Week 13 of the Gallagher Premiership commenced with Worcester Warriors entertaining Northampton Saints at Sixways on Friday evening, with the Saints taking the victory by 16-10.
James Grayson kicked 11 points for Northampton in the battle of the strugglers in the Premiership.
Going into the game, both sides had lost four consecutive games, so understandably confidence was low on both teams.
Northampton took an early lead when Grayson kicked a penalty after Warriors Ryan Miller received a yellow card for deliberate obstruction. Tom Collins soon joined Mills in the sin-bin before Jono Lance brought the scores level. Saints scored the opening try of the match through Mikey Hawood, as the visitors went into the break 13-3 up.
It took Worcester 66 minutes to score their first try when Ollie Lawrence crossed, but there was still time for Saints to make the game safe with another successful penalty kick from the boot of Grayson to secure the win.
Exeter Chiefs comprehensively defeated Bath Rugby 57-20 in the battle of the West Country sides at Sandy Park on Saturday.
Chiefs ran in eight tries, with a brace from Olly Woodburn and Sam Simmonds. It took Exeter only six minutes to open their account when Tom O’Flaherty crossed in the corner. By the 34th minute Chiefs had wrapped up the try bonus point when Jannes Kirsten crossed.
A minute into the second half Simmonds grabbed his second try of the afternoon. Bath responded when Zach Mercer went over, but Exeter quickly hit back when Elvis Taione dived over before Jack Wright burst through the middle for Bath’s second try, before Ruairdh McConnochie grabbed a third.
There was still time for Chiefs to respond with Woodburn’s second of the afternoon and replacement scrum-half Jack Maunder going over to maintain Chiefs position at the head of the table.
The Wasps revival continued with a 39-22 victory over Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena, and in so doing made it a hat-trick of Premiership wins for the first time since September 2018.
The outstanding Jack Wills opened the scoring for Wasps after intercepting a pass from Callum Braley to run 50 metres to score.
Jimmy Gopperth converted before Dan Robson added a drop goal before Wasps centre Malakai Fekitoa was shown a yellow card. Despite Wasps being a man down, the hosts added further tries from Josh Bassett and Jacob Umaga. Nizaam Carr scored Wasps try bonus point a minute before the break to put the hosts firmly in control.
Gloucester picked up the first second half score when Billy Twelvetrees went over, but Wasps responded with the eighth try of the game through Marcus Watson who went over to cap a fine performance from the hosts.
Despite missing out on his 60th test cap Mako Vunipola played just over an hour in Saracens 24-13 victory over Leicester Tigers at Allianz Park on Saturday.
Two tries from winger Alex Lewington helped Saracens to another win over a Leicester side who are really struggling this season.
The hosts edged the first half to take a 7-6 lead at the interval. Tigers got their noses in front for the first time in the 53rd minute when Ben White reached over the line to touch down. Dom Morris powered his way over for Saracens before Lewington picked up his second try of the afternoon which put the game to bed for the home side.
Sale Sharks maintained their top four position after completing a 39-0 victory against London Irish at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday.
The club who last qualified for the play-offs in 2006, are certainly looking like serious title contenders again.
It was the Brothers James show on Saturday with Same bagging a brace of tries and Luke picking up one also as Sharks totally outclassed the exiles.
Rob Webber- on his 100th appearance for the club- was driven over the line in the 63rd minute, before Denny Solomona crossed and Byron McGuigan completed the perfect afternoon for Sharks by touching down in the corner on the stroke of full time.
A Luke Morahan first-half double ensured Bristol Bears picked up their fifth Premiership win of the season after defeating Harlequins 28-15 at Ashton Gate on Sunday.
Within 51 seconds of the opening whistle, Morahan went over, with Callum Sheedy converting.
Quins responded when Aaron Morris crossed in the 16th minute to close the gap to two points.
Morahan added his second of the afternoon before Chris Vui crashed over to give the Bears a commanding 25-8 lead at the break.
Sheedy added a further penalty after the restart to give the hosts a comfortable cushion. Harlequins grabbed a late consolation try through Gabriel Ibitoye, converted by Marcus Smith to get within losing bonus point territory. Alex Dombrandt went over for the visitors, only for his effort to be ruled out for a forward pass, as Bristol claimed victory to move up to third in the table.