Exeter Chiefs 35-18 Sale Sharks
Exeter Chiefs made it three wins from three with a routine home win against Sale, whose own travel woes appear a growing problem, despite being in touch for much of the contest.
The Chiefs, almost inevitably, scored a bonus-point at home and made it maximum points from their three outings following impressive defeats over Leicester and Wasps. Their attack was clear for all to see at the Ricoh last Saturday and they again showed what they are capable of.
Both sides received yellow cards at Sandy Park but it did little to change the end result. Alex Cuthbert came off the bench and scored the all important fourth try and his first in front of the home faithful.
Sale did find themselves 13-7 up with 20 minutes gone after Marland Yarde cancelled out Santiago Cordero’s opening try. However, Exeter proceeded to score a further 28 points to Sale’s five in the final hour.
Jonny Hill, Jack Maunder, Cuthbert and Tom Lawday all scored for the home side with Bryn Evans’ try all the visitors had to show for their efforts.
Tries: Cordero, Hill, Maunder, Cuthbert, Lawday
Cons: Simmonds 3, Steenson 2
Yellow Card: Hill
Tries: Yarde, Evans
Pens: MacGinty 2
Yellow Card: Ross
Exeter: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Don Armand (c), 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Ollie Atkins, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Toby Salmon, 20 Sean Lonsdale, 21 Sam Maunder, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Alex Cuthbert
Sale Sharks: 15 Byron McGuigan, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Sam James, 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Jono Ross (c), 5 James Phillips, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 WillGriff John, 2 Cameron Neild, 1 Ross Harrison
Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Alexandru Tarus, 18 Joe Jones, 19 Josh Strauss, 20 Ben Curry, 21 Gus Warr, 22 Luke James, 23 Paolo Odogwu
Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant referees: Paul Dix, Philip Watters
TMO: Stuart Terheege
Harlequins 32-37 Bath
It was third time lucky for Bath as they finally recorded their first win of the campaign with a bonus-point victory at the Stoop.
It was a lot closer than it should’ve been with nine tries shared in Twickenham and, after looking firmly out of the contest, Quins secured a losing bonus-point.
Paul Gustard’s defensive background will not have been satisfied after watching his side lose at home for the first time this season. Bath, meanwhile, have steadily improved since their opening night defeat and were denied at the death last week. This time out they ensured the scoreline wasn’t close enough.
Joe Cokanasiga and Zach Mercer both bagged a brace in the capital. Cokanasiga’s second owing to a beautiful Burns offload with Mercer showing the pace and acceleration befitting a winger to score his second shortly after the bonus-point had been secured.
Jamie Roberts also scored against the club he left in the summer with his replacement Ben Tapuai watching on.
Burns notched 10 points, including a drop-goal, before he was replaced on the hour by Rhys Priestland, who himself scored.
Two tries in five minutes from Danny Care and Joe Marchant had briefly put Quins in front with a quarter gone before Bath’s attack took over.
Joe Marler’s late try under the posts meant with five minutes remaining the home side had an outside chance of snatching a losing bonus-point. Charlie Mulchrone’s effort with 30 seconds remaining did just that and Quins managed to salvage something from an outing where they were second best.
Tries: Care, Marchant, Marler, Mulchrone
Cons: Smith, Lang 2
Pens: Smith 2
Tries: Roberts, Mercer 2, Cokanasiga 2
Cons: Burns 2, Priestland
Harlequins: 15 Aaron Morris, 14 Nathan Earle, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Charlie Walker, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 James Chisholm, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Luke Wallace, 5 Dino Lamb, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Will Collier, 2 Elia Elia, 1 Mark Lambert
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Stan South, 20 Renaldo Bothma, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 James Lang, 23 Paul Lasike
Bath: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Joe Cokanasiga, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Max Green, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Ellis, 5 Luke Charteris (c), 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Nathan Catt
Replacements: 16 Jack Walker, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Aled Brew
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Roy Maybank, Anthony Woodthorpe
TMO: David Rose
Northampton Saints 27-38 Saracens
The champions made it three from three in defence of their Premiership crown with victory at one of their favourite hunting grounds.
After putting 50 points of the Saints twice here last year there must’ve been a fear that bad things come in threes. They did, but not in the same fashion it had done last year.
Saracens initially went in front courtesy of an Alex Lewington double and Ben Spencer. However, it looked as if they were going to be dealt their first defeat of the season before a late David Strettle double turned the contest of its head.
Piers Francis scored his second try of the season but that early effort was quickly cancelled out by three unanswered tries. Dylan Hartley, in typical captain fashion, scored a try on his return before fellow forward Ben Franks put the hosts in the lead.
Dan Biggar converted all three tries and notched two penalties to put the Saints in the lead with 10 minutes remaining.
It was the former Saracen turned current Saracen Strettle who scored two tries in the space of three minutes to keep the champions at 100 per cent.
Tries: Francis, Hartley, Franks
Cons: Biggar 3
Pens: Biggar 2
Tries: Lewington 2, Spencer, Strettle 2
Cons: Spencer, Goode
Pens: Spencer, Goode 2
Yellow Cards: George, B Vunipola
Northampton Saints: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Teimana Harrison, 7 Heinrich Brüssow, 6 James Haskell, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Ehren Painter, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Francois Van Wyk, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Jamie Gibson, 21 Alex Mitchell, 22 Andrew Symons, 23 Harry Mallinder
Saracens: 15 Liam Williams, 14 David Strettle, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Alex Goode, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Mike Rhodes, 6 Nick Isiekwe, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Titi Lamositele, 19 George Kruis, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Sean Maitland
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Christophe Ridley, Peter Allan
TMO: Keith Lewis
Worcester Warriors 20-23 Newcastle Falcons
Worcester once again fell agonisingly short at home as Newcastle held out for the victory and ensured the Warriors remained winless after three outings.
The Falcons were battered by Leicester last time out but looked as if they were about to hand out a battering to Worcester initially, before the home side battled back into the contest, owing much to Duncan Weir’s efforts.
Scrum-half Sonatane Takalua and Sinoti Sinoti both scored tries to put themselves 14-0 up with just under a quarter of an hour gone. They looked as if they were going to run away with it but Worcester’s penalty try with the first-half clock in the red kept the hosts in the game.
Weir scored the home side’s second try and he converted to make it a contest again at Sixways. Despite the Scotsman’s impressive effort it was Toby Flood’s personal haul of 13 points which was ultimately the difference.
Chris Pennell’s penalty on 68 minutes levelled the contest but just four minutes later Flood completed his hat-trick of penalties to push Dean Richards’ side back in front.
Tries: Penalty try, Weir
Pens: Weir, Pennell
Tries: Takulua, Sinoti
Cons: Flood 2
Pens: Flood 3
Yellow Cards: McGuigan, Williams
Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ryan Mill, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 GJ van Velze (c), 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Marco Mama, 5 Darren Barry, 4 Pierce Phillips, 3 Simon Kerrod, 2 Joe Taufete’e, 1 Callum Black
Replacements: 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Ryan Bower, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Anton Bresler, 20 Alafoti Fa’osiliva, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Ashley Beck
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Callum Chick, 7 Will Welch (c), 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Will Witty, 4 Calum Green, 3 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Sami Mavinga
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 Jack Payne, 19 Tevita Cavubati, 20 Gary Graham, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 Tom Penny
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Jack Makepeace, Steve Lee
TMO: Trevor Fisher