After a long absence, the Gallagher Premiership returned on the weekend and Round 13 certainly delivered with Gloucester edging past Exeter Chiefs, Northampton hammering Sale and Saracens battling back to beat Leicester Tigers.
TRU’s Joe Harvey wraps up the action …
Gloucester 24 – 17 Exeter Chiefs
Gloucester claimed an impressive win over last season’s finalists, Exeter at Kingsholm. Chiefs’ Nic White opened the scoring just seven minutes in, allowing Joe Simmonds two points from the tee.
Billy Twelvetrees then brought Gloucester into the game with a penalty, preceding Jason Woodward’s 25th minute try that Twelvetrees also converted.
THAT. KINGSHOLM. ROAR! ??— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) February 15, 2019
Basketball skills on show as Ben Morgan scored the try that ensured @gloucesterrugby became just the third side to beat Exeter this season!
Amazing scenes! pic.twitter.com/4RmCVUJA22
The first points after the interval came from Exeter, but Simmonds’ penalty was swiftly followed by a converted Willi Heinz effort for Gloucester. Former Ospreys wing, Tom O’Flaherty contributed to the scores being drawn level after his try was converted by Gareth Steenson.
Gloucester’s victory was confirmed late on as Ben Morgan’s 75th minute try was arguably the highlight of the fixture. The England eight crossed the whitewash and Twelvetrees added the extras as the Cherry and Whites held out for the win.
Bristol Bears 22 – 29 Wasps
Like in the Gloucester game, it was the losing side that began the scoring. A seventh minute Ian Madigan penalty was wiped out in three minutes by returning Wales flanker Thomas Young. Billy Searle added the conversion.
Wasps scored two more tries before the half ended. Hooker Tom Cruse and number eight Nizaam Carr both went over to extend the lead, Searle converting the second try.
Bristol came out firing early on in the second half. Former Hartpury scrum-half, Harry Randall, darted over to give Madigan his first conversion attempt of the night. Will Rowlands would briefly interrupt Bristol’s resurgence with a score that Lima Sopoaga converted.
Piers O’Conor and Charles Piutau tried to bring the home side back into the game with their efforts, but a Lima Sopoaga penalty for Wasps proved to be enough as Dai Young’s side clinched the victory at Ashton Gate.
Northampton Saints 67 – 17 Sale Sharks
Well, this was exciting. A Dan Biggar penalty opened the scoring and the Wales international was required minutes after, converting Cobus Reinach’s sixth minute effort. He was called upon again to slot a 10th minute penalty as the Saints made a strong start.
AJ MacGinty had kicked a penalty in this time, but it meant very little after Reinach crossed the Garden’s whitewash for a second time in five minutes. Biggar converted that one too but was forced off with injury before Tom Wood’s try. Piers Francis took control of the kicking duties and did convert Wood’s score.
There was a brief glimmer of hope for Sale as they were awarded a penalty try was awarded by Karl Dickson, but a Tom Collins try soon put an end to any Sharks hopes. In the second half, things didn’t get much better.
Ahsee Tuala scored less than one minute into the second period, allowing Francis another two points from tee. Denny Solomona’s converted try ended Sale’s scoring, but Northampton still had some points in them.
Scores from Taqele Naiyaravoro, George Furbank and Rory Hutchinson were all converted by Francis and that really put a shine on the Saints performance. Chris Boyd must have been a happy man.
Bath Rugby 30 – 13 Newcastle Falcons
Newcastle took another step towards the Championship with this loss to Bath. Rhys Priestland and Toby Flood traded penalties early on, but it was Semesa Rokoduguni that scored the first try of the game.
An effort from Joe Cokanasiga followed soon after a Toby Flood penalty. Will Chudley ended the half with a flourish, adding another score, with Priestland converting.
Falcons came out of the sheds looking sharp. Nemani Nagusa crossed the whitewash to give Dean Richards’ side some hope, however, it wasn’t to be. A Priestland penalty and a converted Francois Louw try meant that Newcastle had a pretty sombre trip back home.
Harlequins 47 – 33 Worcester Warriors
Another tryfest it is. Joe Marchant struck before the clock had even warmed up, allowing Marcus Smith an early conversion for Quins. Scores from Gabriel Ibitoye and Mike Brown would also be converted, all before the 20-minute mark.
Jack Singleton would get Warriors onto the scoresheet before half-time, Duncan Weir converting the try, but it didn’t mean much. A converted Jack Clifford try was the last score of the half for Quins after an impressive opening 40 by the home side.
Bryce Heem got Warriors off to a good start in the second half, but a Danny Care try soon followed. Replacement, James Lang, converted his scrum-half’s try.
?? Pick and goooooo!— Harlequins ?? (@Harlequins) February 18, 2019
?? Great intuition from @mikebrown_15 to open his @premrugby try-scoring account for the season
?? Highlights at: https://t.co/UHcQqkWsYv#COYQ | #HARvWOR pic.twitter.com/RrYOFNmVQj
Mike Brown’s sin-binning resulted in just the one Worcester try, courtesy of Wales wing, Josh Adams, but Quins came up with the answer again as Ben Tapuai scored on 69 minutes.
The Australian’s effort was swiftly followed by Michael Heaney’s own score, with Pennell converting for Worcester.
Lang would then fail to convert his own try as Quins crossed yet again, however, Worcester did score the final points through Tom Howe’s converted try.
Saracens 33 – 10 Leicester Tigers
Departing star, Matt Toomua, kicked a 10th minute penalty to open the scoring at the Allianz, but the Leicester lead was short-lived. Richard Wigglesworth crossed the try-line, for a score that went unconverted.
However, Leicester would be ahead at the break courtesy of Jonah Holmes’ converted try but the Tigers wouldn’t score a single point in the second half.
Tom Woolstencroft, Ben Spencer and David Strettle, as well as three penalties from both Alex Lozowski and Alex Goode, secured another bonus point win for Saracens as Mark McCall’s side battled back after the interval.
Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the world...it can only be the Gallagher Premiership.
12 teams compete in the league over a season, playing every team both home and away, before four move into the playoffs and one is relegated.
The division is becoming more and more exciting as each year passes by so who will be lifting silverware at Twickenham in May?
At Talking Rugby Union, we aim to provide match reports and news together with our specially commissioned features and interviews.