Premiership Rugby roundup: Northampton beat Glouceter in thriller

Mikey Haywood scores for Northampton in their entertaining win over Gloucester
Mikey Haywood scores for Northampton in their entertaining win over Gloucester

A full roundup of Saturday's Premiership Rugby matches as Northampton beat Gloucester in a thriller and Worcester claimed a vital win over relegation rivals London Irish.


Premiership results

  • Northampton Saints 33-26 Gloucester
  • Bath 16-14 Sale Sharks
  • Worcester Warriors 20-6 London Irish
  • Harlequins 30-30 Leicester Tigers

Northampton Saints 36-26 Gloucester

Louis Rees-Zammit scored a hat-trick for Gloucester but they had to be content with two bonus points in their 33-26 defeat at Northampton Saints.

Rees-Zammit threatened to set up a stunning late fightback, but Northampton held their nerve and Piers Francis' late penalty put the seal on the home success at Franklin's Gardens.

Northampton bounced back from an early Rees-Zammit score and went in 13-7 up at half-time thanks to Mike Haywood's try and eight points from the boot of Dan Biggar.

Biggar went off injured at the break but his side took control as man of the match Cobus Reinach registered a double.

Gloucester refused to go quietly and two more tries from Rees-Zammit as well as one from Chris Harris kept them alive.

However, Northampton saw the game out late on to ensure their unbeaten Premiership home record remained intact.

Gloucester had been first to strike as Mark Atkinson, who scored a hat-trick at the same ground back in April, put in a grubber kick and wing Rees-Zammit scored.

Eventually the visitor's resistance was broken as Haywood scored from a dominant lineout drive, allowing Biggar to make it 10-7 with the successful conversion. He also added a penalty before the break.

Northampton struck early in the second half, scrum-half Reinach skipping through to score under the posts.

The game swung as centre Harris scored at the other end, with Cipriani converting, but Northampton responded immediately with a fantastic Reinach breakaway try.

But Gloucester replied again through Rees-Zammit, with Cipriani's conversion cutting the gap to six points with 25 minutes to go.

Gloucester still had hope, only for Courtney Lawes and equally impressive George Furbank to make try-saving tackles that prevented the try bonus point.

But Gloucester had their fourth score when Rees-Zammit dived over for his hat-trick.

Cipriani's conversion went wide, leaving the gap at four points with four minutes to go, and Francis kicked a penalty to make sure of the Saints win.


Bath 16-14 Sale Sharks

Bath celebrate their victory over Sale Sharks
Bath celebrate their victory over Sale Sharks

Bath resisted a stunning fightback by Sale to win 16-14 in a thriller at The Rec.

The home side went in front at half-time thanks to two penalties from fly-half Rhys Priestland and went into a 13-0 advantage when centre Jonathan Joseph scored a try that Priestland converted.

But tries from hooker Akker Van Der Merwe and wing Byron McGuigan, both converted by fly-half Robert Du Preez, sent Sale in front before a final Priestland penalty won it for the home team.

Errors by the visitors saw Priestland boom over two medium-range penalties to give his side a 6-0 lead, while dashes by England backs duo Anthony Watson and Semesa Rokoduguni needed solid Sale defence

Yet Bath sent their home fans roaring after the break when they went over for a scorching touchdown which Priestland converted.

Full-back Tom Homer began the move with a chip and chase into the Sale half and, from the ruck, Joseph was put away, feeding Priestland on a run to the corner before returned the pass to his centre to cross on the left.

But Sale suddenly found their feet again and put their best pressure of the game on their opponents.

And, in a rip-roaring response, they went over twice to take the lead before the hour.

Van Der Merwe was at the side of a ruck which attacked Bath's line from a throw-in five metres out and slide around to score.

Just before the hour, Sale were back inside the Bath 22 with the ball going through the back division before Du Preez fed McGuigan to go over in the corner.

But, when Sale infringed with nine minutes to go, Priestland stepped up to land his third penalty of the afternoon which proved to be the decider.


