• Vermeulen helps Exeter to big win

    The Exeter Chiefs extended their lead at the top of the Premiership table with a nine-try 59-7 victory over the Worcester Warriors, while there were wins for Harlequins and Gloucester on Sunday.

    The win saw the Chiefs go 14-points clear at the top of the table – after Sale leapfrogged the Bristol Bears into second place on the table – with five rounds of action left to be played before the Premiership playoffs in October.

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    It was Exeter at their very best against a much-changed Worcester side as the home team crossed the whitewash nine times, with No 8 Sam Simmonds and lock Johnny Hill scoring hat-tricks.

    Flank Jacques Vermeulen, who has found his career-best form since moving to England from the Sharks, also got in on the action with a try in the second half.

    Vermeulen’s abrasive displays at openside for the Chiefs have led to calls for him to be included in the Springboks squad later this year and based on this display, he would not look out of place in Test rugby, even though it was against a largely second-string Warriors team.

    Earlier on Sunday, Harlequins dealt the Northampton Saints’ hopes of finishing in the top four a blow by claiming a 30-17 win in London.

    The Saints are currently in sixth place, but could finish the round eight points away from the playoff places with fourth-placed Bath hosting fifth-placed Wasps in what a decisive clash on Monday evening.

    Despite ending on the losing side, Shaun Adendorff impressed at No 8 in his second game for his new side, making 33 metres from six carries, one clean break and picking up a try assist.

    Sunday’s final match saw eighth-placed Gloucester survive a second-half comeback from the Leicester Tigers for a 46-30 victory which could keep their hopes of making the playoffs alive.

    Gloucester took a 36-13 lead into the break, but Leicester fought back to make it a six-point game at 36-30, before a converted try and penalty put the game to bed.

    Monday’s action sees Bath take on Wasps, while London Irish will host Saracens.

    Premiership results (Sunday):

    Harlequins 30 Northampton 17
    Exeter Chiefs 59 Worcester Warriors 7
    Gloucester 46 Leicester Tigers 30

    Premiership table

    Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

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    Dylan Jack