Kick Off: 1430, 27/05/2017
TV: BT Sport
Exeter are fancied to cap off a fairytale rise to the top of English club rugby by claiming a first Premiership title at the expense of six-time champions Wasps.
We were spot on with our two semi-final handicap betting tips, predicting both underdogs would perform better than expected.
Now the feeling is that Evens for the Chiefs to prevail at Twickenham stands out from the Aviva Premiership final odds.
Exeter coach Rob Baxter spoke of his side having greater self-belief than when beaten finalists last season and they showed tremendous heart to avenge that loss to Saracens in this year’s semis.
Having fallen behind to a Mike Ellery try four minutes from time, the Chiefs rallied to edge out the back-to-back European champions when substitute Sam Simmonds touched down in the 80th minute at Sandy Park.
Henry Slade has reiterated Baxter’s view ahead of the decider, stating: “Last year, we were happy to be in the final regardless of the result, but this year we set our stall out early that we wanted to win.
“I think we are that bit better. Every season we have been in the Premiership we have incrementally improved, and the only way for us to improve on last year is to win it.”
Wasps put in a patchy display when taking on Leicester at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, but they also came good in the nick of time when Josh Bassett finished off a fine move in the corner for a 21-20 success.
Dai Young had called for his “rock stars” to step up to the plate before that match and they will again seek to play an expansive game that gives their talented backs the best chance to shine.
“Hopefully it will be sunny at Twickenham, that’s what we want; free-flowing rugby,” declared Bassett. “We know that Exeter like to do the same, they like to move the ball around, so hopefully it will be a great spectacle.”
Wallabies full-back Kurtley Beale came out of the semi carrying a knock, though, and that could seriously affect the balance of the Wasps back-line.
However, regardless of that, Exeter have the pace and guile out wide to match their opponents in our book, with the added bonus of a touch more cohesion up front in the pack.
That tips the balance in the Chiefs’ favour and a maiden title triumph is on the cards.