Cobus Reinach scored a brace of tries to help the Northampton Saints claim a thrilling 35-31 win over Wasps in round eight of the Premiership this weekend.
In an end-to-end encounter, Reinach went from hero to villain as he scored a try in each half before being shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-down as Wasps were on the verge of scoring, with the home side awarded a penalty try to take the lead as a result.
This was shortly after Reinach’s teammate Tom Collins was red-carded, leaving Saints chasing a win with 13 men for the final ten minutes of the match. However, the visitors brought Taqele Naiyaravoro off the bench and the giant wing made his mark by scoring the winning try with two minutes to go.
In total, Reinach ran 81 metres from 10 carries, made two clean breaks and beat eight defenders while making 70 passes. The 24-year-old lock David Ribbans started for Saints, who brought loosehead prop Frans van Wyk off the bench. No 8 Nizaam Carr made his 50th appearance for Wasps, while centre Juan de Jongh was used off the bench.
Elsewhere, Akker van der Merwe and Rohan Janse van Rensburg both got on the scoresheet as the Sale Sharks thrashed Harlequins 48-10. The hooker and centre both scored a try, while flyhalf Robert du Preez slotted four conversions and two penalties as the Sharks put in one of their finest attacking displays of the season for a bonus-point victory. Also impressive for the Sharks was Jean-Luc du Preez, playing at lock, who made 23m from 10 carries. No 8 Dan du Preez made 19 tackles, while captain Jono Ross made 19 tackles. Harlequins had lock Stephan Lewies in their starting lineup.
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Meanwhile, Gerbrant Grobler and Ruan Ackermann scored a try each to steer Gloucester to a come-from-behind 29-15 derby win over Bath at Kingsholm. Grobler scored within two minutes of coming on as a substitute, while Ackermann sealed the bonus point with a try on the hour mark. To go with his score, Ackermann made 34m from seven carries, three passes, 18 tackles and a clean break. Franco Mostert continued his impressive form for Gloucester, making 10 carries, 18 tackles, winning three lineouts and poaching one, while hooker Franco Marais was strong in defence, making 19 tackles, the most of any Gloucester player. Francois Louw captained Bath and made 12 carries and nine tackles, winning two turnovers. Gloucester remain in third place on the table, trailing the Northampton Saints by five points.
The Leicester Tigers stunned the high-flying Bristol Bears with a 31-18 win for just their second victory of the season. Jaco Taute put in a strong shift at outside centre for the Tigers, making six carries, one clean break and two offloads before being given a breather with five minutes left on the clock. The Tigers remain in 11th place, 18 points ahead of last-placed Saracens and two points away from London Irish.
Saracens bounced back from their disappointing loss to the Exeter Chiefs by running in 10 tries in a 62-5 hammering of the Worcester Warriors in London. Brad Barritt was at inside centre for the hosts and got in on the action with a try in the 20th minute before being replaced in the 53rd minute. Vincent Koch came off the bench for Saracens with 27 minutes left to play. Gerrit-Jan van Velze and Francois Hougaard were in action for the Warriors. Saracens are still bottom of the table with -7 points and are 18 points from lifting themselves into 11th place.
The Exeter Chiefs stayed at the top of the table as they maintained their excellent form with a 45-28 win against London Irish. Jannes Kirsten started at lock for the Chiefs and made 14 tackles and won a turnover. Zimbabwe-born flank Don Armand also started for the Chiefs and made a massive 23 tackles with two lineout steals. London Irish had Franco van der Merwe at lock and Allan Dell at loosehead prop.
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