Premiership Rugby

Gallagher Premiership Round 7 Recap: Sarries Come Out On Top In Thriller

Gallagher Premiership Round 7 Recap: Sarries Come Out On Top In Thriller

Premiership Round 7 Recap: Sale Sharks triumph in top clash, Exeter Chiefs end away drought and Saracens' seven-try spectacle propels them to second place.

Nov 27, 2023
Gallagher Premiership Round 7 Recap: Sarries Come Out On Top In Thriller

It may not have been as entertaining as derby weekend, but Round 7 of the Premiership season still packed in plenty of entertainment. 

In fact, three of the five matches were won by four points or less. Those tight margins left some, like table topper Sale Sharks, elated but reduced others, like the Newcastle Falcons, to utter devastation.

Chiefs End Awful Away Form

The odds heading into Sunday’s battle at Kingston Park favored neither side. The Exeter Chiefs were searching for a first away win in the league for over a year, while Newcastle was riding a nine-game losing streak.

But you wouldn’t have known that watching the early exchanges. 

With less than a minute played, the Chiefs took the lead, thanks to a stunning individual score from Immanuel Feyi-Waboso.

That advantage didn’t last long, as the Falcons edged ahead minutes later, when Jamie Blamire and Matías Moroni crossed over in quick succession, and they even managed to carry that lead into the break. 

However, it slowly dissipated in the second period, as Henry Slade and Josh Iosefa-Scott crossed the whitewash to complete the comeback, meaning Newcastle remained the only winless side in the league.

Sharks Prevail In Top-Of-The-Table Clash

This was the big clash everyone wanted to see. First place in the league against second place, with the top spot in the table at stake.

Living up to that hype is hard, and in the end, the contest between the Sale Sharks and Bath was not the most enthralling spectacle, which the northerners eventually won 11-9.

Things started brightly, with Bath hammering away at the Sharks line, earning two early penalties in the process.

The Sharks responded instantaneously, scoring their first points of the game through Jonny Hill, who bypassed a rolling maul to fool the Bath defense.

Finn Russell grabbed another penalty before the break to strengthen the visitors’ lead. 

In the second period, the limelight shifted to George Ford, who slotted two penalties, the second landing six minutes from time, to give the Sharks the win.

The tries may have been an endangered product, but for the purists who enjoy defensive organization and physicality, this match was a worthy spectacle.  

Seven-Try Saracens Go Second 

A spirited Saracens squad continued its rejuvenated run of form with a seven-try win against the Bristol Bears in north London.

The 39-31 score, while impressive, reveals the uncharacteristically poor day Owen Farrell had in front of the posts, as the England fly-half only converted two of the tries.

He did, however, manage to score the opening try of the match, punching through two defenders to dot down in the left corner.

Alex Lewington grabbed the next five-pointer for the hosts, and Saracens then looked comfortable, until Gabriel Oghre powered his way over to put his new club ahead.

Bristol's lead didn’t last long, as Farrell unleashed Lewington with a smartly placed cross-field kick early in the second half to put Saracens ahead.

Further tries from Jamie George and Tom Willis all but confirmed the result, though Bristol did give its fans something to cheer when Gabriel Ibitoye made a break and offloaded to Kieron Marmion to score a stunner. 

The win sends Saracens up to second and condemns Bristol to its fifth consecutive loss, leaving the Bears eighth.

Saints Go Marching On

The Northampton Saints returned to their winning ways with an exhilarating 36-33 win over Harlequins on Friday night.

The proceedings began positively for the Londoners, with Cadan Murley opening the scoring in his first league appearance of the season.

His try was soon canceled out by his opposite winger, Ollie Sleightholme, who charged through the Quins' defense to score.

Harlequins hit back with a try, and the Saints responded with two of their England stars – Lewis Ludlam and Alex Mitchell - crossing the white line. 

Once again, Harlequins got one back through George Hammond, but just as things were looking a little tetchy, Alex Coles caught a loose pass from Mitchell and ran in a try under the posts.

Nathan Jibulu claimed a consolation score for Harlequins late on, meaning the Londoners now are level on points with the Saints, but still sit above them in the table.

Leicester Heaps More Misery On Gloucester 

The Leicester Tigers convincingly retained the Slater Cup with a 38-20 win over Gloucester at Kingsholm.

There was little to talk of in the first half, with most of the points coming either off the boot of Handre Pollard or Gloucester’s George Barton.

Ollie Hassell-Collins did cross over to give the Tigers a slender cushion after the first 40, but Gloucester responded with tries from George McGuigan and Jamal Ford-Robinson.

However, it was Leicester that had the last laugh, as further tries from Julian Montoya, another from Hassell-Collins and Solomone Kata, secured the bonus point for the visitors.

Leicester jumped to seventh as a result, while Gloucester dropped to ninth after suffering a fifth consecutive defeat.