Jack Nowell was playing on ‘one-and-a-half’ legs this weekend according to Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter, but even that did not stop the winger from surging through Harlequins.
In the final round of Aviva Premiership Rugby’s regular season Nowell scored a hat-trick of tries in a 62-24 victory at the Twickenham Stoop.
The 62 points scored by Exeter was their most in an away match in Aviva Premiership Rugby, while it also represented the most Harlequins have ever conceded at home in the league.
Nowell beat a round-high ten defenders in this match – is the eighth time this season a player has managed to beat at least that many in a single game – Nowell is the only player to achieve the feat twice (he also did it against Worcester Warriors in April).
The Chiefs ran in ten tries in all but remarkably Thomas Waldrom did not manage one of them despite racking up a round-high 16 carries.
Waldrom can console himself with the fact that he finishes the league as the top try scorer with 13 – one ahead of Wasps’ Christian Wade – while the No.8 also amassed the highest total of carries in the league this season with 324.
Another man in rich try-scoring form is Chris Ashton, the winger running in a hat-trick in Saracens 43-19 win over Worcester at Sixways.
That takes his tally to seven tries in his last four Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, while he has scored eight in four for Saracens against Worcester
In-form full-back Alex Goode topped the metres over the gainline charts this weekend (130); he has averaged more metres per game (86.3) than any other player this season.
For the Warriors there were a couple of highlights Cooper Vuna scored a brace of tries in this game, and has four in his last four matches while full-back Chris Pennell finishes this season as the highest total metre maker with 1796m.
Newcastle Falcons finished off their season with a 15-21 defeat to Sale Sharks but flanker Mark Wilson continued to impress.
Wilson made 14 tackles this round and finishes the regular season as the top tackler having made 230 in total with only 12 missed.
Cameron Neild impressed in the tackle for the Sharks – making a round-high 19 in their victory.
Bath Rugby finished off their season on a high with a 38-27 win over Leicester Tigers – their sixth home victory in a row against their old rivals.
Semesa Rokoduguni continued his hot try-scoring form and finishes the campaign with 68 defenders beaten – the most in the league joint with Tigers’ Telusa Veainu who was rested for the clash at the Rec.
Elsewhere Northampton Saints grabbed a top-six finish with their 28-20 win over Gloucester Rugby.
The Cherry and Whites missed the chance to end their campaign with three consecutive victories and have now gone three full seasons without winning more than two on the bounce at any point.
Saints flanker Jamie Gibson claimed 112 lineouts over the course of the season, well clear at the top of the overall standings.
For Gloucester Matt Kvesic was the king of the turnover, finishing the campaign with 29, five clear of Harlequins’ Luke Wallace who was second.
Wasps will have to head to Sandy Park for their Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final but they warmed up in style by beating London Irish 38-12.
Wasps’ victory means they have not lost at home in 2016 and are the only team to maintain a 100 per cent record at home in this calendar year.
Although just missing out on the top try scorer accolade Wade did make the most clean breaks this season (32, an average of two per game).
Cameron Neild (Sale Sharks) – 19
Joe Launchbury (Wasps) – 17
James Haskell (Wasps) – 17
Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers) – 16
Asaeli Tikoirotuma (London Irish) – 16
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) – 16
TJ Ioane (Sale Sharks) – 16
Alex Goode (Saracens) – 130
Josh Bassett (Wasps) – 120
Marcus Watson (Newcastle Falcons) – 115
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) – 10
Alex Goode (Saracens) – 6
Chris Ashton (Saracens) – 6
Neville Edwards (Sale Sharks) – 6
Marcus Watson (Newcastle Falcons) – 5
Nili Latu (Newcastle Falcons) Cooper Vuna (Worcester Warriors ), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby), Alex Goode (Saracens), Chris Ashton ( Saracens), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins) – 3
Overall – Rounds 1-22
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) – 230
Will Welch (Newcastle Falcons) – 226
Donncha O’Callaghan (Worcester Warriors) – 221
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) – 324
Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors) – 260
Mike Haley (Sale Sharks) – 251
Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors) – 1796m
Mike Haley (Sale Sharks) – 1544m
Telusa Veainu (Leicester Tigers) – 1465m
Jamie Gibson (Northampton Saints) – 112
Sean Robinson (Newcastle Falcons) – 93
Bryn Evans (Sale Sharks) – 87
Telusa Veainu (Leicester Tigers), Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby) – 68
Will Addison (Sale Sharks) – 64
Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby) – 29
Luke Wallace (Harlequins) – 24
Francois Louw (Bath Rugby), Dave Ward (Harlequins) – 21
Christian Wade (Wasps) – 32
Semesa Rokduguni (Bath Rugby) – 30
Cooper Vuna (Worcester Warriors) – 29