Wasps, Leicester and Chiefs lose but Saracens keep winning


The final fixtures of the year in the Gallagher Premiership saw Wasps suffer another loss, with Saracens winning again and narrow wins for Bath and Bristol amongst the action that spread across three days.

On Friday Northampton Saints entertained league leaders Exeter Chiefs at Franklin Gardens. In a season that has conjured up so many surprising results in the Premiership, Saints upset the odds by notching out a 31-28 victory over Chiefs.

In a match that saw eight tries shared between both sides, Chiefs never recovered from being 14-0 down after only eight minutes thanks to tries from Piers Francis and Dan Biggar. Exeter managed to get themselves on the board in the 21st minute with a penalty try followed by Santiago Cordero going over in the corner to level the score at 14-14 only for Saints to nudge ahead again thanks to a Fraser Dingwell try. Chiefs found themselves 21-14 down at the break, but quickly levelled when Ben Moon crossed. Cobus Reinach hit back for Saints, before Biggar slotted over a penalty to give Northampton a big advantage. With the last play of the game Chiefs salvaged two losing points from the game through a Matt Kvesic converted try.

At Twickenham on Saturday in front of a sold-out crowd of over 80,000. Big Game 11 took place between Harlequins and Wasps.

In a low-key contest, Quins defeated Wasps 20-13. Harlequins were quick of the blocks with the impressive Alex Dombrandt touching down. Tries were in short supply after this with Will Stuart crossing for Wasps and Joe Marchant for Quins. The hosts were grateful for 10 points from the boot of Marcus Smith to lift them into the top 4 with victory.

The major talking point in a game littered with penalties was the surprising decision by referee Craig Maxwell-Keys to issue only a yellow card to Harlequins Dave Ward for stamping on the ankle of Thomas Young, and appearing to spit at Young.

Harlequins have since taken out their own investigation into the matter and have handed Ward a one-game ban for the stamp on Young but have cleared the hooker of spitting.

Saracens are still on the heels of Chiefs after a 25-17 victory over Worcester Warriors at Alianz Park.
Tries from Mako Vunipola, Calum Clark and David Strettle saw of a brave Warriors side. Worcester stunned their opponents with two early tries from Duncan Weir and Ben Teo, and at half time led 17-11. Sarries hit back by dominating the second half to claim the win and put more pressure on Chiefs at the top.

Sale Sharks produced their best performance of the season by hammering third place Gloucester 30-15 at Kingsholm.

It was Sharks’ first away win of the season and their first at Kingsholm since 2013. Sale ran in four tries to claim the try bonus point victory with Chris Ashton, Faf De Klerk, Rob Webber and Denny Solomona all crossing for Sharks.

Bath head into 2019 on a high and in fifth place in the Gallagher Premiership after defeating Leicester Tigers 23-16 at the Rec on Sunday.

Todd Blackadder’s side led 15-7 at the break with tries from Jamie Roberts and Nathan Catt, with Ruaridh McConnochie going over for the hosts to stretch the lead to ten points. Despite a couple of penalties from Tigers, bath secured the win with Tigers picking up a losing bonus point.

One area of concern for the watching England Coach Eddie Jones was the sight of Sam Underhill being forced of in the second half with an ankle injury.

Bristol Bears and Newcastle Falcons shared 63 points at Ashton Gate with Bristol just getting the better of bottom of the table Falcons 35-28.

Bears, had to overturn a 20-10 half-time deficit to outlast Newcastle and claim a bonus point thanks to a late try from Australian wing Tom Pincus, on his maiden first-team start.

Bears are now six points of the bottom of the table and five away from the top in this already congested table.

Exeter are top by just a single point from Saracens with Gloucester six points behind in third and Quins fourth with 28 points. Only four points separate the next six sides with both Worcester and Newcastle in the bottom two places, with Warriors ahead by the narrowest of margins on points difference.


About Author

Comments are closed.