Premiership: Stories from round 12

There was plenty to enjoy in a breathless round 12 of Premiership action. Here are six stories from the final weekend of 2017.

Bath 26-31 Wasps

Marcus Watson won the points and the sibling rivalry as he scored two tries to help Wasps record a thrilling bonus-point win at Bath - and get family bragging rights over brother Anthony.

Wasps winger Watson found the corner twice but then got a yellow for a deliberate knock-on.

Dan Robson also went over for Wasps but Rhys Priestland and Jack Wilson scored to cut Bath's deficit to 19-14.

Bath's Paul Grant scored in between tries from Wasps' Juan de Jongh and Gaby Lovobalavu as wel as Zach Mercer's score was not enough for the spirited hosts.

Harlequins 50-21 Northampton

England scrum-half Danny Care rounded off his superb 2017 with a dynamic two-try performance that helped Harlequins to a 50-21 win over Northampton Saints at Twickenham.

Big Game 10 looked to be going the way of the London club from very early on, with Dave Ward, Charlie Walker, Tim Visser and Care all crossing inside the first 40.

Courtney Lawes and Jamie Gibson offered resistance for Saints, and they got three second-half tries through Rob Horne, Nic Groom and Mikey Haywood to offer some fightback.

But Harlequins, conducted beautifully by England’s Marcus Smith, were too good on the day and both Care and Visser completed their doubles in the second half to cap off a huge win.

Saracens 46-31 Worcester

Young winger Nathan Earle scored two second-half tries as Saracens beat Worcester Warriors 46-31 at Allianz Park. 

No.8 Jackson Wray also got a pair of scores for the hosts as did Ben Spencer and Sean Maitland as Saracens earned a try bonus point. 

England fly-half Owen Farrell scored 14 points with five successful conversions and two penalties. 

Josh Adams took his tally for the league season to nine as the Warriors secured their own try bonus point. 

Sam Lewis, David Denton and Jamie Shillcock, in the final play of the game, got the other tries in a high-scoring encounter. 

London Irish 15-20 Newcastle

Flanker Gary Graham celebrated his call-up to Eddie Jones’ England training squad on Friday with an all-action display in Newcastle Falcons’ win at London Irish.

The 25-year-old flanker, who joined the Falcons from Greene King IPA Championship outfit Jersey Reds in the summer, was at the heart of the action and played a key role in Newcastle maintaining their recent good form.

Alex Tait also shone with a brace of tries in the space of three minutes, the winger charging down a kick before collecting Juan Pablo Socino’s thrilling crossfield punt as he charged over for his second score of the game.

For London Irish, they are still awaiting their first Premiership victory since they beat Harlequins on the opening day of the season.

Gloucester 20-16 Sale Sharks

Billy Twelvetrees got the better of the conditions as he kicked 10 points to help Gloucester grind out a narrow victory over Sale Sharks at Kingsholm.

AJ MacGinty scored all Sale’s points with a try, conversion and three penalties, but tries from David Halaifonua and Ben Vellacott and 10 points from the boot of Twelvetrees edged Gloucester over the line.

 

With the lead swapping hands on a regular basis, Twelvetrees stepped up and negotiated the blustery conditions well to slot two 50-metre penalties between the posts.

Exeter Chiefs 30-6 Leicester Tigers

Henry Slade was on the scoresheet as Exeter Chiefs went ten points clear at the top of the table with a dominant second-half performance at Sandy Park.

Slade opened the scoring in a slow first half, knocking over a penalty before George Ford levelled the scores from the tee though it was the hosts who went into the break ahead.

Though Ford scored another penalty moments after the start of the second half, it was Chiefs who came out of the dressing room with all guns blazing, with Slade, Don Armand, Jonny Hill and Jack Yeandle all crossing.

Defeat in Devon was Tigers’ sixth in succession – their worst run since 1965 – not the way Ben Youngs would have hoped to mark his 150th Premiership appearance. 


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