Premiership round-up – Saracens dodge Newcastle upset as Sale lose in thriller

Mike Brown scored just 15 minutes into his Newcastle Falcons debut on Saturday, but it proved insufficient as five-time Premiership champions Saracens came from 14 points down to triumph 37-23.

After suffering their first defeat of the campaign against Leicester last Saturday, Mark McCall's men bounced back following a second-half resurgence in front of their own fans.

Elsewhere, the Tigers moved back to the top of the table with a 21-16 win away at London Irish, while Sam Simmonds and Facundo Cordero scored two tries apiece as Exeter Chiefs destroyed Worcester 42-0.

Defending champions Harlequins had regained their place atop the standings after decimating Bristol 52-24 on Friday, but they'll have a chance to climb considering they have a game in hand.

The British and Irish Lions duo of Duhan van der Merwe and Rory Sutherland made their Warriors debuts but couldn't stave off defeat as Exeter capitalised on the returns of their own Lions in Simmonds and Jonny Hill.

The Lions braces didn't end there, either as Louis Rees-Zammit scored two of his own in his first outing of the season when Gloucester grabbed their first home victory in a 33-32 win over Sale Sharks.

Saracens 37-23 Newcastle Falcons

Owen Farrell's penalty provided the first points of the day at the StoneX Stadium, but it was Brown who made himself available to burst under the posts and provide the opening try.

Brett Connon was diligent converting the extras and played a key role robbing Billy Vunipola for Ben Stevenson to score a second minutes later, but a penalty try for the hosts reduced Newcastle's half-time lead to 17-10.

There was early controversy in Barnet when many felt Sean Maitland was lucky to get away with yellow for a high tackle on Connon, with George McGuigan sin binned for the Falcons following his hand in the penalty try.

The seemingly inevitable comeback was cemented after Jamie George and Vunipola each scored soon after the restart, the latter adding a second in the final seconds to more than make up for his hand in Stevenson's earlier score.

Do you think Saracens will reclaim the Premiership title this season? Let us know in the comments section.

London Irish 16-21 Leicester Tigers

Confidence inside the Leicester camp will have been high after a last-gasp penalty try produced a dramatic win over Sarries last time out, but tensions were evident in their trip to Brentford Community Stadium.

Young hooker Nic Dolly continued his prolific start and opened the scoring with his fourth try in as many games, only for two Paddy Jackson penalties to put London Irish ahead as George Ford missed the conversion.

Hanro Leibenberg and Agustin Creevy exchanged tries for Leicester and London Irish, respectively, but it was ultimately Ford's cool head that prevailed despite his team trailing 16-12 with 17 minutes remaining.

Not for the first time this season, the England fly-half looked composed in the clutch moments as he slotted three penalties and a conversion in the second half, and Leicester's defence did the rest to seal a narrow win.

Gloucester 33-32 Sale Sharks

Adam Hastings continued to bed into his role as Gloucester's starting fly-half and kicked his side in front of Sale early on before Ben Morgan came up with the game's opening try from a five-metre line-out.

Namesake Meehan kicked cross-field for Jack Singleton to collect under pressure and cross over shortly after, opening a 15-0 lead for the hosts as they edged towards a first home win of the season.

England prospect Raffi Quirke got Sale over the line following a quick one-two with Dan du Preez, but an audacious assist from prop Harry Elrington was enough to put Rees-Zammit in and nudged Gloucester ahead once more.

Arron Reed pulled an unconverted try back for Sale early in the second half, but he was left stranded when Wales wing Rees-Zammit chipped over to score his second en route to Gloucester's best result so far this term.

Alex Sanderson's side made a valiant attempt at the late comeback and crossed the line three times in the final minutes, but a losing bonus point was their only reward.

Exeter Chiefs 42-5 Worcester Warriors

The most dominant 40 minutes of Exeter's season to date set the stage for a fairly one-sided win over Worcester as Dave Ewers, Simmonds and Cordero each scored in Saturday's first half.

Sandy Park will have been particularly delighted to see returning Lion Simmonds cross over in his first appearance this term, with both him and Cordero each adding a second after the break.

The elder Simmonds sibling deservedly caught the Player of the Match award following his two-try display, while younger brother Joe came off the bench to convert a score of his own.

Justin Clegg managed to make sure Worcester would avoid a bagel scoreline by scoring with a minute to play, but it was paltry consolation as the Chiefs beefed up their points difference in style.

Source: Read Full Article