Premiership: six stories from round 14

The Aviva Premiership announced its return to our screens in style this weekend, with important wins at both the top and bottom of the table.

Exeter Chiefs had their lead cut at the top while Wasps showed spirit and discipline to beat Harlequins despite going down to 14 men. Here’s what happened in Round 14.

Wasps edge out Harlequins with second-half showing

Thomas Young scored twice as 14-man Wasps raced to a thrilling 44-22 win against Harlequins, putting them third in the Aviva Premiership table.

Juan de Jongh and Young scored early tries at the Stoop before Kyle Eastmond was shown a red card and Harlequins hit back.

Tim Visser and Aaron Morris scored as they moved ahead with fly-half Marcus Smith, who has been training with England in the build-up to the NatWest 6 Nations, imperious with ball-in-hand.

However, Wasps scored four times after the break with Young’s second complimented by tries from Willie le Roux, Tom Cruse and Josh Bassett.

Warriors battle to famous Chiefs win

Chris Pennell played a starring role as Worcester Warriors claimed a historic victory over Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.

The 6-5 win was the Warriors’ first-ever success over the reigning champions in the Premiership after failing 11 times previously.

Full-back Pennell slotted two long-range penalties in the first period to hand the visitors a 6-0 lead at the break.

And, despite Mitch Lees going over for an unconverted scored, Worcester held firm and ultimately claimed a memorable win.

Burns lights up The Rec as Bath beat Northampton Saints

Fly-half Freddie Burns put in a man of the match performance scoring 17 points as Bath Rugby beat Northampton Saints 32-9 on Friday night.

England’s Piers Francis kicked three penalties for the Saints but Matt Banahan’s try at the end of the first half had the hosts 16-6 up at the break.

Prop Nick Auterac scored his third Premiership Rugby try after a cutting long pass from Burns on 67 minutes to move Bath clear of the Saints.

Ross Batty added a final try four minutes from time but they were unable to find a bonus-point score.

Trinder at the double as Gloucester maintain unbeaten home record

Henry Trinder grabbed two first-half tries as Gloucester remained unbeaten at Kingsholm in the Aviva Premiership this season by edging past Leicester Tigers 24-17.

Tigers led 7-0 and 14-7 in the first half following Nick Malouf’s 60-metre interception try and Joe Ford’s dot down after neat hands from Brendon O’Connor.

But both times they were pegged back by Trinder finishing out wide, the first of which, in particular, exhibited his searing pace.

Nineteen-cap England international Billy Twelvetrees was a perfect four-from-four off the tee against his old club and his second-half penalty, combined with Matt Scott scoring Gloucester’s third, guaranteed the victory.

Leicester did at least leave with something as Matt Toomua’s late penalty secured a losing bonus point.

Saracens storm past Newcastle

The bad weather certainly played its part at Allianz Park as Saracens battled past Newcastle Falcons 25-3 to move within two points of Exeter Chiefs at the top of the table.

Richard Barrington and a penalty try put the Champions Cup holders in control while the boot of Ben Spencer, both in front of goal and from hand, proved to be a nuisance throughout.

Newcastle were restricted to only a Joel Hodgson penalty and Saracens wrapped things up after the break as Max Malins crossed to confirm the win.

Sharks show their teeth at Irish

Sale Sharks survived a late fight back from London Irish to scrape a narrow 13-9 victory at the Madejski Stadium courtesy of a Josh Strauss try.

The visitors consistently attacked London Irish in the first half and their persistence was rewarded when Strauss sprawled over the line to put them 10-3 ahead at the break.

However, the tables turned in the second half as Sale showed cracks of indiscipline and Tommy Bell’s boot kept the Irish on the Sharks’ tail.

The Exiles pushed for the line late on to try and steal a victory but last season’s Championship winners remain searching for a second win in the Premiership.