Exeter Chiefs pounced on Saracens’ defeat to reclaim top spot in the Premiership with a 37-17 win over struggling Newcastle Falcons.
Sarries lost for just the third time this season on Friday, going down 30-24 at Gloucester, and a day later the Chiefs scored five tries in a bonus-point win at Sandy Park.
The Chiefs, who had also suffered defeat to Gloucester last time out, were fast out the blocks with Santiago Cordero and Jack Yeandle touching down.
Tane Takulua replied for the Falcons but a yellow card for Zach Kibirige preceded Olly Woodburn dotting down for the hosts’ third before the break.
Nic White and Greg Holmes added tries in the second half, Kibirige replying with consolation scores on each occasion, as the Chiefs went four points clear at the summit.
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) February 23, 2019
Third-placed Harlequins are able to celebrate four straight Premiership victories for the first time since 2014 after beating Bristol Bears 36-26 at The Stoop.
Quins had already earned a bonus point at the break thanks to tries from Ross Chisholm, Marcus Smith, Mike Brown and Joe Marchant, with Bristol twice having led through scores from Charles Piutau and Alapati Leiua.
— Harlequins (@Harlequins) February 23, 2019
Callum Sheedy and Leiua scored either side of a fifth Quins try from Nathan Earle, but the Bears fell short.
Northampton Saints needed a converted David Ribbans try in added time to break Bath hearts in a 27-26 success at Franklin Gardens – the hosts having trailed 17-10 in the second half.
Sale Sharks rebounded from a 67-17 battering at the hands of Northampton by running out 24-18 winners at Wasps.
Rob Webber and Denny Solomona touchdowns, coupled with a penalty try and nine points from the boot of Faf de Klerk did the damage for the Sharks.
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