Tim Swiel missed a last-minute penalty as Harlequins lost 26-25 to Exeter, while Northampton, Saracens and Wasps clinched wins in the English Premiership.
In a thrilling match at Sandy Park, the Chiefs escaped with the victory despite being outscored three tries to two in heavy rain. The winners held a slender 19-17 advantage at the interval, but Harlequins managed to stay within range on the scoreboard. However, when the opportunity came to snatch the win Swiel, who came off the bench, skewed the kick at goal to hand the Chiefs four log points.
In a similar situation, Danny Cipriani missed a last-gasp penalty attempt as the Sale Sharks were held to a 15-15 draw by the Newcastle Falcons. Cipriani had already kicked five penalties for Sale, while the Falcons scored two tries, a conversion and a penalty.
Meanwhile, Stephen Myler’s boot proved the difference as the Northampton Saints saw off Gloucester 15-3 at Franklin’s Gardens. The flyhalf succeeded with five penalties for the Saints and was off target only once. Former Springbok lock Victor Matfield made his Saints debut off the bench.
Saracens lashed the Worcester Warriors 48-18 to strengthen their position at the top of the log. Winger Chris Ashton bagged a brace of tries, while former England flyhalf Charlie Hodgson, who will retire at the end of the season, enjoyed a perfect kicking performance, nailing all six conversions and two penalties. Gerrit-Jan van Velze went over for one of two Worcester tries.
Wasps, and in particular wing Frank Halai, continued to impress a week after their memorable win over Toulon. Halai scored a double in Wasps’ convincing 33-15 win against London Irish at Twickenham, while Elliot Daly and Thomas Young also dotted down to secure the bonus point.
The Leicester Tigers host Bath at Welford Road in the only fixture on Sunday.
Round 5 results:
Exeter Chiefs 26 Harlequins 25
Sale Sharks 15 Newcastle Falcons 15
Northampton Saints 15 Gloucester 3
Saracens 48 Worcester Warriors 18
London Irish 15 Wasps 33
Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images