Exeter Chiefs returned to Aviva Premiership Rugby action with a bang and that man Thomas Waldrom led by example.
The powerful No.8, who finished the calendar year with more league tries than anyone else in the competition, had grabbed a hat-trick at Wasps before the European break.
And, according to Opta statistics for Aviva Premiership Rugby, Waldrom picked up where he left off, with a massive 27 carries as Exeter Chiefs beat Sale Sharks.
It was certainly a backs-to-the-wall performance from Sale at Sandy Park, as the hosts marked Gareth Steenson’s 100th Chiefs appearance with a 33-17 victory.
Five of the league’s six most prolific tacklers across the weekend were Sharks players, Tommy Taylor topping the pile with 19 – four of his teammates recorded 16, while Bath Rugby’s Charlie Ewels (18) was second.
It was not just Waldrom, however, who put them to the sword, Mitch Lees (19) and Don Armand (17) also racking up plenty of carries while nobody beat more defenders this weekend than Jack Nowell’s tally of eight.
Bryn Evans did his best to stem the tide, the Sale second row stealing five lineouts – no-one else in the league managed more than two – but the Chiefs were unstoppable.
Elsewhere, Twickenham played host to a thriller as Big Game 8 finished 39-39, Harlequins and Gloucester Rugby sharing ten tries in total.
Henry Trinder grabbed two of those for the Cherry & Whites and his tally of 147 metres made was the best across the league al weekend.
Teammate Rob Cook carried for 126 of his own, while Sale’s Mike Haley (130) and Exeter’s James Short (126) snuck into the top three with their efforts at Sandy Park.
Leicester Tigers lock Ed Slater and Matt Symons of London Irish ruled the skies, winning eight lineouts apiece, while the kick count soared at the Ricoh Arena.
Saracens scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth kicked from hand 16 times against Wasps, while opposite number Dan Robson did so on 14 occasions.
Selected Opta statistics
Tommy Taylor (Sale Sharks) 19
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby) 18
TJ Ioane, Ross Harrison, Danny Cipriani & Dan Braid (Sale Sharks) 16
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) 27
Mitch Lees (Exeter Chiefs) 19
David Denton (Bath Rugby), Mathew Tait, Peter Betham (Leicester Tigers) & Don Armand (Exeter Chiefs) 17
Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby) 147
Mike Haley (Sale Sharks) 130
James Short (Exeter Chiefs) 126
Rob Cook (Gloucester Rugby) 125
Alex Goode (Saracens) 108
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) 8
Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints) 7
James Short (Exeter Chiefs) 7
Telusa Veainu (Leicester Tigers) 6
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