The Bristol Bears moved up to second in the standings after beating Worcester Warriors 36-13, while log-leaders Exeter Chiefs edged the Northampton Saints 22-19 in the English Premiership on Friday.
The struggling Warriors, who had six South Africans in their match 23, played excellently in the first half, frustrating the more favoured Bristol with solid defence.
Both sides crossed for converted tries in the first half, but Bristol’s discipline let them down and allowed the hosts to outkick them two penalties to one for a 13-10 lead at the break.
But the Worcester Warriors were blown off the park in the second half, as a transformed Bristol side took the field at the resumption. The visitors reduced the Warriors to bystanders as they accumulated 26 unanswered points via three tries for a commanding victory.
Elsewhere, the Exeter Chiefs enhanced their status as title favourites as they continued on their merry ways with a three-point triumph over Northampton Saints.
South African lock David Ribbans starred for Northampton, scoring a try in both halves of the match. But ultimately his efforts were in vain, as the star-studded Exeter flexed their muscles to seal the win. Flank Jannes Kirsten scored one of Exeter’s two tries.
Friday Premiership results (Round 18):
Worcester Warriors 13 Bristol Bears 36
Northampton Saints 19 Exeter Chiefs 22
Photo: Exeter Chiefs