On Friday night in the Premiership Andy Goode scored 9 points as Worcester gave leaders Quins a scare before losing 22-19. Dorian West’s Northampton pack will be pleased with their work after dismantling Sale 27-16 in Salford; Andy Powell played 6 for the Sharks. Down in Devon Exeter’s Chris Whitehead scored his first Premiership try whilst Tom Varndell replied with a try after a suspiciously forward looking pass for Wasps, Robin Cowling’s Exeter men won the game 30-23 whilst Wasps were captained by Marco Wentzel. At Welford Road Horacio Agulla made his first start for Bath in that fractious encounter which of course we won 17-12. Brian Smith’s London Irish side lost the battle of the Exiles as Ian Humphreys contributed one penalty to his club’s tally of 9 but London Welsh, with Adam Balding at 8, scored 15; George Skivington played 53 minutes for the Irish. Billy Twelvetrees scored 13 points for Gloucester but it wasn’t enough as Saracens, coached by Paul Gustard, won the match 28-23; Jim Hamilton was the Cherry and Whites captain whilst Tim Taylor came off the bench for his first league appearance of the season.
The Top 14 returned after its international break and featured a bumper crop of ex-Tigers. On Friday night Henry Tuilagi came off the bench as Perpignan gained the bonus point against Agen. In the Parisian derby Christophe Laussacq’s Stade Francais side lost 23-15 to Racing Metro, with all the points coming from the boot of Julien Dupuy. Lucas Amorosino played 75 minutes as Montpellier beat Bayonne 29-22. Ephram Taukafa started for Mont-de-Marsan as they lost 15-31 at home to Castres, Seru Rabeni also made his first appearance for 3 months. In Toulouse’s Le Stadium Benjamin Kayser appeared from the bench as Clermont went down 30-22.
In ProD2 Ayoola Erinle returned to the wing for Carcassone as they got the bonus point win at home to Colomiers. Phil Christophers Aix-en-Provence side was kept scoreless as they lost away to Pau. In Italy’s Serie A Mitch Turner started at prop and Will Lawson started at centre as Romanga won 22-11 against Rubano.
The Championship now and James Grindal came off the bench as Bristol beat London Scottish at the Memorial Ground 43-16. In Jersey Dante Mama grabbed one of three tries as Doncaster beat the Islanders 22-17, the Knights also featured Jethro Rawling on the flank and Jersey featured Dave Markham at lock with Fred Silcock joining the fray from the bench. Dean Richards and John Wells remain undefeated at Newcastle, though they struggled at home to Plymouth and didn’t pick up the full 5 points; Albion featured Tom Bowen on the wing. Ben Pienaar continued at number 8 for Moseley but they lost at home to Rotherham 16-20. In Cornwall Brent Wilson grabbed a try for Nottingham as they went down by a solitary point away to the Pirates 10-11, plenty of Ex’s in this one as Nottingham started with 6 including the entire front row: Parr, Duffey and Holford. Dan Montague and Alex Shaw rounded out the numbers. At Otley the Leeds Bedford match was called off for a frozen pitch, but only after Bedford had secured the bonus point and the clock had ticked past 60 allowing the 45-25 result to stand; Calum Green started for the “home” side whilst Phil Boulton grabbed a try and Ben Gulliver was in the Blues pack.
Ian Nimmo played the final half hour as Newport lost heavily away to Treviso 32-13. Greig Tonks continued his ever present league campaign for Edinburgh as they triumphed in Connacht 24-23. Leo Cullen played the whole game as Leinster secured the bonus point at home to Zebre 37-7.