EXETER CHIEFS ENDED Saracens’ 22-match unbeaten run win a 31-13 bonus-point victory to replace the champions at the top of the Premiership and Leicester Tigers halted their eight-match losing streak.
Sarries had not been beaten since Leinster dumped them out of last season’s Champions Cup at the quarter-final stage in April, but they finally came unstuck at Sandy Park on Saturday.
Mark McCall’s side made a strong start in the first meeting between the top two since they beat Exeter in the 2017-18 Premiership final and were rewarded with two Owen Farrell penalties after losing captain Brad Barritt to concussion.
The Chiefs responded well and led 10-6 at the break, Luke Cowan-Dickie scoring the opening try after Sam Skinner charged down a Ben Spencer kick and Gareth Steenson slotting over a penalty after his conversion had sailed through the posts.
Harry Williams added a second try when Sarries were outmuscled in a scrum, then a penalty try and a Matt Kvesic score either side of a Spencer try put Exeter three points clear at the summit.
Leicester stopped the rot in their first game since Geordan Murphy was named head coach on a permanent basis, seeing off Harlequins 35-24 at Welford Road.
Jonah Holmes scored a first-half double, then Manu Tuilagi and Jonny May went over as the Tigers moved just a point behind Quins in sixth spot.
Robert du Preez scored 17 points with the boot in a 27-10 victory for Sale Sharks over Bristol Bears in Saturday’s other match.
Murray Kinsella, Gavan Casey and Andy Dunne preview another big weekend of rugby action and dissect the week’s main talking points.
Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud
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