What is the Gallagher Premiership Final?

Particularly if you’re new to the sport, the different competitions in rugby can be a lot to learn. This is complicated slightly more by the use of sponsorship for the naming rights of competitions. So we thought we would take a look at the Gallagher Premiership Final. 

What is the Gallagher Premiership Final? This is the final of the competition to decide the winner of the English Premiership, the top tier of English rugby. It is played between the two winners of the semi-final of the Premiership. 

The Gallagher Premiership Final is the game that decides the winner of the English Premiership which is the top level of rugby in England. The format for the final is very simple as it has almost all of the same rules as any game during the season. The main difference is that the game will go to extra time if the scores are tied after 80 minutes. 

How does the rugby Premiership final work? 

The format of the final is pretty simple. In the season, it is a round-robin format with each team playing each other twice, once at home and once away. At the end of the season, the top four teams will go into the semi-finals, with the 1st placed team playing against the 4th placed team and the 2nd placed team hosting the 3rd placed team. 

The two winners of the semi-finals will then go into the final and this is to determine the overall winner of the Gallagher Premiership. It means that a team that finishes fourth in the regular season could still finish as the winners of the Gallagher Premiership, with Harlequins doing exactly that in 2021. 

The format of the final is pretty much the same as any other game in the league. The main difference is that if the two teams are tied after 80 minutes then the game goes to extra time in order to determine a winner. There is still a format prepared for if the teams remained tied on scores after extra time. 

At that point, the team who scored more tries during the game will win the game. This is a rule put in place to try to encourage attacking rugby and tries to be scored. If the two teams have scored the same amount of tries in the game then there will be a place-kicking competition to decide the winner. 

The place-kicking competition is something rarely seen in rugby. Each team nominates three kickers who will attempt to kick the ball through the posts from six designated positions of the 10-metre and 22-metre lines. It is in a similar format to penalties for rugby as it goes to sudden death if the two teams are tied after six attempts. 

This means that there will definitely be a winner of the Gallagher Premiership Final as there needs to be because it is a knockout competition. So there will be a winner of this game and therefore this crowns a winner of the competition as a whole. 

Gallagher Premiership Final 2022 

The Gallagher Premiership Final of 2022 was one of the best in recent memory. It was contested between Leicester who had beaten Midlands rivals Northampton Saints in the semi-final and Saracens who had beaten London rivals Harlequins in the semi-final to advance. 

It was contested between the top two teams from the regular season of the Premiership. Saracens began the game with a stronger start and benefitted from a late hit to go 3-0 ahead just four minutes into the game. 

But the Tigers started to put the pressure on and took Saracens back over their own try line. However, Sarries were able to win the penalty at the scrum and the game remained scoreless for the next 20 minutes. Things became more difficult for Saracens when they were down to 14 men for 10 minutes after a high hit from Aled Davies on Julian Montoya. 

Leicester was able to pile on the pressure with a man advantage and they eventually drove over Hanro Liebenberg for the first try of the game. But Sarries were able to cut the lead down to one while still a man down. The Tigers’ excellent scrum was able to give them a penalty five metres from the line. 

A very nicely worked move saw Springbok Jasper Wiese steam over the line for the Tigers’ second score of the game, taking the lead back to six points. With both teams back to full numbers, it was a game mainly played in the middle third as neither could sustain an attack.

During a Saracens attack, Leicester infringed and Saracens cut the lead in half. 

With five minutes to go, Leicester looked in real trouble as Matt Scott was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle on Billy Vunipola. The resulting penalty allowed Saracens to tie the game at 12 apiece. Despite being a man down, Leicester were able to put the pressure on but could not get through the Saracens’ defence at the 22. 

The Tigers realised this and so started to plan for the drop goal. They would have hoped to be able to turn to George Ford in this situation, who had been the teams’ fly-half for their last Premiership title in 2012 as well as being an incredibly experienced England international. 

The issue was that Ford had gone off injured in the 22nd minute with what looked like a bad ankle injury. This turned out to be a ruptured Achilles so there was no chance of Ford returning to the field. This put the responsibility into the hands of Freddie Burns, who had often come off the bench for Leicester in his second spell with the team. 

Burns had kicked a conversion in the game but had also missed one which could’ve given Leicester the lead. With Burns in some space just outside the 22, Leicester found him and Burns nailed the conversion. The Tigers were able to hold onto the restart and it was Burns who kicked the ball dead, ending the game and giving Leicester another Premiership title. 

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