Saturday's Premiership round-up: Worcester win relegates London Irish; Exeter and Bath ease to wins
Last Updated: 29/04/18 1:19pm
Worcester secured a bonus-point victory over Harlequins to confirm London Irish's relegation from the Aviva Premiership, while there were also victories for Exeter and Bath.
Here is a round-up of the key action from the penultimate round of Aviva Premiership matches.
Worcester 44-13 Harlequins
Worcester scored four first-half tries against Harlequins to secure a prompt bonus point, which put them 10 points clear of basement side London Irish in the league standings and thereby end the Exiles' hopes of overtaking the Sixways club - two bonus-point wins would not be enough to remain in English rugby's top-flight.
Bryce Heem, Jackson Willison, Darren Barry and Ben Te'o raced over the Quins line during the opening period while Francois Hougaard, replacement Jamie Shillcock and second by Willison made it seven tries for the dominant hosts.
Harlequins, who have now lost their last four matches, had earlier taken a two-point lead in the match through wing Charlie Walker after Heem had opened the scoring, as Irish lock Donnacha O'Callaghan made the final appearance of his career.
The visitors have still not won a Premiership match on the road since their triumph over Wasps, while Worcester will finish their campaign against Northampton at Franklin's Gardens.
Exeter 34-19 Sale
Defending champions Exeter ensured they would end the regular season top of the Premiership standings for the first time in their history after a determined five-try victory over a battling Sale side at Sandy Park.
The hosts scored tries through Nic White, Jack Yeandle, Greg Holmes, and Lachie Turner while Byron McGuigan scored twice, with Andrei Ostrikov also going over for Sale, who remain in contention for a European Champions Cup spot next season.
Sale, who had taken an early lead through McGuigan, missed out on a bonus point in defeat after Holmes' score and Gareth Steenson's penalty in the latter stages and Steve Diamond's men will need to beat Leicester at the AJ Bell Stadium on the final weekend.
Exeter will travel to Twickenham Stoop for their final match of the regular campaign, with the Chiefs likely to face either Wasps or Newcastle in the semi-finals next month.
Gloucester 20-43 Bath
Bath maintained their hopes of European Champions Cup qualification by easing past Gloucester in a bonus-point victory at Kingsholm.
Tom Dunn, Rhys Priestland, Aled Brew and a impressive solo try by Tom Homer enabled the visitors to take control of the contest against the European Challenge Cup finalists.
The hosts threatened to mount an unlikely comeback triumph through scores by Ed Slater and Jason Woodward but Cooper Vuna made sure of victory for Todd Blackadder's men, before James Wilson put the gloss on their performance with a late interception try.
Priestland kicked four of his five conversion attempts and added a penalty in a 16-point haul while Billy Twelvetrees' 10-point tally with the boot was all in vain for the hosts.
The defeat for Gloucester, who travel to Allianz Park to face Saracens next weekend, means their slim chance of a play-off spot is over while Bath will end the regular campaign against relegated London Irish.