Michael Claasens scored two tries as Bath climbed back to the top of the Guinness Premiership table with a 25-14 win over Northampton on Saturday. Here is a review of all the weekends action.
Nick Evans produced more last-gasp heroics as Harlequins snatched a 26-26 draw with Leicester in front of a record Guinness Premiership crowd at Twickenham.
Sporting Life reports that a fortnight ago, Evans’ successful drop-goal with the final kick of the game had sealed Harlequins a famous Heineken Cup victory over Stade Francais.
Tonight, the former New Zealand fly-half sent Ugo Monye in for a last-minute try before landing a touchline conversion to complete a stunning Harlequins comeback.
With five minutes remaining the Londoners had been 10 points adrift.
But Leicester flanker Lewis Moody was sin-binned as Quins mounted a late rally and Evans took full advantage to send the 50,000 crowd home in festive spirits.
Bath climbed back to the top of the table with a 25-14 win over Northampton which was less convincing than the scoreline suggests.
Saints enjoyed plenty of possession but did not possess a cutting edge sharp enough to open up the home defence until the final minute when lock Juandre Kruger crossed in the corner.
However, it was another South African, Bath scrum-half Michael Claasens, who was man-of-the-match, scoring two tries and relishing the physical contest around the breakdown.
London Irish slipped to a first defeat in 11 league and cup matches as Saracens reignited their season with a 16-13 win in front of a huge holiday crowd of over 16,000 at Vicarage Road.
The Exiles, who last ended up on the wrong end of a scoreline against Bath in September, produced a lacklustre performance after their impressive victory over Gloucester last week as Saracens triumphed after a scrappy affair boasting just one try each – both scored in the first half.
Gloucester carved out a bonus point, 29-10 victory over relegation favourites Bristol to keep themselves firmly in play-off contention.
England internationals Olly Morgan and Mike Tindall scored tries in each half to put Gloucester in charge.
And Tindall’s second touchdown secured a five-point maximum after Gloucester wing Lesley Vainikolo also breached Bristol’s defence.Worcester came from behind to grab a 16-16 draw away to Newcastle at Kingston Park after the Falcons had enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but failed to make it count.
The hosts had opened up a 13-3 lead early in the first half on the back a converted Phil Dowson try and a pair of Rory Clegg penalties.
But the Warriors slowly fought their way back into the game and eventually grabbed a share of the spoils when Pat Sanderson crossed, and Eoghan Hickey converted, 11 minutes from full-time.Captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe scored two tries as Sale beat London Wasps 31-3 at Edgeley Park.
The Argentinian back-rower crossed twice as the Sharks chalked up four tries and England duo Mark Cueto and Charlie Hodgson also touched down as Wasps could only muster a solitary Dave Walder penalty.
The Sharks were in predatory form, twice pouncing on Wasps errors to erase memories of their last-gasp defeat to Bath last weekend and get their Guinness Premiership title hopes firmly back on track.Tweet