Draw at Welford Road

  • Last Updated: January 5 2014, 17:15 GMT

A review of the weekend's action in the Aviva Premiership.

  • Leicester drew 27-27 against Bath.
  • Wasps celebrate victory against Exeter. 
  • Saracens went back to the top of the Aviva Premiership on Saturday. 

Leicester fly-half Owen Williams missed a conversion on the stroke of full-time as the Tigers fell agonisingly short of completing their comeback in a 27-27 Aviva Premiership draw against Bath at Welford Road.

Bath led 27-17 as the final quarter approached and appeared to be on the brink of securing their first victory at their old rivals' stronghold in a decade.

But Leicester responded with a late assault that ended with flanker Jamie Gibson crashing over in the right corner with a brilliant finish as Matt Banahan sought to bundle him into touch.

The stage was set for Williams to claim the Tigers' seventh league win of the season but his kick slid the wrong side of the right upright, ending an entertaining title showdown.

Williams finished with 12 points, but missed four more kicks with tries from Miles Benjamin and Thomas Waldrom keeping Leicester in touch.

Bath's quest for a first Premiership double over the reigning champions since 2003 was led by fly-half George Ford, who was involved in most of his team's best moments.

Ford created tries for Francois Louw and Jonathan Joseph and kicked 12 points just four days before England head coach Stuart Lancaster names his elite player and Saxons squads.

It was a profitable afternoon for England with other notable contributions from fringe RBS 6 Nations contenders Anthony Watson - who also crossed - Benjamin, Nick Abendanon and Kyle Eastmond.

Andy Goode's last-gasp drop-goal clawed Wasps to a 19-16 victory over battling Exeter at Adams Park.

Joe Simpson raced in for a try before denying Exeter fly-half Henry Slade a winning score.

Simpson's effort helped Wasps overturn a 10-point half-time deficit, before Goode slotted the winning goal in the game's final act.

Northampton denied Wasps at the last with 17-15 victory at Adams Park on December 21.

Goode ensured there would no repeat, after Simpson and Exeter's Dave Lewis had traded tries.

On Saturday, rampant Saracens reclaimed top spot from their major title rivals Northampton after earning a crushing 29-8 win over Gloucester at Kingsholm.

Saints took pole position following victory over Harlequins on Friday night, but Saracens shunted them out of the way in ruthless fashion.

Scrum-half Neil de Kock, wing David Strettle and full-back Alex Goode scored tries, while England fly-half Owen Farrell booted 14 points for a 29-8 success.

All Gloucester could muster in reply was a Billy Twelvetrees penalty and a late Matt Cox try, but their pack was painfully dismantled, with England internationals Ben Morgan and Matt Kvesic experiencing an afternoon to forget.

James O'Connor scored all of his side's 22 points as London Irish won the battle of the bottom two sides 22-9 against Worcester at the Madejski Stadium.

Australian ace O'Connor contributed a try, a conversion and five penalties as Irish produced a strong second-half performance to claim the win and put a 14-point gap between themselves and the rock-bottom Warriors, whose hopes of avoiding relegation now look all but over.

Worcester were firmly in contention at 6-6 at the interval but they were swept aside after the break to crash to a 12th successive defeat this season, with their points coming from three Chris Pennell penalties.

Wales wing George North had temporarily propelled Northampton to the summit on Friday with the pivotal try in their 23-9 win over Harlequins at Franklin's Gardens.

North brought a dire match to life when he caught a poor clearance and raced along the touchline and into the left corner, bumping off a tackle from opposite number Charlie Walker in the process.

Sale ended their dismal record at Kingston Park with an uncompromising 16-8 win over Newcastle.

With just one win in their last 20 visits to the north east, Sale scored a crucial first half try through winger Tom Brady with Danny Cipriani adding a conversion and penalty.

The former England player did not enjoy a great return after missing last week's game because of flu and he missed a second-half sitter before being replaced by Scott MacLeod who made sure of the win with a penalty seven minutes from time.

The win moves Sale up to top half of the table and well way from the relegation battle in which the Falcons renaming embroiled after failing to build on Andy Saull's try which came just six minutes after Brady's strike.


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