Premiership Rugby Review

Premiership Rugby Review

Northampton Saints 41-30 Saracens

Dowson: ‘I knew there was going to be a response’

Northampton Saints Director of Rugby Phil Dowson highlighted his side’s explosive start as being key to a 41-30 victory over Saracens.

The men in Black, Green and Gold raced into a 17-point lead in the first quarter through tries from Alex Coles and James Ramm that set the tone on Friday evening at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens.

It was a near perfect response to the disappointing return to Gallagher Premiership action last weekend when Bristol Bears ended Saints’ 10-game winning run in all competitions at Ashton Gate.

“It came from last week!” said Dowson, referring to Saints’ start. “You have always got to credit Bristol, they came out of the blocks and we didn’t and this week we knew the onus was one us to do likewise. It wasn’t quite there last week and you saw it from the word go this week.”

“Because we have got a good group and we know the group,  I knew there was going to be a response,” added Dowson. “You don’t know what Saracens are going to bring,  you could tell from the training week and the group that we have and the warm up that we were ready to go."

Newcastle Falcons 13-19 Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers bravely fought to a win 19-13 at Kingston Park in Newcastle.

Tigers had an early opportunity to counter-attack but a loose pass saw Solomone Kata in front of the bobbling ball and the Tongan international was penalised. With the score locked at 10-12 

Leicester Tigers scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet spoke to Discovery+ after claiming player of the match honours in Tigers dramatic win over Newcastle.

Tigers found a way to win despite conceding three yellow cards and playing 17 minutes of rugby beyond the 80-minute mark.

“It was stressful,” van Poortvliet admitted.

“I’ve never been part of a game like that, but we said it in the changing rooms just then, the club is built on that type of fight and courage and the lads at the end showed so much there.

“We know we shouldn’t have been in that situation to start with. We had enough chances to make things more comfortable but still the fight was incredible.

Falcons would take the lead through the boot of Connon but Tigers would then take full advantage of a mismatch on the wing, and a great offload from Jamie Shillcock saw Ollie Hassell-Collins cross out-wide.

Pollard added the extras to make it 19-13.

Falcons weren’t done however and Tigers were forced to defend with multiple players in the sin-bin but somehow they held on for a brave victory.

Gloucester Rugby 24-33 Bristol Bears

Bristol Bears came from behind to win a thrilling West Country derby at Kingsholm and make it four wins on the bounce in the Gallagher Premiership.

Pat Lam’s men ran in five tries courtesy of Magnus Bradbury (2), Gabriel Oghre, Fitz Harding and Benhard Janse van Rensburg as they fought back from 21-7 down to earn a memorable bonus-point win.

The sides shared six tries in a breathless first half, with Josh Hathaway’s score, a Santi Carreras interception try and an Adam McBurney try cancelled out by Harding, Oghre’s stunning solo score and Bradbury’s opener.

The second half was a tighter affair but Bradbury’s second edged the Bears back in front before van Rensburg capped another blockbuster display with a breakaway score to seal the points.

 Harlequins 40-36 Bath

Harlequins survived a huge scare to beat Bath at Twickenham Stoop after the visitors fought back from 37 points down to set up a grandstand finish.

The hosts scored six unanswered tries to lead 40-3 before Bath scored five times in a nail-biting second half. The bonus-point victory lifts Quins back into the Premiership's top four.

Bath's incredible fightback gives them two bonus points that moves them up to second, five points behind leaders Northampton Saints.

However, the match is now plagued with controversy as RFU issued an apology with regards to a yellow card given to South African second-rower Irne Herbs received a yellow card with 64 minutes on the clock, but appeared to be back on the field just before the game reached 72 minutes.

That took Harlequins back up to 14 players from 13 as they looked to hang on amid a full scale barrage from Bath, who were incredibly at one stage 40-3 behind.

The RFU Professional Game Match Officials issued a statement on Sunday addressing the incident, with an apology made for an error that’s irked many Bath fans.

Sale Sharks 41 - 5 Exeter

England hopeful Tom Roebuck scored a hat-trick for Sale Sharks in their emphatic 41-5 win over Exeter Chiefs in a one-sided Premiership clash on Sunday.

The 23-year-old was in electric form for his club as they bounced back from a recent defeat to Bath in style with a six-try success that keeps their play-off hopes alive.

Luke Cowan-Dickie scored against his former club while Gus Warr and Raffi Quirke were Sale‘s other try-scorers, with George Ford sending over 11 points off the tee.

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