TOP BAR - Fixtures

Aviva Premiership Rugby round-up: Round 7

It was quite a welcome to Aviva Premiership Rugby for Harlequins new boy Jamie Roberts and he believes the club’s attacking style will be a winning one this season – as long as the errors are cut out.

In what will go down as one of the season’s most exciting games, Harlequins and Gloucester Rugby traded two tries apiece in the first half at Twickenham but there were bigger fireworks to come.
Henry Trinder scored a double but in the process of crossing for his second pulled his hamstring, while Nick Easter and Ross Chisholm touched down for Harlequins in between.
Greig Laidlaw’s penalty and Rob Cook’s converted try then put the Cherry and Whites ten points ahead with ten minutes to go, but to the delight of a 70,000-strong crowd at Big Game 8, Harlequins roared back.
Evans notched a penalty and though he converted Chisholm’s second of the evening – after Richard Hibbard had been sin-binned for pulling down a maul – he missed a last-gasp drop-goal to win the game.
Instead it ended 39-39, and Wales centre Roberts admits Harlequins shot themselves in the foot.
“I’ve been at the club only two weeks and one thing that is glaringly obvious is that you’re encouraged to play rugby, chuck the ball around and embrace the game,” he said.
“Obviously that comes with an element of risk, sometimes it work and sometimes you get that. If you don’t do it with accuracy it can come back to bite you.
“It was quick and open, I think Conor O’Shea hit the nail on the head in the changing rooms – I think we drew five tries all with Harlequins today.

“We played some great rugby, scored some great points, but gifted them three interception tries so we’re disappointed with it.
“The lungs are blowing a bit, certainly after a few months break after the World Cup, but it’s a great club and the first thing that struck me was how professional it is here.”
Up in the West Midlands, Saracens underlined why they are the team to beat heading into 2016 after a ruthless second-half display against Wasps.

Wasps were holding Saracens at bay until the break, but Duncan Taylor and Owen Farrell raced over the line within minutes of each other to hand their side a 26-16 victory – and Aviva Premiership Rugby’s top spot.

But Wasps director of rugby Dai Young put the result into perspective.
“Saracens have been up there for three or four years but we haven’t,” said Young. “So we’re a work in progress, that’s where we are.
“Sarries have built and built, they’re a settled squad and we’re on that journey. As we’ve seen today, we’re not a million miles away.”
And Bath Rugby ended the year on a high note after a campaign of ups and downs so far as they edged a tight one 21-14 over Worcester Warriors at the Rec.

Ollie Devoto and Horacio Agulla raced over for Bath while Cooper Vuna got on the scoresheet, but the hosts managed to edge away in the second half through two Rhys Priestland penalties.

Much of the attention on Saturday was focused on the Madejski Stadium as London Irish pulled off their first Aviva Premiership Rugby win under Tom Coventry in stunning style.

It looked as if the game was veering away from the Exiles but a converted penalty try with just two minutes to go secured a 25-23 win over Northampton Saints.
Luke Narraway had opening the scoring for Irish and Sean Maitland followed over, but tries from Ken Pisi, George North and Kahn Fotuali’i nosed Northampton in front – before the hosts’ final flourish.
And Coventry admitted his overriding emotion was one of relief.
“It was like Christmas Day as we showed a lot of Christmas spirit to get there in the end,” he said. “It was a definite shot in the arm as it's been a tough time and will give us a lot of confidence."
At the other end of the table, Exeter Chiefs kept up their march as they ended 2015 having lost just once in the calendar year at Sandy Park with a 33-17 victory over Sale Sharks.

They were given a scare by Sale after Josh Beaumont’s converted try opened up a seven-point lead shortly after half-time – but Will Chudley was never going to end up on the losing side.
The Exeter scrum-half grabbed his second try of game shortly after and Gareth Steenson’s penalty edged Chiefs in front, before James Short and Tom Johnson fleshed out the scoreline.

The scoreline was slightly harsh on Sale, but director of rugby Steve Diamond admits an inaccurate final quarter cost his side dearly.

"We were in it for 60 minutes but then a bit inexperience and lack of composure let us down," he said. "We were probably worthy of a bonus point but those conditions [we played in] were hard.

"We are just missing a little bit of skills at the highest level. Overall, I'm reasonably pleased but we just lost that arm wrestle."

Leicester Tigers also remain on the charge heading into 2016 after a 22-10 victory over Newcastle Falcons made of substance rather than style.

Tigers were trailing 10-0 early on following a try from Tonga captain Nili Latu, but they came back fighting thanks to Peter Betham.
The Australia international’s try galvanised Richard Cockerill’s men and they held the Falcons to no further scores, while Telusa Veainu and Laurence Pearce completed a 22-10 victory.

But Cockerill conceded: "I'll take the four points but we were pretty ordinary.

"We'll all be a bit frustrated but we'll get back to a proper training week this week and those no distractions for the really big game down at the Allianz (against Saracens) next week.”

