By Thomas Branston
Wasps earned a bonus-point as they locked horns with Newcastle Falcons in an entertaining eight-try thriller at Kingston Park on Friday night.
The result left the midlands based club top of the Aviva Premiership going into 2017 after battling back from 12-0 down.
Six of the games eight tries came before half-time as Newcastle’s Sonatane Takulua, Marcus Watson and Rob Vickers crossed the white wash with the Falcons earning a 22-21 lead at the break.
Danny Cipriani, Christian Wade and Thomas Young replied for Wasps before the interval.
Jimmy Gopperth scored Wasps’ only send-half try before Falcons’Mark Wilson crossed to earn two losing bonus points.
Exeter Chiefs came back from being behind with two late tries from James Short to secure a 17-11 win over their west country rivals at the REC on Saturday.
Bath took a convincing 11-0 lead and held the Chiefs until the hour mark when Gareth Steenson slotted away a penalty.
Semesa Rokoduguni scored a first-half try and George Ford added two penalties to give Bath a strong lead at the break.
Exeter moved above Bath into third in the Aviva Premiership when Short crossed the line twice within nine minutes to earn their fifth straight victory.
Bristol claimed their second Aviva Premiership win in as many week as Max Crumpton’s late try secured a 24-23 victory at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Tom Varndell scored a try before the break to equal Mark Cueto’s all time Premiership top try scoring record of 90 tries.
Sale led 15-10 at half-time with a penalty try and a score from Denny Solomana.
James Mitchell converted a penalty and Jonny Leota scored to extend Sale’s lead before Rhodri Williams and Crumpton crossed the line to win it for Bristol.
Mark Tainton’s men pick up their first top-flight away win since 2008.
Worcester Warriors claimed their second win in the Aviva Premiership this season with a 24-17 victory over Harlequins at Sixways Stadium on Sunday.
Warriors took a convincing 16-0 lead into half-time with a score from Dean Hammond and three Ryan Mills penalties.
Ben Te’o scored to extend Warriors lead early in the second-half as Harlequins struggled to make a stamp on the game.
However, Charlie Matthews scored to get Quins on the board but another Mills penalty late on looked to have secured victory.
Alofa Alofa gave Worcester a scare as he scored a late try but it wasn’t enough.
Tim Swiel converted a late penalty to ensure Quins came away with a losing bonus-point.
Stephen Myler scored seven points as Northampton Saints secured a gritty 13-12 victory over Gloucester at Kingsholm on Sunday.
George North returned after four weeks out having suffered a head injury against Leicester in the 3 December.
Three Billy Burns penalties gave the hosts a 9-0 lead at the break with Northampton lacking opportunities.
But Myler converted Saints’ first points of the game before Burns added his fourth penalty.
Myler, who made his 300th Saints appearance halved the deficit with good work from North winning the penalty.
However, Gloucester winger Halaifonua knocked the ball on when Saints attempted to utilise a major overlap and referee Matt Carley produced a yellow card.
With review from the TMO, Carley awarded Saints a penalty try which was converted by Myler to give Saints a second Premiership win on the bounce.
Owen Farrell starred in a tight affair as Saracens beat Leicester Tigers 16-12 at Welford Road.
Manu Tuilagi limped off for Tigers in a tightly contested first-half ending 6-6 with two penalties a piece from Owen Williams and Farrell.
Saracens scored the only try of the game shortly after the break as Brad Barrit collected a poor pass from Ben Youngs and Farrell threw a dummy pass to race clear with the England international adding the extras.
Saracens did enough to hold on for the win, moving them to within one point of Wasps at the summit.