TOP BAR - Fixtures

Mouritz Botha, Alex Goode, Thomas Waldrom and Nick Easter top this week’s Opta Ratings

Alex Goode and Brad Barritt might currently be on the outside looking in when it comes to England but the duo played starring roles for Saracens this weekend in New Jersey.

In the first-ever Aviva Premiership Rugby fixture staged overseas at the Red Bull Arena, full-back Goode ran for 154m – a personal best in his Premiership career – and totalled 19 points.

Barritt starred on the opposite side of the ball, making 22 tackles. Only once has a back made more in a Premiership game since Opta started collecting this data in 2008/09 (Tane Tu’ipulotu making 23 in April 2009 for Newcastle Falcons against Bath Rugby).

Victory over London Irish keeps Saracens top of the table but Exeter Chiefs closed with gap with a bonus-point win over Newcastle Falcons.

Thomas Waldrom continues to star for the West County outfit – the No.8 topped the carries chart this weekend (22) and has now made 247 over the season, 61 more than anyone else.

Waldrom grabbed a try in the win over Falcons – for whom Mouritz Botha made 22 tackles to join Barritt at the top of the charts – to take his league tally to eight.

He is joined at the top of the charts by Frank Halai and Charlie Walker.

Halai scored his eighth in Wasps’ 36-24 victory over Leicester Tigers that ended a run of four consecutive defeats against the Tigers and was their biggest against the same opposition since the 2004/05 final.

Walker joined the aforementioned duo at the top of the charts after his double in Harlequins’ 35-28 win over Bath Rugby.

Walker ran for 132m in the victory and made three clean breaks but the star of the show was Nick Easter – the No.8 winning five turnovers, the most by a player in a Premiership game this season.

Elsewhere this weekend Bryn Evans stole his 16th lineout of the season – six more than any other player in the league – but his Sale Sharks still slipped to a 26-11 defeat to Northampton Saints.

And Matt Kvesic won another two turnovers for Gloucester Rugby to take his total to 22 for the season – three more than any other player – but the Cherry & Whites lost out to Worcester Warriors 28-20.

Tackles
Mouritz Botha (Newcastle Falcons), Brad Barritt (Saracens) – 22
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) – 21
Hayden Smith, Michael Rhodes (both Saracens) – 17

Carries
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) – 22
Jackson Wray (Saracens), Sam Jones (Wasps) – 19
Sean Maitland (London Irish), Amanaki Mafi (Bath Rugby), Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs) – 18 

Metres made
Alex Goode (Saracens) – 154m
Charlie Walker (Harlequins) – 132m
Ross Chisholm (Harlequins) – 111m

Defenders beaten
Charles Piutau (Wasps), Alex Lewington (London Irish) – 7
Alex Goode (Saracens), Charlie Walker (Harlequins), Phil Dollman (Exeter Chiefs) – 5

Turnovers won
Nick Easter (Harlequins) – 5
Kelly Brown (Saracens), Nili Latu (Newcastle Falcons), Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby), Siale Piutau (Wasps), Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby), Alex Rogers (Newcastle Falcons), Ethan Waller (Northampton Saints), Mark Easter (Sale Sharks), Lachlan McCaffrey (Leicester Tigers), Cameron Neild (Sale Sharks) – 2

Clean breaks
Tom Collins (Northampton Saints) – 4
Tom Cruse (London Irish), Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs), Charlie Walker (Harlequins), Charles Piutau (Wasps) – 3 
 

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