It took until the final weekend of Aviva Premiership fixtures to finalise the identity and make-up of the four play-off qualifiers, writes Bloggers’ Bench member Andrew Deering.
Northampton and Bath had already sealed their route to the knock-out stages and a home semi-final to boot. However, Saracens, Leicester and Exeter still had to battle it out for third and fourth.
At the close of play on Saturday, Leicester and Saracens had edged out Exeter. Leicester, who by their standards have had a far from vintage season, will travel to Bath and the Rec knowing that they can keep their season going if they deliver against Mike Ford's men.
Richard Cockerill's men will need to produce arguably their finest performance of the season to overcome Mike Ford's charges and book a surprise appearance in the Twickenham, Aviva Premiership final at the end of May. A key battleground for supremacy at the Rec could be the form and influence of the two stand-offs.
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