Premiership: six stories from round 16

  • Paul Grayson's play of the week - watch
  • England v Scotland in numbers - read

A round that will live long in the memory. Here is how the action played out.

Chiefs back on the up

Exeter Chiefs returned to winning ways after three consecutive defeats with a final-play try to sink Northampton Saints.

Saints led through Rob Horne before they were pegged back by a penalty try and an Alec Hepburn score, the prop showing great strength to force his way over the line.

The visitors took the lead at the end of the first half, with Ben Foden finishing off a lovely attacking break started by Luther Burrell inside his own 22.

Harry Mallinder added another for Saints before Don Armand and Thomas Waldron snatched the points from Northampton’s grasp.

Falcons rule the roost at the Stoop

Newcastle Falcons banished their hoodoo at the Stoop, confidently defeating Harlequins to claim their first victory there for almost 18 years.

At the break, the contest had struggled to catch fire, with the scores level at 7-7 after Newcastle’s Callum Chick had cancelled out James Horwill’s early score.

But in the second period, the Falcons took full control, Kyle Cooper, Chris Harris and Sinoti Sinoti all going over.

Samoa international Sinoti had signed a new Newcastle contract in midweek and celebrated extending his stay at Kingston Park in style, helping his team to their sixth win in seven matches.

Wade provides Wasps’ sting in the tail

Christian Wade’s last-gasp try gave Wasps a deserved draw against Gloucester in an entertaining 25-25 encounter at Kingsholm.

Wade touched down with the whistle moments away, Jimmy Gopperth converting to complete a terrific comeback for Dai Young’s side.

Billy Twelvetrees passed 500 Premiership points as he added ten with the boot for the hosts, who saw Richard Hibbard, Charlie Sharples and Henry Trinder all dot down.

Dan Robson and Thomas Young crashed over in the second period as Wasps fought back from 18-6 down at half-time before Wade’s late show.

Zach nicks it for Bath in high-scoring showdown

England squad member Zach Mercer helped Bath Rugby complete a thrilling turnaround as his last-gasp try paved the way for a 33-32 win over Sale Sharks.

The flanker was the star of the show at the Rec, burrowing over with virtually the last play of the game for the hosts, with his score ably converted by James Wilson to complete the turnaround.

Mercer had earlier received an excellent offload from Taulupe Faletau for Bath’s first try while Josh Bayliss also got on the scoresheet alongside Wilson’s seven successful kicks.

But they had to work hard against the Sharks as their wingers shone, with Denny  Solomona, who scored the winning try on England debut against Argentina in 2017, registering two excellent scores, Marland Yarde also going over for the visitors.

London Irish taste sweet success again

London Irish secured their second win of the season with a 22-9 victory over Worcester Warriors at the Madejski Stadium.

Piet van Zyl scored the only try of the game in the first half, benefitting from a favourable bounce of the ball to collect his own kick to score.

Chris Pennell scored three penalties for the visitors but Greig Tonks’ 17 points from the tee made the real difference. 

Winger Joe Cokanasiga had a strong game as London Irish moved onto 15 points and kept alive their faint hopes of Premiership survival.

Tigers find their bite at Allianz Park

England centre Manu Tuilagi helped Leicester Tigers to a 28-20 win over Saracens, who missed the chance to move to the top of the table.

Tuilagi opened the scoring with a powerful run from the back of a ruck before Greg Bateman extended the Tigers lead.

Telusa Veainu and Jonah Holmes secured the bonus point for the visitors – their first league win over Saracens since March 2016.

Former England U20 fly-half Max Malins demonstrated his potential when he came off the bench to score two late Saracens tries by skipping through the tiring Tigers defence but it wasn’t enough to snatch a late losing bonus point.