A landmark appearance for Mike Brown, 'Roko' rescues Bath and an England duo impressing Eddie Jones. Six stories from Premiership round two.
Falcons continue to soar
Newcastle Falcons moved to the top of the Aviva Premiership table on Friday evening as they showed they can win even when not at their best away to Sale.
Dean Richards’ side were on the back foot for much of the game, with Sale looking the more dangerous and Tom Curry proving particularly effective.
Great @FalconsRugby victory ! Well done to all. Best start for years ! Onwards & upwards ! Remember, you can always win the next one !— Prof. Steve Black (@B1ackie) September 8, 2017
However, with the Sharks lineout misfiring, the Falcons were able to hang in the game, and they grabbed a late penalty try from a rolling maul to emerge 13-12 winners.
Rokoduguni stuns Sarries
Bath made a statement in their opening game by winning away at Welford Road, and they were just impressive in taking the scalp of Saracens 31-21 on Saturday.
After a flying start from the home team, the returning Saracens Lions, including Owen Farrell and Mako Vunipola, looked to have swung momentum back to the visitors.
Catch Me If You Can...— BT Sport Rugby (@btsportrugby) September 10, 2017
Starring Semesa Rokoduguni
But with the score at 21-17 and time ticking down, winger Semesa Rokoduguni popped up to score a brilliant individual try, and even had time for a second intercept score to deny Saracens a bonus point.
Hartley and Lawes impresses in front of Eddie
Eddie Jones made his way to Franklin’s Gardens to watch the East Midlands derby and his England skipper rose to the occasion.
Dylan Hartley got Saints’ second try of the game as Northampton bounced back from last week’s loss at Saracens in style, while Courtney Lawes was also in fine form.
Anyone who thinks Dylan Hartley isn't still a test grade hooker, find a video of the Saints game yesterday. Unquestionably magnificent.— David Flatman (@davidflatman) September 10, 2017
Tigers’ Jonny May might have scored the pick of the tries, taking his season tally to three, but it was Northampton who emerged 24-11 winners.
Brown celebrates in style
Harlequins coped with a torrential downpour to open their Premiership account and ring in Mike Brown’s record-breaking 282nd appearance in style.
The England full-back became Quins’ all-time record appearance holder in the professional era, and played his part in a late Marland Yarde try in the 28-17 success over Gloucester.
Earlier Kyle Sinckler had showed deft hands to set up a try for Dave Ward, while 18-year-old Marcus Smith impressed when called into action early at fly-half.
Chiefs back on song
The defending champions, Exeter Chiefs, were surprised on the opening day by Gloucester but they bounced back in style with a bonus-point 37-7 win over London Irish.
Henry Slade got the ball rolling early with a great try off first phase ball, Sam Skinner crucial in the build-up after his two-try effort last week.
And from there they kicked on with four further scores including a double for Don Armand, who was capped by England for the first time this summer in Argentina.
Wasps leave it late
After a big win at home to Sale last week, Wasps made it two from two against Worcester with a 24-10 victory at Sixways.
After a tight first half, featuring tries for Olympic silver-medallist Marcus Watson for Wasps, and Biyi Alo for Worcester, the scores were level heading into the final quarter.
But the visitors finished the stronger, with Willie le Roux and then Josh Bassett crossing late on to wrap up the points.