Shaun Adendorff enjoyed a successful Premiership debut as the Northampton Saints claimed a 27-3 victory over London Irish, while there were also wins for Saracens and Bath on Saturday.
Adendorff made his first start for Northampton since joining the Saints from French second-division side Aurillac in the enforced coronavirus break and had a solid 60 minutes for his new side.
The first half of the match was deadlocked at 3-3, with James Grayson opening the scoring with a penalty for the Saints before Paddy Jackson responded for London Irish on the verge of half time.
However, the Saints proved too strong in the second period, scoring 24 unanswered points and four tries as their opponents struggled after losing props Sekope Kepu and Will Goldrick-Clarke to successive yellow cards.
Adendorff, who played for the Vodacom Bulls and Blitzboks before heading overseas, ended his hour on the pitch with 12 metres from six carries, seven tackles, one turnover and one defender beaten.
The victory moved the Saints to within one point of the fourth-placed Sale Sharks, who have dropped from second place after failing to win a game since the restart.
In other results, Saracens dealt Harlequins’ playoff hopes a blow after winning a thrilling match 38-24 at Allianz Park in London.
Sean Maitland, Maro Itoje and Aled Davis crossed for tries, with Owen Farrell knocking over two penalties and a conversion to take Saracens into a 17-3 lead at the break.
Harlequins threatened a comeback in the second half as inside centre Paul Lasike crossed for a brace of tries in between a score from replacement scrumhalf Scott Steele. However, a 75th-minute converted try from Alex Lewington sealed the match for Saracens, after Farrell added three penalties to end the match with 18 points.
Bath’s comfortable 38-16 bonus-point victory over the Leicester Tigers in the final match of the weekend means that Harlequins are now eight points clear of the top four.
Next, Premiership sides play their first round of midweek fixtures this coming Tuesday and Wednesday. In the standout fixture second-placed Bristol Bears face the Exter Chiefs in a top-of-the-table clash.
Premiership results (Round 15):
Sale Sharks 22 Exeter Chiefs 32
Gloucester 24 Bristol Bears 33
Wasps 32 Worcester Warriors 17
Saracens 38 Harlequins 24
London Irish 3 Northampton Saints 27
Leicester Tigers 16 Bath 38
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