Gallagher Premiership: London Irish beat Exeter; Northampton Saints too strong for Worcester Warriors
Gallagher Premiership's weekend schedule - Friday: Bath 21-17 Harlequins; Saturday: London Irish 18-14 Exeter Chiefs, Worcester Warriors 13-29 Northampton Saints, Newcastle Falcons 22-32 Gloucester; Sunday: Sale vs Leicester (3pm), Wasps vs Saracens (3pm)
Last Updated: 30/01/22 9:49am
London Irish came back to beat Exeter, Northampton were too strong for Worcester and Newcastle's game vs Gloucester was delayed due to adverse weather in the Gallagher Premiership...
London Irish 18-14 Exeter Chiefs
London Irish fought back to secure their first-ever Premiership double over Exeter at the Brentford Community Stadium by holding out for a narrow 18-14 win.
Tries from Matt Cornish and James Stokes ensured the hosts pulled off an excellent comeback against Rob Baxter's side, who at one stage led 14-0.
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The Chiefs, who dropped their Native American branding during the week, made the better start of the two sides by scoring the first try after just five minutes.
Following multiple phases in the Irish 22 after fly-half Joe Simmonds' original break, scrum-half Jack Maunder popped to flying wing Olly Woodburn to crash over.
Exeter skipper Simmonds then improved it for an early 7-0 advantage before adding to that further with their second score in the opening 17 minutes.
Simmonds found the corner with a penalty before their pressure was rewarded with another infringement. Tight-head prop Patrick Schickerling took a quick-tap penalty and burrowed over with Simmonds on target for 14-0.
Back came the hosts though with hooker Cornish going over after 24 minutes from a maul, and then right on half-time, lightning-quick hands from Irish between Paddy Jackson and right wing Ben Loader put full-back Stokes in at the corner for an 18-14 lead at the break before a scoreless second period.
Worcester Warriors 13-29 Northampton Saints
The Steve Diamond era began in losing fashion at Sixways as Northampton recorded a 29-13 Gallagher Premiership victory over Worcester.
Former Sale Sharks boss Diamond, currently working as Worcester's lead rugby consultant, will succeed Alan Solomons in the post of Warriors rugby director this summer.
Head coach Jonathan Thomas departed the club earlier this week, but Diamond can take considerable encouragement from a battling second-half performance that produced tries for prop Rory Sutherland and centre Ashley Beck.
Saints, who remain firmly in play-off contention, cruised clear through tries by centre Rory Hutchinson, hooker Sam Matavesi and scrum-half Alex Mitchell, with Wales captain Dan Biggar kicking two conversions and a penalty.
Northampton led 22-3 before Warriors' revival, and Saints had to wait until 10 minutes from time before they could claim a bonus-point triumph when substitute hooker James Fish scored their fourth try and Biggar converted.
Newcastle Falcons 22-32 Gloucester
Louis Rees-Zammit scored a sensational try as Gloucester made it four away wins from five in the Premiership with a win in their delayed match at Newcastle Falcons.
The Wales international started in his own half and slalomed his way through the Falcons defence to seal five points on a day impacted by bad weather.
The game was due to start at 3pm but the impact of Storm Malik pushed it back to 7pm, and it was Gloucester who coped better with the upheaval.
They ran in five tries through Val Rapava Ruskin, Santiago Carreras, Lewis Ludlow, Ollie Thorley and Rees-Zammit to underline their top-four credentials.
Adam Radwan, Matteo Carreras and Charlie Maddison all crossed for the hosts, with Brett Connon, who landed an early penalty too, and William Haydon-Wood kicking a conversion each.