Telusa Veainu has only appeared in four Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this season but the Tongan flyer has made an immediate impact for the in-form Leicester Tigers and he was at it again on Saturday.
Veainu – who has made three starts and one appearance of the bench after linking up late with his new teammates following the Rugby World Cup – made a round-high 150 metres over the gainline at Sixways.
The 24-year-old is responsible for three of the four highest gains in Premiership matches this season according to Opta and has made 460m overall – second only to Sale Sharks’ Mike Haley.
The Tigers secured an 11th consecutive victory against Worcester Warriors, coming from 17 points down to win this match, equalling their best-ever comeback, which came against London Irish at The Stoop in 1999 when they fought back from 20-3 down to win 31-30.
Veainu’s influence cannot be overstated but Graham Kitchener also ruled the skies for Richard Cockerill’s side – claiming a round high 13 lineout wins to go with two steals.
The Warriors were made to fight hard in adversity as the Tigers made the most of their numerical advantage and no-one has made more tackles this season in the entire league than Warriors trio Phil Dowson (74), Ryan Mills (72) and Darren Barry (65).
Top of the tackling charts this week however, was Matt Kvesic – the England openside making 19 in Gloucester Rugby’s Friday night win over Sale Sharks.
Only once before has Kvesic made more in his 83 game career in the competition and his all-round game is clearly in good working order as his nine turnovers after six rounds are the most in the league.
The Sharks certainly had their chances at Kingsholm – Sam Tuitupou topped the carry charts across the league this weekend with 20 and the former All Black also made a round-high four offloads.
Throw in Neville Edwards’ four clean breaks and two tries and Steve Diamond will be kicking himself that the Sharks could not hold onto their second-half lead.
Tim Visser’s hat-trick for Harlequins against London Irish made the headlines and the Scotland winger also had a round high tally of 11 defenders beaten – the most by a Harlequins player since Mike Brown beat 11 against Saracens in 2013.
Luke Wallace also impressed in the victory – his three turnovers the joint highest tally this weekend.
Northampton Saints are now undefeated in nine straight Premiership matches against Bath Rugby and it took a big defensive effort to get there.
Teimana Harrison (17) and Sam Dickinson (16) were the two top tacklers behind Kvesic in the league this weekend.
They had to be at their best to keep Semesa Rokoduguni quiet – the England winger tops the charts for defenders beaten in the Premiership this season (25) and he notched up another seven this weekend.
At the Ricoh Arena Thomas Waldrom became the first ever Exeter Chiefs player to score a hat trick in a Premiership match.
The Chiefs have now won five in a row in the league and it has been a fantastic team effort to get there – Jack Nowell’s 22 defenders beaten is the second highest in the league, Damian Welch’s 39 lineouts won after six rounds is more than anyone else while Don Armand’s five lineout steals is also top.
On Sunday Charlie Hodgson ruled the roost at Kingston Park – the fly-half notched 21 points, ran for 103m with ball in hand and pulled the strings as Saracens cruised past Newcastle Falcons.
Mike Ellery (105m) also impressed with ball in hand while Duncan Taylor made three turnovers – a feat matched by Falcons flanker Will Welch in defeat.
Matt Kvesic (Gloucester Rugby) 19
Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints) 17
Sam Dickinson (Northampton Saints) 16
Sam Tuitupou (Sale Sharks) 20
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) 18
TJ Ioane (Sale Sharks) 17
Telusa Veainu (Leicester Tigers) 150
Mike Ellery (Saracens) 105
Charlie Hodgson (Saracens) 103
Tim Visser (Harlequins) 11
Telusa Veainu (Leicester Tigers) 9
Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby) 7
Luke Wallace (Harlequins) 3
Will Welch (Newcastle Falcons) 3
Duncan Taylor (Saracens) 3
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby) 4
Neville Edwards (Sale Sharks) 4
Danny Care (Harlequins), Tim Visser (Harlequins), Mike Ellery (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Telusa Veainu (Leicester Tigers) 3