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Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final: Head-to-head stats

Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final: Head-to-head stats

Exeter Chiefs and Saracens will be gunning for glory when they square off in what is sure to be a thrilling Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final on Saturday at Twickenham Stadium.

The Chiefs and Saracens have both enjoyed incredibly successful campaigns, finishing first and second in the table respectively, with Exeter securing a points tally of 87, the second-highest ever total in the regular season.

But how do both sides compare going into it?

Using statistics provided by Opta compiled across the entire season, we assess where the two teams strengths and weaknesses are ahead of the big day. 

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Team match averages: Exeter Chiefs vs Saracens

First things first, when it comes to tries this season, the Chiefs’ match average of 4.1 – a league-high average – pips Sarries’ 3.6, the second-highest league average.

However, Saracens’ points average is slightly higher at 29.8 compared to the Chiefs’ 28.9, so we can potentially look forward to a high scoring try-fest on Saturday.

The ‘home’ side at the weekend also rank first in the competition for goal-kicking percentage with an 87 per cent match average but Saracens fall behind in this area with 76 per cent leaving them with only the ninth-highest percentage – could this prove pivotal at Twickenham?

Exeter again rank highly for carries with a league-high match average of 148.6 and this is far and above that of Saracens, whose match average 122.1 has them down in 11th in the league

We may see Saracens attempt a style built around kicks from hand this weekend, too, as their match average of 25.2 is of polar opposite to Exeter’s 16.3, the lowest in the league this season.

Exeter complete much more passes on average, 170.7 to 136.3, and beat more defenders, 26.3 to 20.7, while Sarries concede far more penalties, 10.3 to 8.9, but concede less turnovers, 13.1 to 14.3, so you would expect discipline to be an important order of the day for Mark McCall’s side.

Player head-to-head: Joe Simmonds vs Owen Farrell

The battle of the fly-halves will be intense on Saturday and could go a long way to deciding who lifts the Gallagher Premiership Rugby trophy come full-time.

Saracens and England captain Farrell is, unsurprisingly, a formidable foe and his 131 points this season beats Simmonds by 50 despite having made nine less appearances than his Exeter rival.

Simmonds’ threat to Sarries should not be overlooked, however, with his 84 carries and 346 metres gained comparing favourably to Farrell’s 76 and 205 respectively. 

Player head-to-head: Jack Nowell vs Liam Williams

In the clash of the full-backs, the stats are unbelievably close.

Exeter’s Nowell may have only scored three tries to Williams’ eight so far this season but his impressive 92 carries and 508 metres gained bests Williams’ 70 and 412 respectively.

Nowell’s pace and power is also notable in the fact he has beaten 46 defenders this season, 28 more than Williams, who has 18 to his name, while Nowell has also made 12 more tackles too. 

Player head-to-head: Jack Yeandle vs Jamie George

At hooker, Exeter’s Jack Yeandle will face tough opposition in the form of Saracens’ Jamie George.

Yeandle, who has made seven more appearances than George this term, wins out on tries scored, seven to three, and carries made, 105 to 99.

However, England international George, who has enjoyed a stellar year, has made 272 metres to Yeandle’s 164 while his throw success percentage and number of defenders beaten are also the pick of the pair.

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