After the pause for breath and recuperation, Round 5 took place on a breezy 22 October.

Premier 15s
Firwood Waterloo Rugby Club

Premier 15s
Sixways Stadium

Premier 15s
Dings Crusaders RFC

Premier 15s
Cleve RFC

Premier 15s
Allianz Park

The ‘outstanding’ result here was in Lancashire – a 0-0 draw! As rare as swallows in winter, and enough to warm the cockles of any old’un, happy to remember mud-all-over and endless kicks to touch. At least it got Waterloo off the mark at last. Well done! That leaves Worcester still rebuilding slowly after another thrashing that would test the skills of the best sports psychologist.

The wind nearly blew scoreooard and canera-stand down at Acton. It did tip the bench-shed over. No extra charge for excitement. Wasps were reborn after their thrashing at Allianz Park. Did you know that Nolli Waterman can sidestep on a sixpence and stop a car – sorry a runner – stone-dead from 40kph? You did. And she did. How much sympathy do Lightning deserve, when – allegedly – only one of their number is a current student at that great sports academy?

It was a pleasure to see two of Richmond’s greatest, Alex Matthews and Kay Wilson, in attendance at the Athletic Ground. But they had to observe their side score nul points once again, Gaëlle Mignot or no Gaëlle Mignot. Sarries are running into some serious form. The pack dominates and the first and second receivers run like bacon-slicers. No messing. Their off-loading and linking were on a higher plane.

Quins remain pack-leaders, beating Bristol handsomely at the Stoop, where at least one neutral thinks they should play all their home games.