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Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 16 – round-up

Director of rugby Dai Young had his son to thank after the flanker’s try double lifted Wasps back into the top four of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table.

Tom Young crossed twice in Wasps’ enthralling 32-21 win over Gloucester Rugby, their fourth consecutive Aviva Premiership Rugby win at their new home of the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

In addition to Young’s double, Wasps also created scores for Elliot Daly, Rob Miller and Guy Thompson while the Cherry & Whites claimed two tries of their own through Ross Moriarty and Henry Purdy.

Victory means Wasps climb to fourth in the standings, level on points with Saracens in second and Exeter Chiefs in third, but trailing on games won.

Asked about his son’s man of the match performance and try scoring ability, Young Snr. said:

“I don’t know where Thomas gets his pace from, but it’s certainly not from me! He’s worked very hard to get an opportunity in the team.

“When you’ve got the likes of Ashley Johnson, Guy Thompson and Sam Jones and all these quality players, he’s done well to get a start. I felt he deserved his man of the match award today.

“I was pleased for him but when we’re at work, he is just one of the squad, same as anyone else.

“We’re certainly in with a shout of top four, but top six is still our target. We’ll start talking about the top four if we’re still in the mix with a week or two left. Even a top six finish is tight. It can still go against us, but we’ve just got to keep picking up the points and we’ll worry about the league standings in the latter stages.”

On Saturday Exeter Chiefs took a big step towards a top four spot in securing their first ever Aviva Premiership victory over Bath Rugby with a 16-6 success.

The Chiefs dominated the first half but went in 6-3 behind at half-time, Tom Homer landing two penalties either side of Henry Slade's effort.

Slade levelled the score shortly after the break and then kicked his side three points ahead.

And Will Chudley finally made it over the line to cap off the historic win.

It means Bath have now lost four in a row in all competitions and fall out of the top four for the first time this year.

"It wasn't a great match – that is the truth,” said Exeter Chiefs boss Rob Baxter.

"Both sides were a bit nervy and edgy because it was an important game for both teams, but I think after half-time we just freed up ourselves enough to have more confidence and that saw us home.

"Fair play to Bath, we know that they have some quality players missing, that was a tough game for us both mentally and physically.”

Saracens moved into second after a narrow 22-17 win over Newcastle Falcons.

Former Sarries flanker Andy Saull was driven over to give Falcons an early lead before David Strettle scored in the corner for the hosts following a sweeping move.

Falcons' Alex Tuilagi powered over but Charlie Hodgson's second penalty put Saracens 13-10 ahead at the break.

Captain Will Welch scored Newcastle's third try but Ben Spencer kicked three penalties to earn Saracens the victory.

"That was massive for us, it wasn't really a good performance but it's very important that we got the points,” said Sarries director of rugby Mark McCall.

"Ben Spencer has been the most patient man at the club because he's behind many, he doesn't complain and he works unbelievably hard.

"He's seen examples of people who have waited for the chance and are now playing every week."

Leicester Tigers won a third league game in a row with a comfortable 28-8 victory over Sale Sharks.

Laurence Pearce's first try for Leicester, as well as a penalty try from a close-range scrum, gave Leicester a 20-3 the lead at the break.

Sale improved in the second half and Tom Arscott crossed after a slick passing move but Seremaia Bai sealed the win for the hosts with a late try.

Alex Lewington scored a hat-trick as London Irish eased to a 50-12 victory at winless London Welsh.

And on Friday Northampton Saints extended their lead at the top of the table to 12 points with a hard-fought 17-13 win over Harlequins.

Samu Manoa's converted try in reply to two Nick Evans penalties saw Saints take a first-half lead of 7-6. 

James Wilson capitalised on Quins' indiscipline to touch down and extend the reigning champions' lead after the break.

Tom Wood then sealed victory although Marland Yarde scored with the last play of the game for Quins.

Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder said: "Quins made it hard for us. They played well. They did a good job on our line-out, so we didn't get too much tempo or build too many phases in our game.

"Our mauls got us some good tries and we put in a very good defensive display.

"We have a good lead – you would definitely take that at the beginning of the season, but we don't get anything for being in this position.

"That will quickly be forgotten if we lose a few games and don't get a home semi-final. We didn't play brilliantly today – we can do better and we are happy to have that lead."
 

SUNDAY
 
Wasps 32 Gloucester Rugby 21
 
Wasps
Tries: Young 2, Thompson, Daly, Miller
Conversions: Goode 2
Penalties: Goode
 
Gloucester Rugby
Tries: Moriaty, Purdy
Conversions: Hook
Penalties: Hook 3
 
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Attendance:  14,096
 
SATURDAY
 
Exeter 16 Bath Rugby 6
 
Exeter
Tries: Chudley
Conversions: Slade
Penalties: Slade 3
 
Bath Rugby
Penalties: Homer 2
 
Referee: Dean Richards
Attendance: 12,621
 
Leicester Tigers 28 Sale Sharks 8
 
Leicester Tigers
Tries: Bai, Pearce, Penalty try
Conversions: Burns 3
Penalties: Burns 3
 
Sale Sharks
Tries: Arscott
Conversions: MacLeod
 
Referee: Greg Garner
Attendance: 21,896
 
Saracens 22 Newcastle Falcons 17
 
Saracens
Tries: Strettle
Conversions: Hodgson
Penalties: Hodgson 2, Spencer 3
 
Newcastle
Tries: Welch, Tuilagi, Saull
Conversions: Catterick
 
Referee: Andrew Small
Attendance: 7,473
 
London Welsh 12 London Irish 50
 
London Welsh
Tries: Vea, Tincknell
Conversions: Robinson
 
London Irish
Tries: Lewington 3, Geraghty 2, Fenby, Parr, Fowlie
 
Conversions: Geraghty 4, Noakes
Referee: Matthew Carley
Attendance: 3,593
 
FRIDAY
 
Northampton Saints 17 Harlequins 13
 
Northampton
Tries: Manoa, Wilson, Wood
Conversions: Myler
 
Harlequins
Tries: Yarde
Conversions: Botica
Penalties: Evans 2
 
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Attendance: 13,362  

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