Round 11 of Aviva Premiership action saw no signs of a let up in the intensity as Wasps steamrollered Gloucester Rugby, Newcastle Falcons edged past Harlequins and Saracens got a vital victory at Leicester Tigers.
Saracens stop the rot
Saracens' run of seven winless games is finally over after grafting their way to a 29-17 Christmas Eve win over Leicester Tigers.
Mark McCall's side had been on a rare and unwanted losing run of late, dating back to October, but a penalty try and England international Jamie George's score had them in control at Welford Road.
Tigers, playing their first home match on Christmas Eve for 90 years, responded with their own penalty score and Mathew Tait's try to set up a tight finsih.
But England's Owen Farrell proved unflappable with the boot, kicking four penalties, as well as a drop-goal, as Saracens got themselves back up to second in the Premiership table.
Cipriani guides Wasps to win
Danny Cipriani kicked eight of nine attempts and marshalled the Wasps backs to great effect as Dai Young’s side eventually eased to a 49-24 victory over Gloucester.
The Cherry and Whites matched Wasps blow for blow in the first half, with Billy Twelvetrees making a try-saving tackle to deny Christian Wade as Gloucester went in two points ahead.
Wasps turned on the style in the second half, though, with Wade completing a try-double, Dan Robson, Guy Thompson and Thomas Young all going over.
Chiefs march on as Saints woes continue
Luke Cowan-Dickie produced a man-of-the-match display as Exeter Chiefs snatched a bonus-point victory at Northampton Saints.
Hooker Cowan-Dickie embarked on 14 runs while pulling off five tackles in an all-action display while fellow England international Sam Simmonds forced his way over the line as he grabbed a second-half try.
Sam Hill, part of Eddie Jones’ England squad for the 2016 Six Nations beat more defenders that anyone else while returning stars Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes were unable to prevent Northampton from slipping to defeat.
Sharks clinically overcome Bath
Sale Sharks scored four unanswered tries in the second-half to see off the challenge of Bath 32-9 at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Josh Strauss, Byron McGuigan, James O'Connor and Will Cliff all crossed the whitewash to seal a bonus-point victory.
AJ MacGinty kicked 13 points for the home side while Wales international Rhys Priestland got all nine of Bath’s points.
The Sharks continue to be a force at home where they have lost just once since September.
Falcons spoil Robshaw’s party
Newcastle Falcons withstood a battling Harlequins fightback to secure a narrow victory at Kingston Park.
Vereniki Goneva powered over in the first half and Sonatane Takulua kicked two penalties as Falcons, led by Mark Wilson on his 200th appearance for the club, opened up an 11-0 half-time lead.
Not the best result yesterday. But extemely proud to have represented Harlequins 250 times. Thank you for the kind messages. Have a merry Christmas— Chris Robshaw (@ChrisRobshaw) December 24, 2017
But Quins, who had Chris Robshaw making his 250th appearance, hit back through Mike Brown’s converted score early in the second period.
Marcus Smith’s penalty set up a dramatic finish, but Newcastle’s defence held firm.
Warriors increase lead over Irish
Young Josh Adams shone with two tries as Worcester Warriors moved further away from London Irish at the foot of the Premiership table.
The 22-year-old scored from first phase ball twice with Chris Pennell kicking 13 points from the tee in the 23-8 win.
Alex Lewington demonstrated his pace and quick-thinking with a smart individual try for London Irish but it wasn’t enough.
The Warriors are now 10 points clear of Irish in the league standings as Irish left Sixways empty handed.