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Individual Player Watch: Ben Spencer, Harry Thacker & Duncan Weir shine brightest

Individual Player Watch: Ben Spencer, Harry Thacker & Duncan Weir shine brightest

The picture at the top and bottom of Gallagher Premiership Rugby is starting to become a little clearer after Round 20. 

Saracens and Exeter Chiefs are now confirmed as the home semi-finalists, Gloucester Rugby are back in the final four for the first time in eight years as well.

Down at the bottom, Worcester Warriors and Bristol Bears confirmed their survival so it is now only Leicester Tigers left for Newcastle Falcons to try and catch.

Elsewhere, Northampton Saints are up to fourth in the standings while Sale Sharks moved back into the top six. 

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Saracens are still on for a European and domestic double after another masterclass at the Ricoh Arena.

Ben Spencer tormented Munster a week ago and then led Wasps a merry dance this past weekend. 

He scored a fine solo interception score while also creating one for Will Skelton and lifting the tempo throughout as Sarries booked a home semi-final. 

A special mention too for Duncan Weir who pulled the strings for Worcester on Sunday at Sixways to see off Gloucester Rugby. 

And Tom Curry who has picked up where he left off with England back in club colours, a man of the match outing in a dog of a match against Bath Rugby on Friday night. 

REPLACEMENT OF THE WEEK

Northampton Saints replacement scrum-half Alex Mitchell came off bench for the vital try against Harlequins a couple of weeks ago to re-ignite their top-four challenge. 

And the No.9 was at it again this weekend, scoring the Saints fourth and final try on Friday night up in Newcastle to secure a bonus-point win that moved them above Quins and into fourth. 

SKILL OF THE WEEK

Special mention to Bristol Bears’ stunning team try that ended with Dan Thomas going over, and Harlequins also produced a stunner at Sandy Park against Exeter Chiefs when Charlie Walker went over.

But the quick hands from Jonny May and Guy Thompson to release Jordan Olowofela were magnificent, and the speedster was not going to be caught at Welford Road as he cantered down the left wing. 

YOUNG PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Callum Sheedy scored a fine solo score for Bristol in their historic win at Welford Road. 

The young No.10 looks a serious talent but the youngster of the week has to be Tom Collins.

The Saints speedster scored a hat-trick on Friday night in the first half at Kingston Park to pile the pressure on Dean Richards’ Falcons. 

POWERPLAY OF THE WEEK

Trailing by four points in the final ten minutes at Welford Road, Bristol needed something special.

They had been battering at the line until yet another rolling maul got the job done, the backs joining in the part to force Harry Thacker over the line.

The former Leicester Tigers hooker back to haunt his old club again, as Bristol kept their top-six hopes alive and won at Welford Road for the first time in 17 years. 

WORLD CUP WATCH

Anthony Watson played his first game in over a year following a serious achilles injury.

The England speedster was at full-back for Bath Rugby on Friday night in their loss to Sale Sharks to give Eddie Jones a welcome boost in a competitive back three. 

George Ford was also impressing at fly-half for Tigers, his kicking from tee looked like it had rescued his club side until Thacker’s late intervention. 

FUNNIEST MOMENT

Joe Cokanasiga skittling a huge prop like WillGriff John on Friday night was amusing.

But Joe Marler’s impatience at the breakdown at Sandy Park has to take the biscuit. 

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