A review of this weekends Guinness premiership action.
Matt Banahan secured a dramatic last-gasp 24-20 victory for Bath as they climbed to second place in the Guinness Premiership after beating Sale.
The juggernaut England Saxons wing struck with just 52 seconds remaining of a feisty encounter.
Banahan caught centre Alex Crockett’s kick as Sale ran out of defensive numbers, claiming a try that dashed Sharks’ victory hopes.
Sharks full-back Mark Cueto, who has not played Test rugby since last year’s World Cup final, looked to have kept his team firmly in the Premiership play-off picture by scoring two tries.
Centre Luke McAlister also touched down and kicked a penalty and conversion in a game when the lead changed hands seven times.
Full-back Delon Armitage and fly-half Peter Hewat shone for London Irish as they went two points clear at the top with a 42-12 victory over second-placed Gloucester at the Madejski Stadium.
Irish have been in buoyant mood for weeks, given they stand at the summit of the league for the first time in nine years.
And the Exiles have now won 10 consecutive matches in all competitions since an October 5 defeat at Worcester Warriors in the league.
Toby Flood ran the show against his former club Newcastle as Leicester inflicted a 20-3 defeat on the Falcons.
The fly-half moved to Welford Road from Newcastle in the summer and contributed 10 points with the boot as well as setting up Geordan Murphy for the game’s opening try.
Centre Aaron Mauger grabbed the Tigers second score after 65 minutes but Leicester were far from their rampaging best without rested England stars Tom Croft, Jordan Crane, Dan Hipkiss and the suspended Harry Ellis.
Newcastle’s only points came from replacement Steve Jones’ second-half penalty but they battled gamely with a number of their players suffering from a virus.
Replacement Dave Walder sparked a blistering three-try final 10 minutes for Wasps as Ian McGeechan’s men beat Saracens 33-24.
With just nine minutes remaining Wasps looked dead and buried but two Walder passes set Rob Hoadley and Josh Lewsey over for scores, while England wing Paul Sackey charged down a Noah Cato punt.
Sarries will be kicking themselves after dominating the second half as they missed out on a first win on Wasps soil in 11 years.
James Downey’s second-half try handed Northampton a 23-13 victory at Franklin’s Gardens as Harlequins were punished for their lack of discipline.
Downey struck with 20 minutes to go after Quins, with hooker Tani Fuga in the sin-bin, had lost the ball at the line-out.
Ugo Monye’s try had put the visitors in control at the break, with Nick Evans continuing his impressive form with the boot.
But after Jon Clarke’s converted try levelled the scores, Andy Gomarsall and then Fuga were yellow carded and Downey burst clear.
A last-minute penalty from Ed Barnes gave Bristol a thoroughly deserved 20-20 draw against Worcester at Sixways.
The battling Bristol side were the more creative throughout the clash, however the sin-binning of the impressive Lee Robinson early in the second half was a major blow to their hopes of a first away league win of the season.
Review Courtesy of Sporting Life.Tweet