- Harlequins end Saracens run
- Leicester secure win over Bath
Stunning length of the field tries, winning runs came to an end and landmarks reached. Welcome to round four of the Aviva Premiership.
TIGERS ROAR BACK
He may have starred with a breakaway try, but Semesa Rokoduguni and Bath Rugby saw their unbeaten start to the Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign end with a 34-14 defeat to Leicester Tigers.
The England wing beat World Cup winning Springbok JP Pietersen to a George Ford up-and-under, before evading several tackles to surge across the whitewash – a powerful way to bring up his fourth try in as many games at the start of the season.
But it wasn’t to go Bath’s way at Welford Road, still to win at the ground in Premiership action since 2003 as Owen Williams kicked 17 points for the Tigers.
England hooker Tom Youngs also muscled in on the action with a try, as did Brendan O’Connor and Ed Slater, while Tom Dunn crossed for his maiden try in England’s upper echelon in response for the visitors.
That was more like a tigers performance and team! Proud of lads today and the boys who help us prepare for the weekend!— Tom Youngs (@TomYoungs87) September 25, 2016
THE STREAK IS OVER
More than 16 months and 31 games in the making, and Maro Itoje’s incredible winning run has finally come to an end.
England’s forward and his Saracens side lost their winning record in this season’s Premiership, falling 17-10 to a rejuvenated Harlequins side at the Stoop – the last team to beat the defending champions.
Itoje’s last defeat came against the Exeter Chiefs way back in May 2015, a run which has also included a Grand Slam success for England as well as the whitewash tour to Australia.
Tim Visser and Charlie Walker scores helped the hosts into a 17-0 lead at the break, while Richard Wigglesworth’s try threatened a fightback as all points were scored at one end of the ground – the 19thsuch instance in Premiership history.
Fly-half Ryan Lamb entered an exclusive club in Worcester Warriors’ 34-34 draw with Sale Sharks, with his three conversions and a penalty taking him to 1,000 points in the Premiership.
The 30-year-old became the 17th player to achieve the milestone, but his haul wasn’t enough to stop the Warriors drawing a game for the second time this season.
Lamb, formerly of Gloucester Rugby and Northampton Saints among others, converted Jonny Arr, Perry Humphrey and Wynand Oliver tries, while Jamie Shillcock also bagged a double.
But despite a 31-17 bonus-point lead, the hosts were unable to hold on as Neil Briggs and Halani Aulika helped the Sharks share the spoils at Sixways.
Just one 100 per cent winning record remains in the Premiership, and a piece of Danny Cipriani magic to thank for that being the case.
Forced to work for victory against Northampton Saints, Cipriani escaped with a chip from his own 22, barging his way beyond Louis Picamoles to set up one of the tries of the season so far, finished off by Jimmy Gopperth.
That helped Wasps take the lead in a hard-fought victory, eventually taking the game 20-15 to sit ahead of the pile after four games of action.
WOODBURN ON FIRE
Exeter Chiefs’ Olly Woodburn showed that his pre-season form was far from just a one-match wonder as his double helped down newly-promoted Bristol Rugby 41-17 at Ashton Gate.
The winger’s haul joined up with a pair from Thomas Waldrom, capped four times by England, as the Chiefs picked up a bonus-point win over their West Country rivals.
Well respected in the Premiership, Woodburn also scored a hat-trick against Newport Gwent Dragons in pre-season, crossing in just the first minute against Bristol in the eight-try match.
AWAY DAY HOODOO NO MORE
Finally, it’s been a long time coming, but Newcastle Falcons finally have a first Premiership victory away from home since 2014 following a narrow 18-13 success at Gloucester.
An all-round performance saw the Falcons prevail at Kingsholm with Mike Delany kicking eight points as Dominic Waldouck and Alex Tait dotted down.
That was in spite of Ross Moriarty scoring, with England Under 20 international Billy Burns finding the posts for five points across the evening.