JP Morgan 7s Series now down to 6 teams as all eyes turn to final in Bath

JP Morgan 7s Series now down to 6 teams as all eyes turn to final in Bath

Londo Irish will not once again be etched on the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series trophy on Friday after holders holders fell at the first hurdle on Saturday night. Despite seeing off London Wasps 31-19 in their final Group C clash at Allianz Park on Saturday night, they slumped to defeats against Saracens and Harlequins, who both progressed to the Finals at the Rec. And the London rivals will be joined by Worcester Warriors, Gloucester Rugby, Newcastle Falcons and Leicester Tigers, after three consecutive nights of high-tempo 7s rugby.

Londo Irish will not once again be etched on the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Premiership Rugby 7s Series trophy on Friday after holders holders fell at the first hurdle on Saturday night.

Despite seeing off London Wasps 31-19 in their final Group C clash at Allianz Park on Saturday night, they slumped to defeats against Saracens and Harlequins, who both progressed to the Finals at the Rec.

And the London rivals will be joined by Worcester Warriors, Gloucester Rugby, Newcastle Falcons and Leicester Tigers, after three consecutive nights of high-tempo 7s rugby.

Thursday's opener at Kingsholm saw Gloucester host Worcester, Bath and Exeter Chiefs in front of almost 13,000 supporters.

The Warriors, who have endured a torrid record in previous instalments of the competition, got the 2013 edition off to a blistering start by completing a clean sweep.

After Gloucester sank Bath 29-19 in an entertaining opener, Worcester raced to a 26-0 lead against the Chiefs - enough to avoid a second-half comeback, as the match finished 26-17.

They followed this up with a 31-19 win against hosts Gloucester, before downing Bath 27-14 to coast through to the Finals.

And Gloucester booked their place alongside the Warriors by condemning a young Exeter side to their third-straight defeat.

Friday night saw another Premiership underdog burst onto the scene and fly through the the Rec unbeaten - newly-promoted Newcastle Falcons.

In contrast to Worcester the Falcons have pedigree in the J.P. Morgan 7s and the Premiership new boys picked up where they left off by taking a step towards regaining their 2011 title.

They opened with a narrow victory over Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens - Simon Hammersley's last-ditch try secured a 28-22 win.

Leicester Tigers also got the evening off to a winning start, pipping Sale Sharks 10-7 in a low-scoring affair, but they couldn't make it back-to-back wins, with Newcastle up next.

The Falcons all but secured their Finals berth, as a Harrison Collins double and one from player of the round Tom Catterick made it 19-10.

Sale edged past Northampton to disappoint the home crowd, but fell to the Falcons soon after to end their hopes of a trip to Bath on Friday.

That left a winner-takes-all clash between rivals Leicester and Northampton and a Tahir El Mahdi double took the Tigers home, 17-5.

And Saracens and Harlequins took no time to join the four finalists at the Rec, as they flew out the blocks at Allianz Park.

After each seeing off Wasps and the Exiles - including Quins' 42-19 demolition of London Irish - they had both qualified and met for the final clash to see who would top the group.

Harlequins won that honour with a 24-21 victory, but player of the round Charlie Walker took the spoils with a memorable hat-trick.

For tickets to the J.P. Morgan Premiership Rugby Series Final at 7pm on Friday, 9 August at The Rec, Bath visit: bathrugby.com/tickets