1. Saracens (Last Week: 1): A 28-24 win over rivals Northampton all but assures Saracens the top spot in the Aviva Premiership playoffs. That should allow them time to play for the Heineken Cup semi-finals.


2. Toulon (4): In the end they probably should have beaten Bayonne by more than just two points but a win is a win. They are only one point out of the top spot in the Top 14.

3. Montpellier (6): The team keeping Toulon out of first place? Montpellier. They hold a one point advantage over Clermont and Toulon after beating Grenoble 36-30.

4. Clermont (5): Castres are a difficult opponent but Clermont didn’t make it seem that way in a 23-11 win.

5. Leinster (2): Two losses in a row is an unfamiliar feeling for Leinster. Sure, Ospreys are a decent side but Leinster should have done better.

6. Munster (3): Like Leinster, Munster lost to a decent team but one they should have beat.  The loss proved costly for Munster as they now sit in third.

7. Leicester (8): The Tigers are surging at the right time. They have now won seven in a row and are closing in on Northampton for a home semi-final.

8. Northampton (7): The Saints are wilting at the wrong time. They’ve lost three in a row and are holding on to second.

9. Ulster (10): Ulster are quietly hanging around and with a 58-12 demolition of Connacht are close to the top of the table.

10. Bath (9): It was ugly and it was controversial but it was mission accomplished for Bath as they beat rivals Gloucester on a last minute penalty try. They now have a five point cushion in fourth place.

Curtis Reed is the founder and editor of This Is American Rugby. He can be found on Twitter @ThisIsAmerRugby, on Facebook, and at www.thisisamericanrugby.com