Saracens cemented their place at the top of the English Premiership as their rivals became involved in a dog-fight for play-off places.
The log leaders clinically put away London Wasps 32-20 with four tries through Jamie George (two), Jackson Wray and Alex Goode, while Northampton fell away with a 22-16 loss to Leicester. It was their second loss in a row, after being edged by Sale last week, and while they still have a seven-point cushion over Leicester, their form will be of concern.
Harlequins revived their Premiership play-off hopes by dispatching London Irish 23-9, but it was a win secured only when Danny Care floated a superb scoring pass to wing Sam Smith in the 70th minute, establishing an 18-9 lead, that Irish were beaten. Mike Brown, the recently-crowned player of the Six Nations, crossed late on to embellish the scoreline.
In-form Sale snatched a gritty 12-11 victory at third-placed Bath to press their claims of a play-off place. It was the Sharks' fifth win in the last six away games in all competitions and only Bath's second league defeat at home since December 2012.
Sale's match-winner was flyhalf Danny Cipriani, who scored four penalties from four attempts to outshine Bath's George Ford, who missed three of his five place-kicks including, crucially, the conversion of Ross Batty's 75th minute try.
Bath 11 Sale Sharks 12
Exeter Chiefs 13 Gloucester 14
Harlequins 23 London Irish 9
London Wasps 20 Saracens 32
Northampton 16 Leicester 22
Newcastle 12 Worcester 17
Photo: Tom Shaw/Getty Images