Saracens are Sunday best

  • Last Updated: December 2 2012, 18:18 GMT

A review of the weekend's action in the Aviva Premiership, with Saracens beating Gloucester on Sunday to climb back into second.

Saracens are Sunday best

Fly-half Charlie Hodgson kicked 23 points as Saracens moved back into second place in the Aviva Premiership table on Sunday with a 28-23 victory over Gloucester at Vicarage Road.

Hodgson, returning to the side after four weeks out with a fractured cheekbone, landed seven penalties and a conversion - with only one miss - to hand captain Steve Borthwick victory on his 100th appearance for the club.

But they were pushed all the way by Gloucester who competed superbly but were ultimately sunk by replacement Richard Wigglesworth's crucial second-half try for Sarries.

Gloucester, who had two players sin-binned, replied with tries from prop Dan Murphy and flanker Akapusi Qera, with Billy Twelvetrees kicking their other 13 points.

On Saturday, three players were sent off in five minutes of mayhem as Leicester bounced back from last week's defeat at Wasps to beat Bath 17-12 at Welford Road.

Bath duo Francois Louw and Matt Banahan and Leicester's Brett Deacon were all shown red cards for foul play between the 60th and 65th minutes.

The dismissals proved a turning point in the game because Bath, who had just lost Simon Taylor to the sin-bin, saw their 12-6 lead - gained through tries from Stephen Donald and Tom Biggs - eroded as the hosts scored 11 points in five minutes.

Adam Thompstone crossed for Leicester's try, with the rest of the Tigers' points coming from the boot of George Ford.

Exeter remain unbeaten at Sandy Park this season as they moved up to fifth place after a 30-23 victory over Wasps.

The scores were level at 20-20 at half-time, with both sides scoring two tries in the second quarter - the visitors' second coming from a blatant forward pass which questions why TMOs are not at every Premiership match.

Both sides battled and were battered after the break with the Chiefs scoring a converted try and a penalty, while Wasps secured a losing bonus point with a penalty from replacement Tommy Bell just before the final whistle.

London Welsh claimed a 15-9 victory over basement rivals London Irish at the Kassam Stadium.

However the game was ruined as a contest by the early dismissal of number eight Chris Hala'ufia which resulted in the visitors having to play 70 minutes with 14 men.

The match was a dreadful spectacle with neither side having any attacking invention to break down the opposition's defence and it was left to Gordon Ross to secure victory for Welsh with five penalty goals.

Tom Homer and Ian Humphreys kicked London Irish's points.

On Friday night, Nick Evans struck the match-winning drop goal seven minutes from time as leaders Harlequins ground out a hard-fought 22-19 victory over Worcester at The Stoop.

The former All Blacks fly-half, who finished with 17 points, proved the difference between two well-matched sides.

He set up Quins' only try for centre Matt Hopper, converted it and also landed four penalties and the crucial drop-kick.

Winger David Lemi's second-minute try put the Warriors ahead and a second from replacement Errie Claassens put them level at 19-19 after they had two players sin-binned.

Fly-half Andy Goode's three penalties provided their other nine points as they claimed a deserved losing bonus point.

Northampton scored three tries in a superb first-half display as they comfortably defeated Sale 27-16 to move up to second for 48 hours.

Touchdowns from Jamie Elliott, Soane Tonga'uiha and Tom May saw them race into a 27-3 lead at the interval, with the rest of their points coming via Ryan Lamb's boot.

The Sharks' only score before the break came through Nick Macleod's penalty and, although they hit back through Rob Miller and Tommy Taylor tries, the Saints held out for a convincing victory.

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