TOP BAR - Fixtures

Thomas Waldrom, Sam Jeffries, Mike Haley, Vereniki Goneva and Louis Picamoles top the OPTA Rugby Rankings

Thomas Waldrom proved to be Exeter Chiefs’ match-winner in scoring two tries in their dramatic 38-34 victory over Bristol Rugby in Round 19 of Aviva Premiership Rugby – setting a new record along the way too.

The powerful No.8 made 30 carries during the match at Sandy Park, the most by any player since OPTA began recording this data in 2008/09, and has now made 312 in total this season.

Although Bristol saw Waldrom’s second try of the match deny them a win at the death, they do make up the entire top three for most tackles over the weekend, with Sam Jeffries’ 28, putting him ahead of team-mates Mark Sorenson (27) and Nick Fenton-Wells (24).

Fenton-Wells also won the most turnovers, with four, as Bristol lost an Aviva Premiership Rugby match despite scoring more than 30 points for the first time since September 2002, when they were defeated 38-35 by Wasps.

Anthony Watson’s two tries in ‘The Clash’ at Twickenham gave Bath Rugby a vital 27-21 victory over play-off rivals Leicester Tigers and the full-back made the most clean breaks of the weekend with four.

It was also the joint-most made by a Bath player this season, while Perry Humphreys of Worcester Warriors was the only player to match Watson during his side’s 36-26 defeat at Sale Sharks.

Mike Haley made more ground than anyone else during the round, as he gained 151 metres, which partly enabled him to score Sale’s third try of the match.

That helped Sale claim the victory, although Sharks prop Halani Aulika gave away six penalties to take his season count up to 27, the fourth highest in the division and five behind Leicester Tigers’ Ellis Genge.

Vereniki Goneva was a force of nature for Newcastle Falcons as they defeated Gloucester 16-14 at Kingston Park, with his 140 metres gained the third-highest of the weekend.

The Fijian winger easily topped the list for most defenders beaten with 12, the joint-most since OPTA started recording this data, becoming the first player to achieve this twice, having previously done so with Leicester in November 2015.

Michael Rhodes scored Saracens’ third try in their 40-19 victory against Harlequins at Wembley, while the flanker was heavily involved throughout in making 21 tackles and winning six line-outs.

The latter was just one behind Harlequins lock James Horwill, while Alex Goode was involved in more tries than anyone else this weekend in scoring one and setting up two more.

Louis Picamoles gave another storming performance for Northampton Saints on Sunday, even though it was in a losing effort against Wasps, who ran out 32-30 winners.

But this was yet another round where Picamoles topped the chart for most offloads with seven, ahead of Goneva (5).

It also kept the Frenchman way out in front on the leaderboard of the season, as his 37 put him 11 clear of his nearest challenger, Sale’s Sam James.

Tackles

Sam Jeffries (Bristol) – 28

Mark Sorenson (Bristol) – 27

Nick Fenton-Wells (Bristol) – 24

Carries

Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) – 30

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs) – 21

Kyle Cooper (Newcastle Falcons), Vereniki Goneva (Newcastle Falcons) – 19

Metres

Mike Haley (Sale Sharks) – 151

Jason Woodward (Bristol) – 150

Vereniki Goneva (Newcastle Falcons) – 140

Defenders beaten

Vereniki Goneva (Newcastle Falcons) – 12

Perry Humphreys (Worcester Warriors) – 9

Olly Woodburn (Exeter Chiefs) – 8

Off-loads

Louis Picamoles (Northampton Saints) – 7

Vereniki Goneva (Newcastle Falcons) – 5

Mike Brown (Harlequins), AJ MacGinty (Sale Sharks) – 4

Tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final is on 27 May at Twickenham are now on sale. If you want to have an unforgettable day out at club rugby’s best Cup Final then click here for tickets.

Latest News

Toby Flood starts for Newcastle Falcons against Rotherham Titans

Toby Flood makes the first start of his second spell at Newcastle Falcons on Saturday when they host Rotherham Titans…

Joe Marler commits to Harlequins until 2021

Harlequins is thrilled to announce today, Friday 18th August, that England and British and Irish Lions prop, Joe Marler, has…

Joe Marler

European fixtures to be released on Tuesday

The fixtures for the 2017/18 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season will be announced on Tuesday, 22 August at 3.00pm…

Rokoduguni starts for Bath Rugby against Ospreys

Semesa Rokoduguni will make his first appearance of pre-season when Bath Rugby take on Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on…

Harlequins team to play Jersey Reds

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Jersey Reds in the final match of the 2017/18 pre-season campaign, at The…

Francis Saili

Stringer starts for Worcester Warriors at Birmingham Moseley

Summer signing Peter Stringer will get his first start for Warriors on Friday night as his side take on Birmingham…

London Irish name side for Ealing Trailfinders clash

London Irish have named a 30-man squad for this Friday’s pre-season clash with Ealing Trailfinders at Hazelwood (kick-off 7.30pm). The…

Gloucester Rugby announce line-ups for preseason friendly at Leinster

Gloucester Rugby will give game time to a number of their first team squad in Leinster on Friday evening as…

American rugby players and coaches to get once in a lifetime opportunity

Thirty American rugby players and coaches are being handed the chance of a lifetime to train in England with Premiership…

Stephen Myler: Northampton Saints ready to fight for the title

Stephen Myler is predicting the closest ever Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign and believes his Northampton Saints side will be right…

Sonatane Takulua expecting big things from Newcastle Falcons this season

Sonatane Takulua believes unity and a collective purpose, combined with an improved playing pool, can help propel Newcastle Falcons up…

Sonatane Takulua

Wasps name team for first pre-season fixture against Ulster

Dai Young has named a 26-man squad to take on Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in the first pre-season fixture…

Anglo-Welsh Cup 2017-18 launched

WORCESTER WARRIORS have the honour of hosting the opening match in this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday 3 November, when…

Leicester Tigers win the Anglo Welsh Cup

Ally Hogg pleased by Newcastle Falcons’ early progress

Ally Hogg believes Newcastle Falcons are well set to attack the new Aviva Premiership season after a double dose of…

Ally Hogg

Topsy Ojo relishing Exiles return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action at HQ

Topsy Ojo believes there could be no more fitting way for London Irish to announce their return as an Aviva…

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua sees Philadelphia trip as a ‘great opportunity’

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua insists his side’s September clash with Saracens in Philadelphia will be no holiday for the players,…

Sonatane Takulua

Harlequins statement: Luke Wallace and Jonas Mikalcius

Harlequins can confirm today (Tuesday 15th August) that flanker Luke Wallace dislocated his hip during the pre-season friendly against London…

Luke Wallace

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

London Irish will host Bath Rugby at the Madejski Stadium in the opening round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday…

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

HITZ graduate secures first full time job after being inspired by Premiership Rugby final

A teenager from Leigh who overcame a troubled home life and tackled confidence and communication issues thanks to Premiership Rugby…

Lucy Neal