Worcester Warriors 20-6 London Irish

Worcester Warriors's Cornell Du Preez runs at the London Irish
Worcester Warriors's Cornell Du Preez runs at the London Irish

Worcester fly-half Duncan Weir scored 13 points as Warriors picked up a valuable Gallagher Premiership victory against 14-man London Irish, winning 20-6.

Weir was on the receiving end of a head-high tackle from Motu Matu'u, which earned the hooker a red card after only 34 minutes and left his side to play the whole of the second half a man short for the second away league fixture in a row.

Prop Ollie Hoskins was the offender at Bristol earlier this month when Irish went on to secure a 27-27 draw, but they could not repeat that remarkable feat against Irish on Saturday.

Weir scored a try for Worcester and kicked two penalties and a conversion. Jono Lance was the other Warriors scorer with a try and conversion, while Stephen Myler responded with two penalties for the visitors.

Worcester, anxious to impress the first sell-out crowd at Sixways since April 2018, began strongly by enjoying an extended period of pressure.

Francois Hougaard and Cornell Du Preez were the protagonists in testing the Irish defence and the hosts looked to have taken the lead in the sixth minute when Tom Howe crashed over, but TMO replays showed that the wing had lost possession before grounding the ball.

Warriors continued to have the better of the opening period but it was Irish who were first on the scoreboard when Myler kicked a 40-metre penalty.

A poor kick from full-back Alivereti Veitokani surrendered possession to give Warriors a platform in the opposition 22, and from there the space was created for Weir to score the opening try.

Weir converted before adding two penalties in quick succession as his side continued their first-half dominance.

A couple of attempted clearances by Hougaard were charged down to raise Irish hopes, but these soon faded when prop Allan Dell was yellow-carded for charging dangerously into a ruck before Matu'u was sent off.

The visitors held out until the 59th minute before Hougaard broke blind and combined cleverly with Perry Humphreys to provide Lance with an easy run-in.


Harlequins 30-30 Leicester Tigers

Leicester came from 14 points down to snatch a 30-30 draw with Harlequins in Big Game 12 on Saturday at Twickenham.

Scores from Marcus Smith and Chris Robshaw opened up a big second-half lead for the Londoners, but Tigers fought back through Jordan Taufua and Telusa Veainu.

Alex Dombrandt shelled a big chance to win it at the death as a slippery ball popped out of his grasp with the line in sight, as the two sides repeated their draw from the very first Big Game 11 years ago.

It was Quins who made the opening forays, a high tackle from Dan Cole giving Smith the chance to put his side on the board from the tee, an opportunity he gleefully accepted.

But the Londoners could not rest on their laurels, as Italian international Michele Campagnaro was floored minutes later with a knock to his knee, the centre brought to tears as he hobbled off in place of the prodigious Gabriel Ibitoye.

George Ford squared things up with a penalty of his own inside 10 minutes, before slotting his side ahead from the tee.

But Quins hit straight back, a quickly-hooked five-metre scrum fed to the returning Paul Lasike, who at full pelt powered his way over with Leicester defenders hanging off in rag-doll style, Smith making no mistake with the extras.

It seemed the spark that the Londoners needed, as they once again poured forward, Tigers conceding the penalty after being caught offside, with Smith duly adding to his tally to take them through to the break.

Only minutes out of the dressing rooms, Leicester were level once again, however, as a lurking Kyle Eastmond intercepted a blind Sinckler pass to go the distance for his first Tigers try since December 2018.

But the England prop made amends minutes later when a series of big drives set up a five-metre scrum, with Smith dancing his way through from the set-piece for the score.

Quins really hit their stride as a series of hefty carries set up Chris Robshaw to power over the line and leave Leicester needing a big swing.

But they sparked a glimmer of hope when a driving maul spun to set up an unstoppable shove, Taufua putting the finishing touches to the move with Ford adding the conversion.

Smith and Ford traded penalties before Will Collier was sent to the bin after repeated infringements to set up a grandstand finale.

Quins tried to slow things down in vain, as Ford chipped over the line for Veainu to gather and score, the fly-half's conversion levelling things at 30-30.

A man down, Quins went on the offensive, Ibitoye stretching his legs before Dombrandt spilled the ball with the line beckoning for the final chance.

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