Bath dispatch woeful Wasps
November 24, 2013
Bath's Leroy Houston holds off Tom Palmer © Getty Images
Bath extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to seven matches as they saw off Wasps 28-5 at Adams Park on Sunday.
Fijian winger Semesa Rokoduguni grabbed a brace of scores with flanker Matt Garvey powering in for Bath's third try, converted by replacement fly-half Tom Heathcote, with their other 11 points coming from the boot of fly-half George Ford, who landed two penalties, a conversion and a drop-goal.
The visitors' powerful pack laid the foundation for the win as they outmuscled Wasps, forcing them to concede a succession of scrum penalties. Bath's back-row enjoyed a good game with Leroy Houston's break for Rokodoguni's second a sign of their physical dominance.
Wasps did manage to get a late consolation through right wing Jonah Holmes but they were second best in almost every facet of the match to Bath.
Harlequins condemned Gloucester to their fourth consecutive Aviva Premiership defeat with a timely 27-19 victory over the Cherry and Whites to their 50th anniversary at Twickenham Stoop in fine style.
Quins came into the clash after back-to-back defeats in the LV= Cup and they looked like they would be up against it from the outset when Billy Twelvetrees crossed for the visitors after just five minutes. Gloucester were firmly in contention for the first half-hour but the sin-binning of scrum-half Jimmy Cowan saw the game turn dramatically in favour of the home side.
Harlequins were leading just 6-5 when Cowan departed and soon took control of the game through converted tries from Nick Easter and Danny Care, the latter coming after the England scrum-half exploited a gap with a deft turn of pace. But that was not the end of Gloucester's woes as Tom Savage and Martyn Thomas were both yellow carded early in the second half to ensure there was to be no comeback from the visitors.
Luke Wallace and Jonny May exchanged tries after the interval as Gloucester battled in vein to the end. George Robson was soon sent to the bin for Quins and this allowed Twelvetrees to cross late on again for what proved to be nothing but a consolation for the Cherry and Whites, who return to the West Country after just missing out on securing a bonus point for their troubles.
Danny Care grabs a try for Harlequins © Getty Images
Saracens maintained their position at the top of the table but were made to work hard by a typically resilient Exeter Chiefs outfit as they prevailed 16-9 at Sandy Park.
Ben Ransom, who entered the fray off the bench after just two minutes following a head injury to Charlie Hodgson, scored with his first touch as the league-leaders enjoyed a perfect start, with Goode converting. Goode then struck a pair of penalties either side of a successful effort from Phil Dollman as Saracens stretched their lead to 13-3 by half-time.
But there was no way past Exeter for the visitors in the second half as both teams settled for a penalty apiece after the restart from Steenson and Exeter's Marcelo Bosh. Steenson then added another penalty on the hour mark to narrow the gap to seven points - and suddenly it looked as though the home side could get something from the match.
And for a moment it looked as though they had done enough at the death as Tom Johnson went over, only for the TMO to rule against Exeter as Sarries held on to win.
Exeter went down fighting against Saracens © Getty Images
A try in either half enabled Leicester Tigers to comfortably dispatch 20-11 London Irish at Welford Road.
Toby Flood was the star as he passed 1,000 Premiership points in a match dominated by poor scrumagging, with the hosts awarded two penalty tries either side of half time. The rest of Leicester's points were kicked by Flood, while Irish were limited to a pair of penalties from the stylish James O'Connor - who wowed the crowd with a few flashes of brilliance. Irish lost John Yapp to the sin bin as their poor scrummaging continued in the second half but grabbed a late consolation try two minutes from time as Fergus Mulchrone went over in the corner.
Northampton Saints navigated past a stubborn Newcastle Falcons outfit 18-0 to keep their unbeaten league record at Franklin's Gardens alive.
It was not until the 58th minute that James Wilson scored to add to two Stephen Myler penalties, the sum total of near constant home pressure. Luther Burrell added a second to continue his stellar campaign as Newcastle left empty-handed but with plenty of credit for a spirited display.
Bottom club Worcester Warriors' wretched season continued as they slid to a 13th successive Premiership defeat, Sale Sharks easing to a 26-10 bonus-point victory on a wet and cold Friday night in Salford.
Worcester were surprisingly still in the game at the break, trailing only 7-3 to a converted try from ex-England winger Mark Cueto.
But Sale opened up a decisive lead with converted second-half tries from James Gaskell and Dan Braid. Ofa Fainga'anuku then went over for Worcester to cut the deficit before Tom Arscott for the final score for the home side.
Danny Cipriani kicked Sale's three previous conversions - he also missed with an early penalty - but Nick MacLeod failed with their final attempt.
The result leaves Worcester still seeking their first league win of the season and nine points adrift of London Irish at the foot of the table.
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