the opponents’ 22.
Kurtley Beale is an injury doubt for Wasps after picking up a knock to his leg last weekend. In what is the Wallaby’s last game for the club before he returns to Super Rugby in Australia, Dai Young will be hoping one of his star men is fit for this showpiece occasion, where Wasps are 7/2 to win both halves. You can find tempting 11/2 odds for the Coventry-based side to win by 6-10 points. Elsewhere, you will see Exeter Chiefs/Wasps Half Time/Full Time betting odds at 7/1 and there are plenty of various odds for rugby fans to get excited about over the coming days in the build-up to the final at HQ.
A difficult match to call, only 80 minutes stands between Wasps’ seventh title or Exeter’s first. Whatever the outcome, it is likely to be a one or two-score game either way, and Exeter could just sneak it to claim the first piece of top-flight silverware in the club’s history.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip: Exeter Chiefs to win by 6-10 points – 11/2
Please note that odds may change ahead of kick off.