Guinness Premiership Round Five wrap

Saracens went back to the top of the Premiership with a 22-15 win at Newcastle on Sunday.


An interception Saracens try from Richard Haughton plus a try, two conversions and a penalty from fly-half Derick Hougaard gave Brendan Venter’s side a 17-15 half-time lead and Chris Wyles added a late try to seal the victory.


Newcastle’s points came via five penalties from the boot of fly-half Jimmy Gopperth during a pulsating first half but the hosts were unable to make the most of the chances they created and remain winless this season.


Venter said: “Newcastle played really well, they attacked with shape and got a lot of quick ball. I thought three tries to nil was not a fair reflection of the game.


“We didn’t play well as individuals but we played well as a team. That is what bailed us out today. Some of our real stars were not on fire and there were little mistakes with the ball going down.


“For me as a coach, the most rewarding thing was we can go out there and do that when we are not playing well.”

 

Wasps held off a brave fightback from Northampton as they got back on track with a 20-15 success.

Tony Hanks’ men lost their 100 percent record when they were defeated by London Irish last weekend but they raced into a 17-3 half-time lead thanks to Danny Cipriani’s try and four Dave Walder penalties.


Northampton, overrun before the break, improved massively after it and they chipped away at their deficit through Shane Geraghty’s four penalties.


Walder’s drop-goal allowed Wasps to keep in front but Bruce Reihana’s injury-time penalty earned a bonus point for Saints.


Wasps’ victory, which puts them third, was marred by what could be a serious injury to substitute Lachlan Mitchell, who was carried off on a stretcher late on after appearing to be struck in the face tackling Chris Ashton.


Mike Tindall created one try and scored another as Gloucester ended a dismal run of three successive losses and condemned bottom club Leeds to a 26-10 defeat.


England centre Tindall’s superb break sent James Simpson-Daniel over in the 54th minute and he touched down himself in the last minute as the Cherry and Whites fought back from a 10-6 interval deficit to seal victory.


Leeds, who have now lost four matches in succession since their opening-day draw at home to Newcastle, led inside the third minute when young flanker Tom Denton finished off a fine sweeping move.


Gloucester were dire in a hugely disappointing first half but they woke up after the restart and hooker Olivier Azam touched down in the 51st minute before Simpson-Daniel’s predatory effort put them in control and skipper Tindall added a late third.


Leeds had Hendrie Foure and Ceiron Thomas sinbinned either side of half-time.


On Saturday, Leicester beat Worcester 19-14 and Harlequins edged past Bath 13-11.


London Irish won 11-8 at Sale on Friday.

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