Exeter return to winning ways
A review of the weekend's action in the Aviva Premiership, with Harlequins and Northampton among the winners.
- Related Content
Exeter returned to winning ways with their first victory over Saracens at Sandy Park on Sunday to move into the top six in the Aviva Premiership table as the visitors slipped to their first defeat of the season.
Sireli Naqelevuki scored the game's only try after 54 minutes, with the rest of the Chiefs' points coming from three first-half Ignacio Mieres penalties in a narrow 14-12 success.
All of Sarries' points came from the boot of fly-half Owen Farrell - two penalties in each half - but his efforts were not enough to help his team avoid a first loss of the campaign.
Champions Harlequins maintained their impressive start to the season with a hard earned 22-9 victory at Leicester, the team they beat in May's Twickenham final.
Their victory was Quins' fourth on the trot and sent a strong message to their rivals that they are determined to hang on to the title they won with a 30-23 win over the Tigers.
It was Harlequins' second successive win at Leicester following their 27-18 victory last October. Winger Tom Williams scored the only try of the match while fly-half Nick Evans kicked four penalties and a conversion with Danny Care dropping a goal.
Leicester, unbeaten at home since that defeat by Harlequins a year ago, created little and their points all came from England fly-half Toby Flood - who kicked three penalties.
Two tries from Luther Burrell saw Northampton power to four wins out of four, but Worcester stormed back to collect two points with four tries in a barely believable last 16 minutes as the Saints ran out 37-31 winners.
Tries from Vasily Artemyev, Courtney Lawes and Mike Haywood saw Northampton secure the five points with less than an hour gone.
They then took their foot off the gas as Worcester ran in four tries in the final quarter through Johnny Arr, Joshua Matavesi, Josh Drauniniu and Ollie hayes to grab a very unlikely losing bonus.
London Irish climbed off the foot of the table with their first win in four attempts as they defeated fourth-placed Bath 29-22.
It was not a contest likely to live forever in the memory but Irish coach Brian Smith would have taken any victory after three defeats in which they shipped over 40 points each time.
The kicking contest was won by Irish centre Steve Shingler who landed 19 of his side's points, with five penalties and the conversions of Halani Aulika and Jonathan Joseph's tries.
Bath's only touchdown was from wing Kyle Eastmond while Olly Barkley, playing his last away game for his club prior to his move to French outfit Racing Metro, landed five penalties and a conversion.
Gloucester recorded their first Aviva Premiership home win since February after fly-half Freddie Burns ran the show for them against Wasps as they triumphed 29-22 at Kingsholm.
The young England prospect booted 19 points, including conversions of both Gloucester tries by wing James Simpson-Daniel and flanker Sione Kalamafoni.
Wasps left the west country with a losing bonus point after centre Eliot Daly's quality try, 11 points for fly-half Stephen Jones and penalties by full-back Tommy Bell and substitute Nicky Robinson.
It was the Londoners' third defeat in four starts this season.
Gordon Ross kicked 19 points as London Welsh secured their second consecutive Aviva Premiership triumph with an excellent 29-19 win over Sale Sharks at the Salford City Stadium.
In a first half dominated by the visitors, both Jon Mills and Ed Jackson touched down and Ross made five successful kicks as Welsh built a 23-9 lead.
Danny Cipriani responded with three penalties in a poor Sharks showing.
Ross stretched the lead in the second half before the hosts hit back through a Tom Brady try and a Nick Macleod three-pointer. However, it was not enough as they fell to their fourth defeat of the campaign.