Exeter Chiefs moved 14 points clear of Sale Sharks after Round 17 of the Gallagher Premiership.
The relentless pursuit of another title for the Chiefs intensified after they thrashed Worcester Warriors 59-7 at Sandy Park on Sunday.
Jonny Hill and Sam Simmonds scored hat-tricks for the Chiefs against a below strength Worcester. Chiefs ran in nine tries and had the bonus point wrapped up inside 30 minutes.
Simmonds twice went over along with Hill’s first and a Jack Nowell try. Hill completed his hat trick late in the half before Stuart Hogg crossed straight after the restart.
Jacques Vermeulen got Chiefs eighth try before Simmonds nabbed his hat-trick.
Ashley Beck scored a consolation try for the Warriors but was little consolation to a side that were destroyed by Chiefs.
Game to remember for Gloucester winger
Ollie Thorley had a game to remember for Gloucester after scoring four first-half tries in their 46-30 victory over Leicester.
Gloucester had to fend of a late Tigers fightback at Kingsholm, but a first half blitz secured a vital win.
Tries from Joe Simpson and Thorley(4) before Chris Harris dotted down put the hosts in control. Harry Potter pulled a try back for Tigers before the break to reduce the deficit to 36-13 at the break.
Tigers Jordan Taufua and Cameron Henderson both went over and George Ford’s penalty got them close before Lloyd Evans sealed Gloucester’s win.
Quins return back to winning ways
Harlequins ran in four tries in a bonus point win over Northampton Saints at the Stoop on Sunday.
Top four hopefuls Saints matched Quins in the first half but were blown away in the second. Nathan Earle and Scott Baldwin went over to give Harlequins a 18-14 lead at the break.
A brace of tries in just three minutes took the game away from Northampton when Chris Robshaw and Chris Ashton crossed. The 30-17 win against Saints keeps Harlequins in seventh place, six points behind sixth placed Northampton.
Sale move up to second in table
A rampant Sale Sharks moved up to second above Bristol Bears after a 40-7 victory over the Bears on Friday.
Luke James, Denny Solomona and Faf de Klerl crossed inside twenty minutes to put Sharks in full control. Sam James then put Sale 26-0 up before Alapati Leiua’s try cut the deficit before the break.
Sale responded when Marland Yarde touched down, with James adding his second try of the evening. Sharks closed out for a routine win by 40-7 to enhance their chances of catching the Exeter express.
Saracens defeated a largely homegrown London Irish side 40-12 at the Stoop on Monday.
Jamie George and Brad Barritt scored early tries before Argentine’s Agustin Creevy crashed over on his Irish debut.
Billy Vunipola increased Sarries advantage before Matt Williams responded for the exiles. There was still time before the break for George to bag his second of the afternoon before the break.
Richard Barrington went over twice after the restart for Saracens, who have now won 12 games in the league this season.
Game of the long weekend at the Rec
A pulsating game at the Rec finished with a narrow victory for Wasps over Bath by 27-23.
Bath opened the scoring as early as the second minute when Ruaridh McConnochie scooped up a loose ball to go over. Two further penalty kicks increased the hosts lead to 13 points before Lima Sopoaga slotted over a penalty for Wasps.
The visitors closed the gap further when Jacob Umaga went in under the posts. At the end of the opening fourty minutes it was all square at 13-13.
Bath regained the lead with a penalty kick shortly after the restart. The visitors were awarded a penalty try as they nudged back into the lead by four points.
The home side responded when Jack Walker crashed over. The extras were added by Rhys Priestland to give Bath the advantage at 23-20.
With five minutes remaining Wasps were awarded another penalty try to put them back in the lead again. The conversion was successful with Wasps collecting another win to continue their impressive form since the restart.