Franco Mostert and Jaco Visagie enjoyed winning debuts as Gloucester beat Worcester 36-16, while there were also victories for Harlequins, Bristol, Saracens and Newcastle in the English Premiership.
Bok lock Mostert made his highly anticipated debut off the bench at Kingsholm Stadium, but it was hooker Visagie who crossed the line when he came on to score one of Gloucester’s six tries.
The first half was a tight contest, with the hosts leading 10-9 at the break, but Johan Ackermann’s side cut loose in the second half to secure a convincing victory.
Two unconverted tries by James Hanson and Charlie Sharples put Gloucester 10-0 up, before Duncan Weir’s three penalties reduced the gap to one.
It was one-way traffic after the interval, as Gloucester chalked up 26 unanswered points via four tries, including Visagie’s, to end the game as a contest. Worcester would have the last say when winger Bryce Heem burst through for their only try, but it meant little.
In other results, flyhalf Ian Madigan top-scored with 21 points to guide the Bristol Bears to a 41-10 bonus-point win over the Leicester Tigers.
Bok scrumhalf Cobus Reinach’s two-try performance was in vain as the Northampton Saints slumped to an agonising 16-14 defeat at the hands of the Newcastle Falcons, while outside centre Alex Lozowski’s 19-point haul lifted Saracens to a comfortable 29-6 triumph over Wasps.
Harlequins edged the Exeter Chiefs 28-26, while Jean-Luc du Preez’s try and brother Rob’s conversion earned the Sale Sharks a share of the spoils as they played to a 7-7 draw with Bath.
Round 9 results:
Sale Sharks 7 Bath 7
Bristol Bears 41 Leicester Tigers 10
Gloucester 36 Worcester Warriors 16
Northampton Saints 14 Newcastle Falcons 16
Saracens 29 Wasps 6
Harlequins 28 Exeter Chiefs 26
Photo: Gloucester Rugby