After 15 rounds of the Gallagher Premiership, it is Exeter Chiefs top of the pile by eight points.
Chiefs secured a four try away bonus point win to send Sale Sharks to their second successive defeat of the restart. The Chiefs are firm favourites to win their second Premiership title after a hard fought 32-22 victory at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Exeter Chiefs march on to title
Exeter opened the scoring after just two minutes when Sam Simmonds raced clear to dot down. Sharks hit back with two tries in ten minutes through Rob du Preez and Tom Curry. At half time a Joe Simmonds penalty made it 14-10 to Sale.
Despite a du Preez penalty just after the break extending Sharks lead to 17-10, Chiefs hit back. Jacques Vermeulen crossed after 48 minutes with the conversion from Simmonds the scores were level at 17-17.
Exeter went ahead when Stuart Hogg went over to nudge them ahead. Sale were reduced to 14 men during the final quarter with a yellow card to Tom Curry.
Luke Cowan-Dickie took advantage by securing the bonus point to crash over. Simmons converted the extras to give Exeter a comfortable lead.
There was still time for Sharks to pick up a late try when Denny Solomona dived in the corner.
Farrell celebrates milestone with London Derby victory
Owen Farrell celebrated his 200th appearance in a Saracens shirt by kicking 18 points in their 38-24 win over Harlequins.
The hosts dominated the opening fourty minutes by leading 22-3 thanks to tries from Sean Maitland,Maro Itoje and Aled Davies. Replacements Scott Steele and Paul Lasike inspired a fighting Quins fightback.
The powerful American international Lasike bagged a brace of tries with Steele grabbing another to inch Quins just seven behind. There was still time for Saracens to hit back when Alex Lewington pounced on a Quins deflection to run in.
Bristol Bears ran in five tries to secure a 33-24 victory against Gloucester on Friday.
Bears hit Gloucester with three quick tries inside the opening 17 minutes through Max Malins, Henry Purdy and Harry Thacker. Gloucester responded through a Fraser Balmain try before Semi Radradra restored Bears advantage to give them a 26-7 lead.
Gloucester hit back when Chris Harris went over and when Billy Twelvetress kicked a penalty the hosts were within nine. Ben Earle dived in under the posts for Bears fifth try of the evening.
There was still time for Gloucester to score another try, this time through replacement scrum half Stephen Varney. But it was to late for a Gloucester fight back as Bears saw out the game for the win.
Bath clinically swept aside Leicester Tigers 38-16 at Welford Road.
Leicester’s decision to field an untried team showing 13 changes from the defeat against Exeter seemed to backfire on them. By half time the contest was over with bath leading 26-6.
Bath wrapped up the try bonus point by the 37th minute with tries from Will Stuart, Tom Dunn, Ruaridh McConnochie and Lewis Boyce. Prop Ben Obano crossed on his 25th birthday with Tom De Glanville scoring Bath’s sixth try.
Replacement hooker Charlie Clare went over for Tigers in the 68th minute. Right on the 80th minute flanker Luke Wallace crossed to narrow the score, but Bath were worthy winners.
Northampton Saints picked up a bonus point win on their travels with a 27-3 victory at London Irish.
In a tepid first half, both sides went into the interval all square at 3-3. Tom Collins notched the first try of the match for Saints. The visitors were rewarded for their efforts with two penalty tries inside seven minutes to take the game away from the exiles.
Saints wrapped up a convincing victory in the dying embers of the game when Ahsee Tuala squezzed in the corner.
Wasps ready to pounce if Chiefs slip up
Wasps are starting to resemble strong title contenders following a 32-17 victory over Worcester Warriors.
The victory- their second in succession- lifted them up to third in the table. It was the visitors who lead at one stage by seven points, only to be over run in the second half.
Tries from Nick David and Beck Cutting gave Warriors a 14-3 lead. Wasps responded when the excellent Tom Willis powered over from a few yards.
Flanker Gabriel Oghre forced his way over to put Wasps ahead for the first time on the hour mark. The hosts clinched victory with two late tries courtesy of Alfie Barbeary and Tom Cruse on the stroke of 80 minutes.