The Worcester Warriors beat the Exeter Chiefs, while there were also wins for Bath, Gloucester, Saracens, Wasps and Sale in round 14 of the English Premiership.
Sitting on opposite ends of the table, competition pace-setters Exeter were expected to have enough firepower to get the job done against the beleaguered Worcester. But director of rugby Alan Solomons engineered a stunning upset in a low-scoring match at Sandy Park.
The Warriors – featuring South Africans Dean Hammond, Francois Hougaard, Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Anton Bresler, Nick Schonert and Kurt Haupt – led 6-0 at the break via two penalties.
Astonishingly, those two strikes proved to be enough to secure a win for the Warriors. While their defence improved, Exeter’s struggles on attack continued well into the second half. It took the hosts until the 60th minute before they got on the scoreboard through a try from lock Mitch Lees. The conversion went awry and Solomons’ men stood firm in the last quarter to hold on for a surprise, but much-needed, victory.
In notable results, Bath hammered the Northampton Saints 32-9, Gloucester defeated the Leicester Tigers 24-17, Saracens inflicted a 25-3 loss on the Newcastle Falcons and the Sale Sharks edged London Irish 13-9.
In the only match on Sunday, Wasps lashed Harlequins 44-22 with Bok duo Willie le Roux and Juan de Jongh bagging a try each.
Round 14 results:
Exeter Chiefs 5 Worcester Warriors 6
Bath 32 Northampton Saints 9
Gloucester 24 Leicester Tigers 17
Saracens 25 Newcastle Falcons 3
London Irish 9 Sale Sharks 13
Harlequins 22 Wasps 44
Photo: Craig Thomas/JMP