Harlequins 39 Gloucester Rugby 39
Tries: Yarde, Care, Easter, Chisholm 2
Conversions: Evans 4
Penalties: Evans 2
Tries: Cook, Trinder 2, Thrush, Hook
Conversions: Laidlaw 4
Penalties: Laidlaw 2

Referee: Wayne Barnes
Attendance: 70,718
Wasps 16 Saracens 26

Tries: Halai
Conversions: Gopperth
Penalties: Gopperth 2, Daly
Tries: Taylor, Farrell
Conversions: Farrell 2
Penalties: 4

Referee: JP Doyle
Attendance: 24,053
Exeter Chiefs 33 Sale Sharks 17
Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Waldrom, Chudley 2, Short, Johnson
Conversion: Steenson
Penalties: Steenson, Hooley

Sale Sharks
Tries: Addison, Beaumont
Conversions: Cipriani 2
Penalty: Cipriani

Referee: Dean Richards
Attendance: 12,425
Leicester Tigers 22 Newcastle Falcons 10

Leicester Tigers
Tries: Veainu, Betham, Pearce
Conversions: Burns 2
Penalties: Burns

Newcastle Falcons
Try: Latu
Conversion: Willis
Penaltie: Willis

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Attendance: 21,564
London Irish 25 Northampton Saints 23

London Irish
Tries: Narraway, Maitland, Penalty
Conversions: Noakes, Geraghty
Penalties: Noakes 2

Tries: K Pisi, North, Fotuali'i
Conversions: Myler
Penalties: Myler 2

Boxing Day Sale! Click here to grab a bargain with 20% off tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 28 May at Twickenham.

Latest News

Joe Marler commits to Harlequins until 2021

Harlequins is thrilled to announce today, Friday 18th August, that England and British and Irish Lions prop, Joe Marler, has…

Joe Marler

European fixtures to be released on Tuesday

The fixtures for the 2017/18 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season will be announced on Tuesday, 22 August at 3.00pm…

Rokoduguni starts for Bath Rugby against Ospreys

Semesa Rokoduguni will make his first appearance of pre-season when Bath Rugby take on Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on…

Harlequins team to play Jersey Reds

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Jersey Reds in the final match of the 2017/18 pre-season campaign, at The…

Francis Saili

Stringer starts for Worcester Warriors at Birmingham Moseley

Summer signing Peter Stringer will get his first start for Warriors on Friday night as his side take on Birmingham…

London Irish name side for Ealing Trailfinders clash

London Irish have named a 30-man squad for this Friday’s pre-season clash with Ealing Trailfinders at Hazelwood (kick-off 7.30pm). The…

Gloucester Rugby announce line-ups for preseason friendly at Leinster

Gloucester Rugby will give game time to a number of their first team squad in Leinster on Friday evening as…

American rugby players and coaches to get once in a lifetime opportunity

Thirty American rugby players and coaches are being handed the chance of a lifetime to train in England with Premiership…

Stephen Myler: Northampton Saints ready to fight for the title

Stephen Myler is predicting the closest ever Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign and believes his Northampton Saints side will be right…

Sonatane Takulua expecting big things from Newcastle Falcons this season

Sonatane Takulua believes unity and a collective purpose, combined with an improved playing pool, can help propel Newcastle Falcons up…

Sonatane Takulua

Wasps name team for first pre-season fixture against Ulster

Dai Young has named a 26-man squad to take on Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in the first pre-season fixture…

Anglo-Welsh Cup 2017-18 launched

WORCESTER WARRIORS have the honour of hosting the opening match in this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday 3 November, when…

Leicester Tigers win the Anglo Welsh Cup

Ally Hogg pleased by Newcastle Falcons’ early progress

Ally Hogg believes Newcastle Falcons are well set to attack the new Aviva Premiership season after a double dose of…

Ally Hogg

Topsy Ojo relishing Exiles return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action at HQ

Topsy Ojo believes there could be no more fitting way for London Irish to announce their return as an Aviva…

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua sees Philadelphia trip as a ‘great opportunity’

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua insists his side’s September clash with Saracens in Philadelphia will be no holiday for the players,…

Sonatane Takulua

Harlequins statement: Luke Wallace and Jonas Mikalcius

Harlequins can confirm today (Tuesday 15th August) that flanker Luke Wallace dislocated his hip during the pre-season friendly against London…

Luke Wallace

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

London Irish will host Bath Rugby at the Madejski Stadium in the opening round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday…

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

HITZ graduate secures first full time job after being inspired by Premiership Rugby final

A teenager from Leigh who overcame a troubled home life and tackled confidence and communication issues thanks to Premiership Rugby…

Lucy Neal

Nick Kennedy delighted with first pre-season hit-out for London Irish

London Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy is looking forward to seeing his side build on Saturday’s thrilling contest against…

Nick Kennedy