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Opta stats for Aviva Premiership Rugby: Round Two

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Jack Nowell announced his return to Exeter Chiefs with a bang as the England flyer racked up the mileage back at Sandy Park in the 38-11 victory over London Irish.

On his first appearance following England duty, Nowell scored a try-double – including a length-of-the-field effort – which accounts for his colossal 182 metres gained.

According to Opta stats for Aviva Premiership Rugby that was a round high by some stretch as the next best total was achieved by Northampton Saint Ben Foden (106m).

Add to that eight defenders beaten – another round best – three clean breaks and 11 carries, it’s clear to see why Nowell was a constant thorn in the Exiles’ side.

And London Irish are not the first to have a disappointing day at Sandy Park of late as Exeter have averaged 35 points at home since the start of last season.

Elsewhere, Sale Sharks beat 33 defenders in the process of securing a 27-13 win against Worcester Warriors.

It was the perfect riposte to their heavy defeat at the hands of Saracens the week before but it took a huge effort from some of the Warriors forwards to ensure Sale did not run away with the game.

Hooker Niall Annett recorded a staggering 24 tackles, leading the way ahead of teammates Phil Dowson (20) and Donncha O’Callaghan (16).

Indeed Annett could walk off the field with his head held high as he also snapped up three turnovers despite conceding two penalties.

Northampton also responded in a big way to their opening-night loss to Worcester as their 42-16 triumph was their second biggest Aviva Premiership Rugby victory over Newcastle Falcons this century.

No team has had much luck in Saints’ opening home fixture over the last three seasons – in that time they have scored a combined 133 points.

Wasps have now won six league games out of eight at home since their move to the Ricoh Arena though they recorded their lowest points total yet in a nip-and-tuck 16-9 win against Bath Rugby.

While Wasps are becoming renowned for their high-octane attack this game showcased their defence, as it was the first time in nine matches they had kept an opponent try-less.

Gloucester Rugby missed just seven tackles but their efforts against Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Saracens only yielded a bonus point in a 17-15 defeat.

Saracens knew they had been in a battle though, as it was the first time they had failed to score 20 points since February, ending a run of ten games.

And Leicester Tigers continue on the march at Welford Road after the 22-19 victory against Harlequins brought up a ten-game Aviva Premiership Rugby unbeaten streak at home.
 
Tackles
Niall Annett (Worcester Warriors) 24
Phil Dowson (Worcester Warriors) 20
Donncha O’Callaghan (Worcester Warriors), George Kruis (Saracens) 16
 
Carries
Topsy Ojo (London Irish) 17
Dan Braid (Sale Sharks), Ben Foden (Northampton Saints), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Sam Dickinson (Northampton Saints), Jackson Wray (Saracens) 14
 
Metres made
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) 182
Ben Foden (Northampton Saints) 106
Topsy Ojo (London Irish) 89
 
Defenders beaten
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) 8
Nikola Matawalu (Bath Rugby), Josh Beaumont (Sale Sharks) 7
Topsy Ojo (London Irish), Tom Arscott (Sale Sharks), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby) 6
 
Breaks
Tom Arscott (Sale Sharks) 4
Mike Ellery (Saracens), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) 3

To see all of the 2015-16 Aviva Premiership Rugby season fixtures, please click here #AvivaPrem
 

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