Premiership final: Exeter Chiefs to edge out Wasps, says Jeremy Guscott
|Aviva Premiership final|
|Venue: Twickenham Stadium Date: Saturday, 27 May Kick-off: 14:30 BST|
|Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Coventry & Warwickshire and BBC Radio Devon, plus live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.|
Premiership table-toppers Wasps meet second-placed Exeter, last year's runners-up, in Saturday's play-off final at Twickenham - and everything suggests it will be a tight but high-scoring contest, given the capacity of both teams to score tries.
Exeter average 3.8 tries and 29.8 points per game, while Wasps average four tries and 31 points. It's set to be an entertaining match.
The Chiefs are a classy outfit with a good possession game, and have people like England winger Jack Nowell and Thomas Waldrom, who can score tries. Nowell has been sensational since he came back from his injury.
But you expect Wasps to be looking for quick ball, with their X-factor players. They have speed of thought, speed of hands. They have players who can punish you.
Wing Christian Wade has scored more than anyone in the Premiership this season (17), and they have the likes of centre Elliot Daly and fly-half Danny Cipriani too.
It will all come down to who makes the best decisions on the day when the pressure is at its most intense.
And in that respect, both sides have got good generals - fly-half Gareth Steenson for Exeter and Premiership player of the year Jimmy Gopperth for Wasps, even when he's playing at 12, like he will be on Saturday.
They just don't have poor games, either of them. They're not international superstars, but they know the club game. You suspect that, for all the talent around them, they're the first names on the team sheet every week.
They're guys who stay cool and do what is expected of them, who can keep their head on the field and always seem to know what to do.
And, as kickers, you just don't expect them to miss.
Steenson can sometimes have the wind to contend with down at Sandy Park but he always seems to compensate.
Exeter now have a more expansive game than when they were first establishing themselves in the Premiership. They have evolved, they have learned from their experiences and they are now the envy of a lot of clubs.
They create a fantastic atmosphere at their home games. And, as a team, the sum of their parts just seems a bit stronger. It isn't rocket science. They just do what they know works for them.
They also have the advantage of having been there last year, which will stand them in good stead. They probably let Saracens get too far in front early on last year and they will have learned from that.
They've probably already beaten the best team to get there by putting out Sarries. They coped with intense pressure against them.
I can see Exeter getting an early lead, going three, six, nine points up, then Wasps hitting back.
But they were hurt by what happened to them against Leinster (in the European Champions Cup) when they found themselves 22-3 down at the break and never quite recovered from that.
They have to avoid the same sort of thing happening again. And I just fancy Exeter to win it.
As well as his 30 tries in 65 appearances for England [more than half of them at Twickenham], Jeremy Guscott was a key part of the all-conquering Bath side which won 10 end-of-season cup finals in 13 terms between 1984 and 1996.
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