Fixtures - Top Bar

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

Match Report: Newcastle Falcons 38 Harlequins 32

Newcastle Falcons ran in six tries in a thriller of a game at Kingston Park with Juan Pablo Socino starring…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Worcester Warriors 12 Wasps 26

Wasps moved to within one point of the Aviva Premiership Rugby summit but missed out on a bonus point in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Reaction: Gloucester Rugby 26 Bristol Rugby 18

Director of rugby David Humphreys believes Gloucester Rugby showed their battling qualities as they went through the gears in the…


Match Reaction: Leicester Tigers 19 Northampton Saints 11

Leicester Tigers’ director of rugby Richard Cockerill wants his side to be more clinical after they edged past Northampton Saints…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Reaction: Bath Rugby 14 Saracens 11

Bath Rugby director of rugby Todd Blackadder believes his side broke down a mental barrier by hanging tough to beat…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Leicester Tigers 19 Northampton Saints 11

Heroic defensive efforts from both sides meant the boot was king in the second half at Welford Road and a…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Gloucester Rugby 26 Bristol Rugby 18

Gloucester Rugby racked up four second-half tries to come from behind and beat local rivals Bristol Rugby at Kingsholm. The…


Match Report: Bath Rugby 14 Saracens 11

Bath Rugby made their first-half dominance count at the Rec but only just as a dogged Saracens fell to defeat…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Match Reaction: Sale Sharks 3 Exeter Chiefs 21

Rob Baxter hailed Exeter Chiefs' defensive display after they earned a third Aviva Premiership Rugby win in a row with…


Match Report: Sale Sharks 3 Exeter Chiefs 21

Three first-half tries saw Exeter Chiefs move into the top four of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table after a scrappy…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library