Harlequins put in a performance worthy of Will Collier and Nick Evans’ milestone games according to winger Tim Visser after his side’s 21-20 win over Bath Rugby.
Such is the Aviva Premiership Rugby table at the moment that the win, on Collier and Evans’ 100th and 200th games respectively, moves Harlequins up to sixth.
Visser crossed after just four minutes on Sunday at the Twickenham Stoop with Karl Dickson adding a second try in a tight affair as Kane Palma-Newport and Nathan Catt replied for Bath.
In the end it was Tim Swiel’s boot that saw Quins edge it and Visser believes it is vital to get the team in a strong position ahead of the Christmas period.
“It was a performance for both Will Collier and Nick Evans who were making major milestones,” he said.
“Most importantly it was a performance that has propelled us up the Aviva Premiership.
“This is important as we want the guys returning from England, Wales and Samoa to come back to the club in a strong position.
“We have taken the spoils and the points today; we have been bounced up the league and we need to prepare for Newcastle Falcons next Sunday which will present its own challenge.”
— Tim Visser (@timbovisser) November 27, 2016
Elswhere on Sunday, leaders Saracens edged out Gloucester Rugby 24-20 at Allianz Park as the double winners were once again grateful to the boot of Alex Lozowski.
Ben Morgan’s try had given Gloucester the lead before Brad Barritt levelled with Billy Burns and Mike Ellery exchanging scores before Lozowski kicked Saracens clear.
Wasps managed to reduce the gap to last year’s Aviva Premiership Rugby champions by a point on Sunday as they secured a 34-24 bonus point win over Sale Sharks.
Rob Miller and Ashley Johnson both scored try doubles with Danny Cipriani, on his 150th appearance for Wasps getting a fifth but director of rugby Dai Young thought there was room for improvement.
Love what you do #150 ❤ pic.twitter.com/aZMqcUTlCg
— Danny Cipriani (@DannyCipriani87) November 27, 2016
“We played really well in patches and we were sloppy in patches as well, so it was nowhere near an 80 minute performance,” he said.
“I thought our shape was pretty good, but some of our handling wasn’t the best. We created opportunities, but because our passing wasn’t quite slick enough the opportunities slipped us by.
“We were obviously a little disappointed with the amount of points that we let in second half. We didn’t control the game and we were giving up points too easily.”
On Saturday, Exeter Chiefs returned to their best, according assistant head coach Ali Hepher, with an eight try 57-22 success over Worcester Warriors at Sandy Park.
After a quiet start to the season, the Chiefs burst into life with Jack Yeandle, Will Chudley, Olly Woodburn, Jack Rimmer, Thomas Waldrom, James Short and Ian Whitten all getting on the scoresheet.
“It was a tough pre-season but the defeat against Clermont (last month) was the turning point. Since then, the guys have improved and they are now mentally in a great place,” Hepher said.
“We are pleased with the performances in the last two or weeks, but we are disappointed to have conceded three tries as it doesn’t improve our stats.
“It was great to introduce some of our youngsters but we did lose a little bit of direction, which they will learn from.”
Delighted with the result today. Great to back up last weeks performance. Onto next week. Thanks for the outstanding support again today 👍
— Gareth Steenson (@steeno10) November 26, 2016
The weekend kicked off with Northampton Saints being beaten at home by Newcastle Falcons 22-16 and Falcons’ Dean Richards expects his side to keep improving throughout the season.
“We’ve been a bit inaccurate so far and so we’ll get better and better as the season goes on,” he said.
“We’ve got a huge injury list too at the moment, and as those guys start to come back we’ll get better.”
Finally, Leicester Tigers maintained their position inside the Aviva Premiership Rugby’s top four with a 21-16 victory over Bristol Rugby as Manu Tuilagi made his return from injury.
Tries: Ellery, Barritt
Penalties: Lozowski 4
Tries: Morgan, Burns
Conversions: Hook 2
Penalties: Hook 2
Referee: Greg MacDonald
Tries: Visser, Dickson
Penalties: Swiel 3
Tries: Palma-Newport, Catt
Conversions: Homer 2
Penalties: Homer 2
Referee: Dean Richards
Tries: Cipriani, Johnson 2, Miller 2
Conversions: Gopperth 3
Sale Sharks 24
Tries: Evans 2, Haley
Conversions: MacGinty 2, Arscott
Referee: Tom Foley
Exeter Chiefs 57
Tries: Yeandle, Chudley, Penalty Try, Woodburn, Rimmer, Waldrom, Short, Whitten
Conversions: Steenson 6
Worcester Warriors 22
Tries: Adams, Olivier, Potgieter
Conversions: Shillcock 2
Referee: Matthew O’Grady
Northampton Saints 16
Penalties: Myler 3
Newcastle Falcons 22
Tries: Hodgson, Witty, Goneva
Con: Hodgson 2
Referee: Andre Jackson
Penalties: Searle 2, Jarvis
Leicester Tigers 21
Tries: Thompstone, Genge
Penalties: Burns 3
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth