Controversy as Exeter Chiefs snatch controversial win right at the death


Sarries go top for 24 hours. Chiefs snatch controversial win right at the death. Gloucester hammer Tigers.

After a break of six weeks the Gallagher Premiership returned on Friday night with two games scheduled on the night.

In South West London, Harlequins welcomed bottom of the table Newcastle Falcons to the Stoop.

In what proved to be a very scrappy affair, with very little rugby played, it was the home side who took the honours on the night by 20-7. The hosts went into the break with a ten points advantage thanks to back rower Alex Dombrands try a couple of minutes before half time. There was more action in the opening forty minutes from the medical staff from both teams, with Falcons Joel Hodgson sustaining a suspected broken leg seven minutes into the contest. Quins made the game safe when Game Changer Francis Saili crossed late in the game. Despite a try from Andrew Davidson the hosts held on to register their third Premiership win of the season and lifted them up to fifth in the table.

In the other game played on Friday, Gloucester beat Leicester Tigers 36-13 at Kingsholm.

A brace from Ollie Thorley on his return to Premiership rugby after being out absent for nine months along with yet another virtuoso performance from Danny Cipriani, ensured Gloucester secured a try bonus point win.

The hosts dominated the opening half by going in to the break with a 22-6 lead. The momentum continued with the West Country outfit after the break with Thorley’s two tries as the home side moved up to third in the table.

Saracens made it 18 games unbeaten along with a winning try bonus point victory after completing a 31-25 victory against a resilient Sale Sharks side at Allianz Park on Saturday.

Sarries ran in three tries inside the opening half an hour thanks to Michael Rhodes, Winger Alex Lewington and Nick Tompkins, as Saracens went into the break leading 21-13. Sharks failed to cross the line in the second period but kept in the game with Rob du Preez kicking four penalties in a row to give Sharks a narrow 25-21 lead. However, Sarries showed just why they have been undefeated for so long with young lock Joel Kpoku and Ben Spencer touching down to complete the win.

At Franklin Gardens on Saturday, Northampton Saints defeated visiting Wasps 36-17.

Saints took a first half lead of 16-3 with tries from Andrew Kellaway and James Dingwall to give Northampton a 16-0 lead before Wasps eventually got on the board with a penalty kick. Saints continued where they left off with Piers Francis going over in the corner and Taqele Naiyaravaro crossing. Despite a late Josh Bassett try for Wasps, the hosts always looked comfortable in producing their third win in the Premiership.

Bath ended a seven-game winless streak with a 30-13 victory against an ill-disciplined Worcester side at the Rec on Saturday.

In an error ridden match, Bath’s Freddie Burns added 15 points with the boot, alongside tries from Semesa Rokoduguni, Tom Ellis and Elliott Stooke. Bath took a six-point advantage at half time by leading 16-10, and never looked back as the home side moved up to sixth in the table.

Exeter Chiefs maintained their unbeaten start to their Gallagher Premiership campaign, by defeating Bristol Bears 31-29 at Ashton Gate on Sunday.

Chiefs were pushed all the way be a resilient Bears side, but a last gasp penalty try ensured Chiefs moved back to the top of the table. The game’s crucial moment came with the clock showing Red, Bristol prop John Afoa was penalised for a high tackle. Gareth Steenson kicked to the corner with Referee Greg Macdonald deciding Bears were stopping the driving line out illegally. Macdonald immediately ran under the posts to award Exeter their fifth try of the afternoon.

It was cruel on Bristol who had given everything during a pulsating match. The home side went into the break 19-12 up through four penalties from Callum Sheedy along with his conversion of a Charles Piutau try. Bristol increased their advantage when Luke Morahan went over, before the late show fightback from Chiefs snatched victory right at the death.


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