TOP BAR - Fixtures

Charles Piutau, Christian Wade and Amanaki Mafi top the Opta ranking

Charles Piutau, Christian Wade and Amanaki Mafi top the Opta ranking

Charles Piutau streaked away at the head of the Opta statistics for Aviva Premiership Rugby after another barnstorming performance for Wasps in Round 13.

Very few have been able to catch up with him this season and Bath Rugby were no different, as the full-back racked up a round-best 136 metres – and he was unlucky not to score in the 24-18 victory.

The New Zealand international also took 14 carries, made three offloads, one clean break and beat five defenders.

Another Wasps flyer in Christian Wade topped the league with six defenders beaten – alongside Newcastle Falcon Simon Hammersley – as Dai Young’s men recorded back-to-back victories over Bath for the first time since 2008.

They could not stop Japan No.8 Amanaki Mafi from posting a huge performance though, as he powered his way to an unmatched 21 carries for 71 metres and 11 tackles.

South African scrum-half Francois Hougaard enjoyed a debut to remember for Worcester Warriors, but the whole team came to the fore in the 31-23 win over Sale Sharks.

Hougaard churned out 16 tackles, Bryce Heem totalled a league-best four clean breaks while in terms of metres made, Chris Pennell was just behind Piutau with 127.

But most importantly for the Warriors, their efforts helped snap a four-game losing streak against Sale in Aviva Premiership Rugby.

Elsewhere, London Irish No.8 Rob McCusker performed admirably in a 22-15 loss to Exeter Chiefs – his 18 tackles the best of any player in the round.

Topsy Ojo, who was the third man to break 100 metres this weekend (122), was also in form as he became the first player to grab a try and assist in the same game for the Exiles this year.

Newcastle Falcons ended an 11-game losing streak against Northampton Saints, winning their first match over the East Midlands outfit since February 2009 by 26-25.

Particularly notable was their defensive effort – Ally Hogg, Will Welch and Mark Wilson all made 15 tackles, and the former two secured a pair of turnovers each.

Saracens recovered from their setback against Wasps last weekend by holding Gloucester Rugby try-less – the fourth time they have done so against their opponents in their last eight games at Allianz Park.

That came despite playing the majority of the game with 14 men – the Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders marched to a 25-12 win regardless.

Leicester Tigers lost to Harlequins 25-19 on Friday, meaning a third straight defeat – and they haven’t lost more in a row in Aviva Premiership Rugby since a five-game streak in 2003. 

Rob McCusker (London Irish) 18
Francois Louw (Bath Rugby), Francois Hougaard (Worcester Warriors), Jamie Gibson (Northampton Saints) 16

Amanaki Mafi (Bath Rugby) 21
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) 19
Laurence Pearce (Leicester Tigers) 15

Metres made
Charles Piutau (Wasps) 136
Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors) 127
Topsy Ojo (London Irish) 122

Defenders beaten
Christian Wade (Wasps) 6
Simon Hammersley (Newcastle Falcons), Mike Haywood, Luther Burrell, Jamie Gibson (Northampton Saints), Charles Piutau, Elliot Daly (Wasps), Gareth Steenson (Exeter Chiefs) 5

Turnovers won
Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers) 3
Will Welch, Ally Hogg (Newcastle Falcons), Olly Woodburn (Exeter Chiefs), Bryce Heem (Worcester Warriors), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), James Craig (Northampton Saints), Luke Narraway (London Irish), Francois Louw (Bath) 2

Bryce Heem (Worcester Warriors) 4
Olly Woodburn (Exeter Chiefs) 3


To get all the latest news from Premiership Rugby sign up to our Newsletter