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What You May Have Missed: Anglo-Welsh Cup Round Two

What You May Have Missed: Anglo-Welsh Cup Round Two

The four Aviva Premiership Rugby teams facing Welsh opposition all picked up victories in the second round of Anglo-Welsh Cup fixtures this weekend.

There were also wins for Sale Sharks, Bath Rugby, Gloucester Rugby and Harlequins with five teams retaining their unbeaten records.

Here’s all the key moments from the weekend’s Anglo-Welsh Cup Round 2.

Burns shines brightly again

Bath fly-half Freddie Burns stole the limelight for the second week running with a 21-point haul against his former club Leicester Tigers.

In front of the BT Sport cameras, Bath secured a thrilling 33-31 with a dramatic penalty try at the death but the foundations were laid by Burns, who scored a try, two conversions and four penalties.

England squad member Zach Mercer also bagged himself a score, whilst Leicester’s Jonah Holmes and Adam Thompstone both got their second tries in successive weeks.

Harlequins and Warriors don’t disappoint

John Kingston’s Harlequins hosted Worcester Warriors in the Aviva Premiership Rugby just over a fortnight ago and edged a breathless encounter 41-35.

And on Sunday their rematch in the Anglo-Welsh Cup was just as entertaining, with the south-west London side running out 45-37 winners.

Thirteen tries were shared at the Stoop with Harry Sloan and Alofa Alofa crossing for the second week in succession for Harlequins who went over seven times.

Dean Hammond caught the eye with a hat-trick in defeat for the Warriors with Harlequins’ Marcus Smith impressing from scrum-half after an injury to replacement Niall Saunders.

Last years’ finalists have two from two

Exeter Chiefs scored three penalty tries to maintain their winning start to the Anglo-Welsh Cup with a ruthless 40-0 victory over the Scarlets in west Wales.

Shaun Malton, James Freeman, Tom Hendrickson all crossed for the Chiefs who sit joint top of Pool 2 with Harlequins on a perfect ten points.

The Chiefs have reached the last three finals, winning the title in 2014, and look like they will take some stopping if they are to be prevented from repeating the feat in 2017-18.

Gloucester want home final appearance

This year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup final will be held at Kingsholm for the first time and it inspired Gloucester to an impressive performance this weekend.

The Cherry & Whites bounced back from defeat to Welford Road by seeing off London Irish 47-7 on home turf including a fine Jake Polledri try.

Johan Ackermann’s side scored seven tries in all, with England hopeful Henry Trinder touching down on the hour and Willi Heinz, Val Rapava Ruskin and Tom Hudson all getting in on the act.

Sharks comeback to bite Saracens

Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders Saracens suffered their second agonising defeat in as many weeks as a second-half Sale Sharks fightback gave them a 29-22 win.

Mark McCall’s side were beaten at the death by Harlequins last week and went ahead early with Will Skelton’s first-half try adding to 14 points from the boot of England Under-20 Max Malins.

Malins would add one more penalty in the second half but tries from Ben Curry, Alexander Tarus and Mike Haley took Sale to back-to-back wins.

Falcons flying high

Young winger Adam Radwan scored an excellent solo try as Dean Richards’ Newcastle Falcons moved top of Pool Four with a 57-0 win over Cardiff Blues.

The Falcons ran in nine tries against the Blues with Sinoti Sinoti getting a double and Joel Hodgson dotting down in addition to his six conversions.

Mark Wilson popped up underneath a huddle of bodies to claim Newcastle’s bonus-point try on the stroke of half-time, adding to scores from Micky Young, Alex Tait and replacement Gary Graham.

Saints back to winning ways

Jim Mallinder’s Northampton side ran in six tries as they beat the Dragons 41-7 with Reece Marshall getting his first try for the club in addition to Juan-Pablo Estelles’ first-half try.

After half-time Ken Pisi and Cobus Reinach both touched down with Tom Wood and Alex Mitchell putting the gloss on the win.

Harry Mallinder went over from full-back in addition to kicking three conversions and the Saints are top of Pool 3 after the Warriors and Saracens both lost.

Macken at the double

Brendan Macken scored two tries as Wasps got their Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign back on track with a 36-12 win over Ospreys in Wales on Friday night.

Young hooker TJ Harris displayed his talents with an early try, quickly followed up by scores for centre Macken and 25-year-old wing Guy Armitage.

Newly-signed back-rower Nizaam Carr was also on the scoresheet and inside centre Jacob Umaga – nephew of former New Zealand captain Tana – pulling the strings in midfield in the 36-12 victory.

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