Farrell stars in Sarries win
A review of the weekend's action in the Aviva Premiership, with Leicester much too good for Exeter.
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England fly-half Owen Farrell kicked the winning penalty six minutes from time as Saracens consigned Harlequins to their first defeat in five Aviva Premiership matches this season.
Farrell scored all 18 points for the visitors, with six penalties, in a hard-fought 18-16 success at the Twickenham Stoop.
Harlequins, knocked off the top of the table when Northampton beat Wasps on Friday night, replied with an opportunist try from scrum-half Danny Care and 11 points from the boot of fly-half Nick Evans.
But the usually dependable former All Black missed three kickable second-half penalties, any one of which would have been enough to preserve Quins' 100 per cent record this season.
Freddie Burns boosted his England hopes as his attacking spark helped Gloucester avoid becoming London Welsh's latest scalp in a 31-25 Kassam Stadium thriller.
The visitors appeared in control as they opened up an 18-9 interval lead thanks to tries from Shane Monahan and Tom Savage, with Burns involved in the creation of both scores.
But the boot of Gordon Ross, who ended the game with 20 points to his name, kept Welsh in it and Franck Montanella's try looked to have set Lyn Jones' men up for a third-straight win.
However, a thrilling counter-attack instigated and supported by Burns, back after a spell in the sin bin, saw replacement prop Shaun Knight barrel over for the clinching score.
Winger Adam Thompstone scored a hat-trick on his first start as Leicester bounced back from last week's home defeat to Harlequins with a superb 30-8 victory over Exeter at Welford Road.
Thompstone, signed from London Irish in the summer, scored one in the first half and two in the second, with England fly-half Toby Flood kicking 15 points in a fine all-round performance. Replacement Ben White scored a last-minute consolation try for Exeter.
Despite suffering from an injury crisis, Leicester were too strong for an Exeter side who showed none of the form which earned them the double over the Tigers last season and the scalp of Saracens last week.
Olly Barkley ended his Bath career on a winning note as struggling Sale slumped to a 31-10 defeat.
England international Barkley, who joins French club Racing Metro next week, kicked 16 points, including the conversions of prop David Wilson's try and a late penalty try during a mistake-riddled Recreation Ground clash.
Bath flanker Ben Skirving also scored, and although Sale delivered a second-half Johnny Leota try converted by Nick Macleod, who slotted an early penalty, the Sharks remain in 12th and last place with just one point.
James Wilson scored his first two tries for Northampton as they made it five wins out of five so far this season with a 24-6 victory over Wasps.
Wilson's double plus 14 points from the boot of Stephen Myler eased the Saints past a Wasps side who dominated possession in the first half.
It could have been worse for Wasps as Tim Payne was lucky not to receive a red card after television match official Trevor Fisher was called upon by referee Dave Pearson. Replays showed the England loosehead dropping a knee on Vasily Artemyev in a ruck, but he was given just 10 minutes in the sin-bin.
Wasps, who have not won at Franklin's Gardens since November 2005, also saw wing James Bailey - a summer signing from Lyon - carried off on a stretcher with a broken leg 17 minutes into his first start for the club.
Elsewhere on Friday, Worcester collected their first league win of the season by beating London Irish 35-11 at Sixways.
Ofisa Treviranus scored the first try of the game for the visitors but Saliosi Tagicakibau carelessly knocked-on the restart to give the Warriors a platform in the visitors' 22 and he was made to pay for his error as Aleki Lutui drove over from close range.
With Andy Goode's boot doing the business, Worcester led 16-11 with fewer than 15 minutes remaining but three late tries saw their superiority rewarded with a bonus-point victory.
David Lemi, Semisi Taulava and debutant Jon Clarke crossed for those late scores.