The Exeter Chiefs secured an impressive 31-13 bonus-point win against Saracens, while there were also victories for Northampton, Leicester, Sale, Gloucester and Bath in the English Premiership.
Streaks ahead of the chasing pack, Exeter and Saracens are the only teams to have hit 40 log points so far this season and are slugging it out for top spot on the log.
This result saw Exeter overtake their bitter rivals at the summit as the tournament heads into the second half of the season. It also put an end to Sarries’ 22-game unbeaten streak. Incidentally, Saracens’ last league defeat was also away against Exeter last season.
Saracens started brightly and took a 6-0 lead thanks to two strikes from Owen Farrell. But the Chiefs hit back with a converted try and a penalty for a 10-6 advantage at half-time.
That lead was extended to 18 points as Exeter added two more tries, including a penalty try, which was awarded after Sarries’ Schalk Burger was adjudged to have deliberately collapsed a rolling maul. Burger was also yellow-carded for the cynical offence.
Saracens pulled a try back, but Exeter were not done yet. They wrapped up maximum log points in the final minute of the game when Matt Kvesic dotted down. Saracens are now three points behind Exeter in the standings.
In other results, the Leicester Tigers inflicted a 35-24 defeat on Harlequins. Cobus Reinach played a starring role in the Northampton Saints’ 32-6 hammering of the Worcester Warriors, Gloucester edged the Newcastle Falcons 20-17, the Sale Sharks recorded a comfortable 27-10 triumph over the Bristol Bears and Bath caused an upset when they defeated title contenders Wasps 24-14.
Round 10 results:
Exeter Chiefs 31 Saracens 13
Leicester Tigers 35 Harlequins 24
Worcester Warriors 6 Northampton Saints 32
Newcastle Falcons 17 Gloucester 20
Sale Sharks 27 Bristol Bears 10
Wasps 14 Bath 24