Gallagher Premiership Roundup. 7th April by Peter Moore


Coming towards the end of what has been an enthralling Gallagher Premiership, all 12 sides still have everything to play for.

The action for this weekend started on Friday at the A.J Bell Stadium where Sale Sharks defeated Harlequins 28-17 to move closer to the play-off places.

The Sharks were indebted to AJ MacGinty who kicked 23 points to punish an ill-disciplined Harlequins, who had Kyle Sinckler and Matt Symons sinbinned during the second half. Harlequins conceded 14 penalties, which untimatly cost them the game.

It was all so different for the visitors who opened the scoring in just the fourth minute when Mike Brown went over for his 90th try for the club, overtaking Ugo Monye’s total. Three penalties slotted over by MacGinty nudged Sharks in front 9-7 before Quins added their second try of the evening when Jack Clifford touched down. Sale retook the lead when Byron McGuigan intercepted a Demetri Catrakilis pass to run in to give the Sharks a 19-14 lead at the break. Further points from the boot of MacGinty was enough to seal a crucial win for the hosts.
Exeter Chiefs maintained their position at the top of the table after handing out a heavy 52-20 defeat to Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Saturday.

A disastrous match for struggling Tigers was compounded by having Captain Tom Youngs sent off for an illegal clear out on Ollie Atkins. For Tigers, this defeat was the most points conceded by the club in a Premiership match.
The hosts kept themselves in the contest by trailing Chiefs by just eight points at the break 28-20. The second half saw Chiefs surge clear, eventually scoring seven tries in the process, with seven different scorers and Joe Simmonds converting Jack Nowell’s try to complete a 100 per cent return of seven conversions and a penalty.
Bath Rugby entertained Bristol Bears in front of a crowd of over 60,000 people at Twickenham on Saturday. Bath eventually getting the better of their fellow West Country rivals 26-19.

Bath lead Bristol 19-12 at half time, before Bath claimed the try bonus point when Rhys Priestland crossed. Despite a late try from Bears Dan Thomas, Bath held on to record the win.
Wasps piled on the misery for struggling Worcester Warriors after completing a 28-16 victory at the Ricoh Arena.
The result lifted Wasps up to seventh in the table and left Worcester still only three points above bottom placed Newcastle Flacons

Wasps were in control of the contest inside 15 minutes, thanks to tries from Nathan Hughes and Marcus Watson. By the time Georgian prop Zurabi Zhvania crossed, Waps had surged into an 18-point advantage, only for Warriors to hit back through Sam Lewis’s try. Hughes then pounced for his second try of the match to seal a must win game for Wasps.

Newcastle Falcons still sit bottom of the Premiership after suffering a 26-12 defeat at the hands of Saracens at Allianz Park on Saturday.

Despite dominating the first half, the North East side failed to take advantage of a Sarries side who produced an error ridded 40 minutes. Flacons edged the opening 40 minutes by taking a 6-5 interval lead. Max alins went over for Sarries after the restart, with Saracens sealing victory when Nick Tompkins went over, before the icing on the cake for Saracens was applied by Alex Lozowski who touched down in the 80th minute to give Sarries another victory.

As the table stands with just four games to go, at the top Chiefs lead Saracens by eight points. Gloucester are a single point ahead of Harlequins in third place. At the bottom, Falcons have 29 points with Warriors on 32 and Leicester 34 points.


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