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Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 5


Leicester Tigers man of the match Mike Williams admitted his side had been on a revenge mission after claiming a hard-fought 21-11 win over Bath Rugby at Welford Road on Sunday.

Williams was at the heart of a huge performance from the Tigers pack as they claimed a measure of revenge over their old rivals who beat them twice last season – including a 47-10 thumping in May’s Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final.

Anthony Watson crossed early on for the visitors but scores from Telusa Veainu and Dan Cole plus 11 points from the boot of Tommy Bell secured a win that lifts the Tigers up to third in the table.

Bath meanwhile are still waiting for their first win at Welford Road since 2003 and Williams – who joined the Tigers from Worcester Warriors this summer – was delighted with the showing in tough conditions in the East Midlands.

“What a place to play, and Bath are an incredible side,” he said.

“From watching last year in the semi-finals I think that we owed them one. What an incredible game and I am just so pleased that we won.

“We always knew it was going to be a massively physical battle, especially up front against one of the biggest packs in the Premiership.

“But, we came here to fight today and it shows that in the 80th minute we were up on top.

“Every game you play in this completion is tough and Bath is certainly one of them, there were some massive hits all round. It was very tough and I am sure I will be paying for it tomorrow.”

Saturday saw the annual London Double Header take place at Twickenham and Saracens continued their perfect start to the season with a 48-18 win over Worcester Warriors.

Chris Ashton crossed twice as Sarries scored six tries in all but the focus was on two other individuals for Sarries.

Ernst Joubert was playing his final game for the North London club after announcing he is retiring, while Charlie Hodgson – who also announced he will be hanging up his boots at the end of the season – broke through the 2,500 point barrier in Aviva Premiership Rugby.

Mark McCall said: "We're pleased where we are in the table at the moment – as you know there are nine Premiership matches during the Six Nations, and none of us can say for certain which of our players will be missing for those nine games – so in the mean time it's important that we get as many points as we can.

"The first half was a bit unkind to them – we didn't have a lot of ball and didn't have much pressure on them during periods.”

In the second game of the Double Header Frank Halai crossed for two tries as Wasps climbed to fifth in the table with a 33-15 win over London Irish.

The Exiles have lost five from five so far this season in the league but head coach Tom Coventry is not pressing the panic button just yet and will take positives from a two-try display from young centre Johnny Williams.

"I do see signs of growth in our game – particularly our defence, which I thought was marvellous at various times," said Coventry.

"Wasps had 65 percent possession which is a huge amount to have to defend against – there were times where we were valiant in defence but they wore us down eventually.”

At Sandy Park Exeter Chiefs had Gareth Steenson to thank as his 21-point haul helped them claim a dramatic 26-25 win over Harlequins.

Quins will take consolation from two bonus points after Nick Evans, Charlie Walker and Tim Visser added to the Stoop outfit’s early penalty try in defeat.

Also on Saturday, Danny Cipriani missed a late penalty as Sale Sharks had to settle for a 15-15 draw with Newcastle Falcons at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The Falcons grabbed their first two points of the season thanks to tries from Rob Vickers and Jon Welsh to move off the foot of the table.

And on Friday Northampton Saints claimed their first league win at Franklin’s Gardens this season but are still waiting for their first try after five Stephen Myler penalties in a 15-3 win over Gloucester Rugby.

And forwards coach Dorian West admitted his side had been forced to adapt to the wet weather in the West Midlands on Friday night.

“Conditions were shocking tonight so you're not going to play any rugby,” he said.

"We've got lads in the team who want to play rugby, we're pretty positive with our outlook in the game, but sometimes you've got to bite the bullet when it's not the right conditions.

"I thought we tried a little bit too hard on occasions and we could have perhaps put them under a bit more pressure."
Northampton Saints 15 Gloucester Rugby 3
Northampton Saints
Penalties: Myler 5
Gloucester Rugby
Penalty: Twelvetrees
Referee: Greg Garner
Attendance: 14,893
Sale Sharks 15 Newcastle Falcons 15
Sale Sharks
Penalties: Cipriani 5
Newcastle Falcons
Tries: Vickers, Welsh
Conversion: Catterick
Penalty: Delany
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Attendance: 5,220
Exeter Chiefs 26 Harlequins 25
Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Short, Steenson
Conversions: Steenson 2
Penalties: Steenson 3
Tries: Penalty, Evans, Walker, Visser
Conversion: Evans
Penalty: Evans
Referee: Matt Carley
Attendance: 11,471
Saracens 48 Worcester Warriors 18
Tries: Ashton 2, Spencer, Wray, Brits, Ransom
Conversions: Hodgson 6
Penalties: Hodgson 2
Tries: Rees, Van Velze
Conversion: Heathcote
Penalties: Heathcote 2
Referee: Ian Tempest
Attendance: 42,680
London Irish 15 Wasps 33
London Irish
Tries: Williams 2
Conversion: Noakes
Penalty: Noakes
Tries: Halai 2, Daly, Young,
Conversions: Jackson, Gopperth
Penalties: Jackson 2, Gopperth
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Attendance: 42,680
Leicester Tigers 21 Bath Rugby 11
Tries: Veainu, Cole
Conversions: Bell
Penalties: Bell 3
Tries: Watson
Penalties: Ford 2
Referee: JP Doyle
Attendance: 22,530

To see all of the 2015-16 Aviva Premiership Rugby season fixtures, please click here #AvivaPrem

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