Week 18 in the Gallagher Premiership saw the action spread over two days, starting on Friday. Gallagher Premiership Week 18 Roundup.
Bears edging towards home play-off spot
Bristol Bears continued their bid for a home play-off semi-final with a bonus-point victory over Worcester Warriors at Sixways. Bears completed their first win Sixways in 14 years with a 36-13 win.
Ed Holmes early try put the visitors ahead before Warriors hit back with a Melani Nanai converted try. Two Duncan Weir penalties gave Worcester a 13-10 lead at the break.
Bears produce strong second half performance
Bristol dominated the second half as Dan Thomas put them back in front. Tonga Captain Siale Piutau crossed for his first try of the Premiership campaign for Bristol. The Bears continued to dominate with replacements Andy Uren and Ben Earle going over.
Bristol scored 26 unanswered points in the second half to move up to second. To compound Worcester’s miserable afternoon Andrew Kitchener was sent off for a punch in the last minute.
Exeter continue winning run
Premiership leaders Exeter Chiefs made it six straight wins to further damage Northampton Saints play-off chances. The Chiefs completed a narrow 22-19 win at Franklin Gardens on Friday.
Exeter moved to a 14-0 lead after converted tries from Sean Lonsdale and Jannes Kirsten. Saints fought back when David Ribbans and Henry Taylor crossed before the break.
Ribbans added his second of the game, with Dan Biggar’s extras giving Saints the lead soon after the restart. Exeter’s Gareth Steenson kicked a penalty before Tom O’Flaherty’s late try got Chiefs over the line.
Exiles continue to struggle since restart
Gloucester completed a 36-23 over London Irish at Kingsholm on Saturday. A late try from Steve Varney allowed Gloucester to see off Irish in a tightly fought contest.
The Premiership’s top try scorer Ollie Tholey picked up his 11th of the season in the opening half. Despite Paddy Jackson giving Irish the lead with a penalty, Gloucester responded with a Llloyd Evans try.
The hosts shaded the first half 17-13 before Agustin Creevy’s try put the exiles ahead. Gloucester hit back with tries from Louis Rees-Zammit, Jack Stanley and Steven Varney to seal victory.
The defeat was London Irish’s fifth since the restart and have picked up just one point and scored seven tries. More worryingly is they have shipped no less than 150 points.
Tuliagi returns back to haunt Tigers
Manu Tuilagi scored a try against his former club as Sale beat Leicester 40-31 at Welford Road.
Tuiilagi scored under the post after AJ MacGinty crossed earlier in the opening half. Jono Ross and Denny Solomona also scored for Sale. Hanro Liebenberg scored for Leicester in the second half and the hosts completed a late fightback with tries from Jake Kerr and Freddie Steward.
But the fightback was to late as Sharks held on to maintain their position in the top four.
Bath see off Quins at The Stoop
Two tries from winger Ruaridh McConnochie saw Bath complete a bonus point win against Harlequins 41-27 at The Stoop.
2,700 fans were allowed inside the ground and were happy after five minutes when Joe Marchant touched down. But Bath soon took control of the contest with Rhys Priestland kicking 21 points.
Bath’s Elliott Stooke and McConnochie’s second of the half gave the visitors a 23-13 lead at the interval. The visitors were always in control with Quins having to wait to the 70th minute for their second try of the match.
Martin Landajo and James Lang scored consolation tries for Quins in between Lewis Boyce’s intercepted try for the visitors to complete Bath’s record points win at The Stoop.
Farrell faces anxious wait about red card
England captain Owen Farrellwas shown a straight red card for a poor tackle in Saracens 28-18 loss to Wasps.
The Saracens skipper caught Wasps Charlie Atkinson in the face with his left shoulder in the 61st minute. At the time the game was nicely poised at 15-15.
Wasps held a 12-7 lead at the break thanks to the boot of Jimmy Gopperth. Saracens nudged ahead in the second half when Sean Maitland crossed. But more points from Gopperth’s boot and Tom Willis powering over late on was enough for the win.