Saturday’s Premiership: London Irish claim first win; Leicester beat Sale


London Irish claim first season win as they see off Exeter, while Gloucester beat Newcastle, Quins see off Bath and Premiership leaders Leicester make it six wins from six as they beat Sale

Last Updated: 23/10/21 6:12pm

Rob Simmons of London Irish makes a break

Exeter 21-33 London Irish

London Irish registered their first victory of the season as Exeter’s recent Gallagher Premiership resurgence stalled at Sandy Park.

The Exiles never trailed in a tense match they clinched 33-21 and they showed tenacity as well as ingenuity to humble the title contenders, ultimately securing their first win since March with something to spare.

Tries from Agustin Creevy and Curtis Rona gave them a dream start but they were forced to weather the storm as Exeter fought back and once that was subdued, they pulled clear when Benhard van Rensburg, Ben Loader and Ollie Hassell-Collins touched down.

Gloucester 29-20 Newcastle Falcons

Lloyd Evans kicked 19 points as Gloucester extended their unbeaten run in the Gallagher Premiership to four games with a 29-20 win against Newcastle.

Evans, called up to replace Scotland international Adam Hastings, responded with an exemplary display of goal-kicking with no misses from seven attempts.

The outside-half succeeded with five penalties and converted both of his side’s tries, scored by Val Rapava-Ruskin and Jonny May.

Ben Stevenson and Cameron Nordli-Kelemiti scored Newcastle’s tries, with Joel Hodgson adding two penalties and two conversions.

Harlequins 31-17 Bath

A late rally secured Harlequins a ninth-successive home bonus-point triumph as they recorded a 31-17 Premiership victory against winless Bath, who remain at the bottom of the table.

Marcus Smith claims the ball from team-mate Andre Esterhuizen

Marcus Smith claims the ball from team-mate Andre Esterhuizen

Bath had lost nine of their previous 10 league matches and conceded 71 points at home to Saracens six days before and – when they conceded two early tries – they looked set for another long afternoon but, roused by Sam Underhill, they fought back to lead 1-12 at the interval.

Quins turned down kickable penalties from the outset in pursuit of tries. It was not complacency but the mark of a team that had won nine of their 10 league matches at the Stoop with a bonus point. They just lacked their usual precision.

Kicking penalties to touch yielded two tries for centre Andre Esterhuizen.

Leicester Tigers 19-11 Sale Sharks

Leaders Leicester recorded a sixth successive Gallagher Premiership victory of the season after beating Sale Sharks 19-11 at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Handro Liebenberg of Leicester Tigers dives over to score their first try

Handro Liebenberg of Leicester Tigers dives over to score their first try

Tigers fly-half George Ford, overlooked by England boss Eddie Jones for the Autumn Nations Series next month, was Leicester’s match-winner.

The 77 times-capped international kicked four penalties and converted Hanro Liebenberg’s 50th-minute try as Leicester preserved a comfortable advantage at the Premiership summit.

Kieran Wilkinson kicked two penalties for Sale and hooker Curtis Langdon scored a late try, but it was another outstanding Tigers victory as they continued an impressive resurgence under head coach Steve Borthwick.

The win tees them up nicely for next Saturday’s eagerly-awaited East Midlands derby against Northampton, yet Sale could only reflect on key moments in the contest when their discipline waned and Ford punished them.





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