Simon Mail previews Saturday's Premiership final and expects champions Exeter and Saracens to serve up a high-scoring game at Twickenham...
"Saracens have been in breathtaking attacking form recently, scoring at least six tries in each of their last five matches. Exeter have also been potent finishers with at least three tries in their last six matches."
Aviva Premiership Final
Exeter v Saracens
Live on BT Sport 1
This season's Premiership final has all the makings of a classic with two sides heading to Twickenham in exceptional form. Saracens come into the clash with momentum on their side after a series of high-scoring wins while defending champions Exeter, who finished top of the regular season, have also been almost faultless during the run-in.
Champions in exceptional form for title defence
Exeter won their first Premiership title last season after edging past Wasps in extra time but there has been no hangover from them this year. The Chiefs, led by their excellent director of rugby Rob Baxter, have been the most consistent team again as they finished eight points clear at the top with 17 wins from 22 matches.
The Chiefs have been relentless in recent months with the side winning their last ten games in all competitions dating back to their defeat against Wasps in February. Exeter's last six victories have all been achieved by at least 15 points and the champions cruised to a 36-5 win at home to Newcastle in Saturday's semi-final with an astonishing 92 per cent possession in the first half.
Prolific scorers Saracens peaking ahead of final
Saracens also bring a superb run of form into the final with Mark McCall's side winning their last six matches in the competition. The Men in Black finished second in the table and were the highest scorers with 731 points scored during the regular season. The three-time Premiership champions appear determined to reclaim the title after missing out on a final place last year.
Sarries' potent attack was far too strong for Wasps in last weekend's semi-final in the record-breaking 57-33 victory at Allianz Park. It was the fifth successive match in which they have scored at least 41 points. Saracens scored six tries against Wasps and even though the visitors played their part in the entertainment, the Men in Black always had the upper hand. Perhaps ominously for Exeter, McCall described the first 25 minutes as their best rugby of the entire season.
Chiefs hold the edge in recent clashes
This is a repeat of the 2016 final when Saracens defeated the Chiefs 28-20 but the recent meetings since then have favoured their opponents. Exeter have won the last four clashes between the sides including three this season. Sarries' last league defeat came against the champions at Sandy Park in March and they were also beaten 20-18 at home back in November.
Despite those wins and finishing top of the table, Exeter are not favourites for the final with Saracens available at [1.62]. As the odds suggest, this one is finely balanced with very little to separate the sides. Saracens have won their last six matches at Twickenham and their emphatic wins recently have seen them edge favouritism but it could be worth looking for alternative markets in such a tightly anticipated contest.
Saracens have been in breathtaking attacking form recently, scoring at least six tries in each of their last five matches. Exeter have also been potent finishers with at least three tries in their last six matches. With a favourable forecast for Twickenham and two teams in such prolific form, the best bets could be to back the sides to produce another feast of tries.
*Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster
2017/18 Rugby P/L