Goode inspires Wasps success
A review of the weekend's action in the Aviva Premiership as Wasps got the better of Leicester Tigers.
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Wasps' outside half Andy Goode was the hero as his virtuoso performance condemned his former side Leicester to a 22-12 defeat at Adams Park.
Goode kicked 17 points including two crucial drop goals in the second half when his side were under pressure and before the interval it was his quick thinking that created the only try of the game for Christian Wade.
The game was fiercely contested throughout but fell far short of last season's corresponding fixture when Wasps won a classic game 35-29.
Wasps were still deserved winners. Apart from Goode's decisive contribution they showed more creativity with Elliot Daly and Joe Simpson, their most enterprising runners.
Leicester had too many absentees and their replacements were not up to the task. Their pack was competitive with Thomas Waldrom producing a few of his trademark bursts but Owen Williams, despite kicking all his side's points, had a miserable afternoon at fly half, failing to exercise any control in marked contrast to the efforts of Goode.
Newcastle claimed their third win of the season as they edged out London Irish in a hard-fought game at Kingston Park.
Both sides had tasted success in the Amlin Challenge Cup in their most recent fixtures, Irish putting 60 points past both I Cavalieri Prato and Lusitano while Newcastle narrowly edged a win at Bucharest Wolves before being beaten by Brive.
However, there was no free-flowing scoring on display on Sunday as a lacklustre, error-strewn game was saved only by the late drama of an Adam Powell try for Newcastle and a nervy fight to the finish for the home side in the 13-11 victory.
Saracens slumped to their heaviest defeat in four and a half years after England full-back Ben Foden helped Northampton overwhelm their Aviva Premiership title rivals.
Foden crossed twice to improve his chances of winning a place on the bench against Australia at Twickenham next Saturday as Saints romped to a 41-20 victory at Franklin's Gardens.
Luther Burrell, who was released by England last week, asked questions of Saracens' defence throughout and deserved his 64th-minute try, even if it did involve a forward pass.
The rout was completed by Jamie Elliott, Ken Pisi and man of the match Samu Manoa, the marauding American lock whose early ball-carrying was instrumental in Saints cruising into an early 17-3 lead that was never challenged.
Harlequins stopped their four match losing run with a comfortable 24-3 win over Sale at the Stoop to allow them to leapfrog their opponents into sixth place in the Aviva Premiership.
The first half was dour with the only scores coming from penalty kicks, three from Ben Botica to one from Danny Cipriani giving the hosts a 9-3 interval lead.
Sale rallied briefly after the restart but a superb team try finished off by Luke Wallace and a further penalty from Botica set the Quins on the road to victory. A late converted try from replacement Jack Clifford rewarded Quins' second half dominance.
Exeter ran in six tries, while keeping their own line in tact, to take maximum points and to move up to fifth place in the Aviva Premiership table and leave basement side Worcester still looking for their first win of the season.
Tries from flanker Ben White and captain Dean Mumm, both converted by fly-half Gareth Steenson, in the opening 10 minutes for Exeter were answered by two penalties from fly-half Ignacio Mieres gave the Chiefs a 14-6 half time lead.
Exeter showed real resolve in the second half with a second try from White plus one each from full back Phil Dollman, lock Damian Welch and replacement scrum half Haydn Thomas. Steenson converted two and his replacement Henry Slade one in the 40-6 victory.
On Friday, England fly-half hopeful Freddie Burns gave Bath a huge fright in front of a packed Recreation Ground with a charge-down try on the hour for Gloucester but the home side nervously closed out a 15-13 victory.
Bath moved into second place - for 24 hours at least - but they flattered to deceive and relied on the boot of George Ford for all their points.
The home side utterly dominated possession and territory but their misfiring midfield never really looked like creating a try as Gloucester scrapped for every loose ball, at the cost of 19 penalties. Burns, Bath-born and bred, also scored all his side's points.