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Aviva Premiership: Defending champions Harlequins leapfrog Northampton
- Tigers roar to home play-off
- Chiefs back at the top table
- Sharks snatch win over Wasps
- London Welsh end on a high
Defending champions Harlequins secured third place in the Aviva Premiership thanks to a thrilling 22-19 victory at home to Northampton.
Both sides will have to win on their travels in the play-off semi-finals next weekend to advance to the Twickenham showpiece.
Right wing Tom Williams, hooker Rob Buchanan and centre Tom Casson scored tries for Quins, with fly-half Nick Evans landing two conversions and a penalty in a feast of attacking rugby.
Saints replied with tries from left wing Jamie Elliott, hooker Dylan Hartley and lock Christian Day, on his 100th appearance for the club.
Fly-half Stephen Myler converted two of the tries but had earlier missed two penalties and a conversion. They were narrowly denied victory in the end after rallying from 22-5 down.
Evans kicked Harlequins into an 11th-minute lead with a simple 20-metre penalty and they increased it 11 minutes later when a finely judged kick down the right touchline by Danny Care bounced perfectly for Williams to sprint to the line for a try converted by Evans.
Northampton bounced back as Foden's kick behind the Quins defence enabled Elliott to collect and race clear for the line. Myler's conversion from the left touchline drifted wide.
Quins scored their second try less than two minutes into the second half when flanker Luke Wallace flicked up a pass as he was tackled for Buchanan to charge through and ground the ball on the foot of the post.
Referee Wigglesworth referred to the TMO before allowing the try, converted by Evans.
Quins struck again in the 51st minute following a tremendous break through the middle by Care. He was stopped just short but number eight Nick Easter moved the ball on before George Lowe supplied the final pass for his centre partner Casson to touch down.
Northampton launched a fightback which produced 14 points in a seven-minute spell.
A superbly executed rolling maul enabled Hartley to celebrate his British and Irish Lions selection with a try before a great passing move along the line ended with Day crossing for their third try.
Myler converted both to set up a grandstand finish but Quins held on to their slender lead.Rugby Union Live. Click here to bet.
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
|Saturday 4th October|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Northampton|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Leicester|
|Sunday 5th October|
|14:00||Sale vs Wasps|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Exeter|
|Friday 10th October|
|19:45||Leicester vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 11th October|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Saracens vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Irish|
|15:15||Northampton vs Sale|
|Sunday 12th October|
|14:00||Wasps vs Bath|
|Saturday 15th November|
|14:00||Sale vs London Irish|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Newcastle 18 - 20 London Irish|
|Wasps 20 - 16 Northampton|
|Saturday 13th September|
|Exeter 20 - 24 Leicester|
|Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale Sharks|
|Bath 53 - 26 London Welsh|
|Friday 12th September|
|Harlequins 0 - 39 Saracens|
|Sunday 7th September|
|London Welsh 0 - 52 Exeter|
|Saturday 6th September|
|London Irish 15 - 20 Harlequins|
|Leicester 36 - 17 Newcastle|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 29 Bath|
|Saracens 34 - 28 Wasps|
|Friday 5th September|
|Northampton 53 - 6 Gloucester|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com