Tigers book top-four slot but Worcester down
May 3, 2014
Worcester Warriors director of rugby Dean Ryan consoles Richard De Carpentier after they are beaten and therefore relegated © Getty Images
Two tries from substitute Toby Flood helped Leicester secure their place in the top four of the Aviva Premiership with a 42-22 victory at Sale. The result ended the Sharks playoff hopes, with successive second half scores from Michael Paterson, Henry Thomas and Johnny Leota proving to be mere consolation.
Worcester's relegation, almost nailed on from before Christmas, was confirmed as Saracens eased to a 44-20 victory at Allianz Park. Jackson Wray claimed a hat-trick, Chris Ashton backed up his Heineken Cup semi-final brace against Clermont with two more tries, and David Strettle crossed to complete a routine win. Chris Pennell's brace and a score for Semisi Taulava came to nought for the Warriors, who will now end the season bottom of the Premiership.
London Wasps overcame a dreadful start to virtually guarantee a place in the European Champions Cup play-off after beating Newcastle 44-38. Early on, they trailed 17-0 but recovered to blitz the Falcons with 29 unanswered points before the interval. Remarkably Newcastle rallied to regain the lead at 31-29 before Wasps regrouped to gain a deserved victory.
Wing Marland Yarde and replacement centre Shane Monahan both scored try hat-tricks against London Irish at Kingsholm but Gloucester's bid to take the seventh Aviva Premiership place this season and, with it, a Champions Cup play-off match, has gone. And there was more bad news despite the 38-30 success - with a month to go before England take on the All Blacks in New Zealand, Gloucester centre Billy Twelvetrees left the pitch with apparent damage to his ankle.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league