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Quins Thrash Falcons to Extend Run
Saints and Tigers back on track with victories, Bath sinking
Posted Nov 28, 2011 by Chris White
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Harlequins have continued their unbeaten start to the season with yet another victory, while Northampton and Leicester are finally finding their form this season. It’s not great news for Bath, however, as they’re getting dragged closer to the foot of the Premiership table after their second successive domestic defeat.
It’s lucky 13 from 13 for Quins at the top of the table, extending their lead at the top to nine points in a 39-8 victory against bottom side Newcastle, who have an unwanted nine-point deficit at the bottom. Seb Stegmann and Danny Care both touched down for the leaders in the first half, and Jeremy Manning scored for the Falcons to reduce the arrears before the break, but the leaders were just too strong. Luke Wallace scored a third try for Harlequins, and Mike Brown ensured they earned their bonus point. There was still time for Stegmann to score his second try of the game, and James Johnston made it six tries for the hosts in the dying moments.
Champions Saracens have held onto second place in the table, but they went down to a crushing 30-8 defeat against Northampton at Franklin’s Gardens. The Saints were in imperious form, starting at a furious pace and giving the visitors no time to settle into their game plan, going in 27-3 in front at the break. Lee Dickson scored the first try of the game, but Owen Farrell kicked a penalty. George Pisi darted through the defence to score a superb solo try, and Phil Dowson added a third try after Ryan Lamb had kicked a drop-goal, with the full back converting all three tries. The second half was better for Saracens, with Ernst Joubert at least managing to score a try, but a professional display and a Lamb penalty ensured there was no way back.
Tom Homer kicked all 21 points as London Irish beat Wasps at the Madejski Stadium. Nick Robinson had given Wasps the lead twice in the first half from penalties, but Homer matched him blow for blow, before sending his side in 9-6 ahead at the break. Robinson equalised after the break, but nine more unanswered points from Homer’s boot saw the Exiles extend their lead. Christian Wade scored the only try of the game right at the end, but it was all too little too late as Irish held on for a 21-17 victory to move up to third in the table.
Sale threw away a 20-point lead on Friday night at home to Exeter, with an Ignacio Mieres try finishing off a stunning fight back from the Chiefs. Henry Thomas and Sam Tuitupou both went over for the Sharks, and Richard Baxter reduced the first half deficit slightly before the break, but a third penalty from Nick MacLeod made sure that Sale lead 23-7 at half time. Gareth Steenson kicked a penalty for Exeter, who earned a penalty try, converted by Mieres to make it 23-20. Sale showed that they were struggling in the game when MacLeod hit the post with a penalty, and when Mieres kicked one of his own, the scores were level. The Argentinian still had time to race clear late on to cap a stunning fight back securing a 30-23 victory, and leaving Sale with just a losing bonus point for their efforts.
14 points from Toby Flood helped Leicester to a vital win at Gloucester to condemn the west country side to a third straight home defeat. In a tight first half, Flood and his opposite number Freddie Burns exchanged penalties, with the Gloucester man edging the battle in the first half, sending his side in at the break 6-3 ahead. Flood responded soon after the break, as did Burns, but Flood then dived over from five metres out to score. Just a minute after Flood’s try, Luke Narraway intercepted a pass from Ben Youngs, and he raced away to touch down for the cherry and whites. Alesana Tuilagi was on-hand to charge down a clearance from Charlie Sharples, and the Samoan burst through two tackles to score the match-winning try. Flood made sure of the win with his third penalty as the Tigers held on for a 19-14 victory, just their third of the Premiership season.
Worcester recorded their first win in almost two months as they beat Bath 16-7 at Sixways. Miles Benjamin’s try, converted by Joe Carlisle, who also kicked a penalty, had the visitors 10-0 up at the break. A fight back from the visitors, inspired by Charlie Beech, who touched down to close the gap, which was further shortened by a conversion from Olly Barkley, made for a nervy second half, but a drop goal from Andy Goode made sure the Warriors took the points, moving them nine clear of Newcastle at the bottom.
This weekend’s results in full:
Gloucester 14 – 19 Leicester
Harlequins 39 – 8 Newcastle
London Irish 21 – 17 Wasps
Northampton 30 – 8 Saracens
Sale 23 – 30 Exeter
Worcester 16 – 7 Bath