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Aviva Premiership Rugby round-up: Round 10

Andy Goode came off the bench to guide Newcastle Falcons to only their second league win of the season and they climbed off the bottom of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table.

The 35-year-old kicked 11 points in the second half for the Falcons as Rob Vickers’ late try sealed a fine comeback win over Harlequins at Kingston Park.

From 19-10 down they claimed a dramatic 26-19 victory that sees them leapfrog London Irish at the foot of the table.

And Goode, who came out of retirement on a short-term contract for the Falcons when Mike Delany went down injured – is loving every minute of life back in the big time.

“I may not have the pace any more but what I have got is bags of experience,” he said.

“When the rain came down we were 19-10 down and it wasn't about panicking, it was about playing in the right areas and, besides, the more I kick the less I have to run.

“Our forwards were magnificent in that closing period. We spoke at half-time about playing in the right areas after we did well to contain them pretty well in the first half, but they came at us really well and finished off some tries, but we didn’t make it too hard for them did we?

“We said just ‘stick to our system and play in the right areas’ and that’s what we did. Our forwards were exceptional and they did what I asked them to do and you can't ask for more than that.

"The crowd here are a noisy bunch and they've given me some stick over the years when I've come up here with other teams, and it's nice to hear them still giving me stick but in the right way.

"They are a brilliant bunch and you can see and feel the passion of the people. The players know it and feel it.

Everyone is working very hard and we've moved up a place in the table and if we can get more wins in the next few weeks, the fans and the players will be happy."

Elsewhere on Sunday Exeter Chiefs closed the gap on Saracens at the top of the table with a bonus-point win over Worcester Warriors.

Thomas Waldrom’s seventh league try of the season – and 11th in all competitions – saw the Chiefs to a comfortable 30-15 win at Sixways.

The Chiefs welcome Saracens to Sandy Park next Sunday and director of rugby Rob Baxter insists his side are hitting their stride.

"Coming away with a bonus point with the results this weekend has been fantastic for us and it means we can head into Saracens next week on the front foot,” he said.

On Saturday, Saracens came from behind to preserve their league lead with a 19-13 win over Bath Rugby at Allianz Park.

Maro Itoje played a starring role for the London club while Bath – runners-up last year – have now lost six of their nine league games this season, but Mike Ford is not panicking yet.

"I'm proud of the first half, proud of the performance, the boys got stuck in. We got a point, we now look forward to Gloucester on Friday night,” he said. 

“There are 13 league games left for us, there's another two before we reach half-way. We know what we have to accumulate to get to the top four and we're going to go for it.

"There's massive belief in the squad, a little bit more luck and we still think we can do it.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, Logovi’i Mulipola’s late try and Tommy Bell’s conversion saved Freddie Burns’ blushes as Leicester Tigers beat Gloucester Rugby 19-18.

Burns returned to his former club and made the Tigers’ first try for Marcos Ayerza but was wayward from the kicking tee and Gloucester thought they had held on until Mulipola’s late effort.

And Nev Edwards crossed twice for Sale Sharks in an impressive 38-10 win over London Irish at the AJ Bell Stadium.

On Friday Wasps brought their European form back to the domestic league with a 24-11 win over Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens.

Rob Miller impressed for Wasps and Dai Young was delighted with his side’s clinical showing – particularly in the first half.

"I couldn't be happier," he said.

"I think a lot of the boys have stepped in, have been really hungry for some rugby and they showed what it meant to them to play for Wasps.

"I think the first half was excellent, there was some real accuracy out there. I thought in the second half we had control, not quite as dominant as we were in the first half but we've got to enjoy it.

"It had been ten years since we won here so hopefully it won't be ten more before we do again.”

Worcester Warriors 15 Exeter Chiefs 30
Penalties: Heathcote 5

Tries: Short, Whitten, Waldrom, Armand
Conversions: Steenson 2
Penalties: Steenson 2

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Attendance: 8,215

Newcastle Falcons 26 Harlequins 19
Newcastle Falcons
Tries: Lawson, Vickers
Conversions: Willis, Goode
Penalties: Willis, Goode 3
Tries: Walker 2, Ward
Conversions: Evans 2
Referee: Luke Pearce
Gloucester Rugby 18 Leicester Tigers 19
Gloucester Rugby 
Tries: Hook, Morgan
Conversion: Hook
Penalties: Hook 2 

Leicester Tigers
Tries: Ayerza, Veainu, Mulipola
Conversions: Burns, Bell 

Attendance: 16,115
Referee: JP Doyle
Saracens 19 Bath Rugby 13
Tries: Brits
Conversions: Hodgson
Penalties: Hodgson 4

Tries: Homer,
Conversions: Priestland
Penalties: Priestland 2

Referee: Dean Richards
Attendance: 10,000
Sale Sharks 38 London Irish 10
Sale Sharks
Tries: Mujati, Ioane, James, Edwards 2, Tuitupou
Conversions: Cipriani 3, Ford

London Irish
Try: Penalty
Conversion: Geraghty
Penalty: Geraghty

Attendance: 6,461
Referee: Greg Garner
Northampton Saints 11 Wasps 24
Northampton Saints
Try: Dickinson
Penalties: Myler 2

Tries: Robson, Miller, Bassett
Conversions: Gopperth 3
Penalty: Gopperth

Attendance: 14,889
Referee: Tom Foley

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