Aviva Premiership Week 2 round up

Rob Seltzer Roar Pro

By , Rob Seltzer is a Roar Pro

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    Week 2 of the Aviva Premiership didn’t disappoint. Teams brought back in a couple more of their Lions contingent as a couple of heavyweights went up against each other.

    Sale defeated Newcastle 12-13
    Sale will be as disappointed with this defeat as Newcastle will be elated for the away win. After their performance against Wasps last week spirits were high in the Sharks camp that they could continue their attacking flair, but it didn’t happen.

    The scoreline was 3-0 at half time with AJ MacGinty slotting a 19th-minute penalty. Sonatane Takulua and MacGinty traded penalties at the start of the second half before a fourth MacGinty penalty gave Sale a 12-6 lead.

    That looked to have given Sale the points, and on the balance of play, especially in the first half, they probably deserved it – but Marc Jones collapsed a rolling maul under pressure and a penalty try was awarded to give the Falcons a one-point win.

    Bath defeated Saracens 31-21
    There are few better places to watch rugby than the Rec at Bath, especially when the game is as exciting as this one was. Bath got off to a fast start. Captain Francois Louw was superb, and his unconverted try was added to by two Rhys Priestland penalties and a drop goal from the fly half.

    After scoring over 40 points in the first half last week, Saracens were held scoreless this week, but two minutes into the second half Alex Lozowski got them on the board before being replaced by Owen Farrell, who opened his account for the season shortly after with Saracens’ second penalty of the day.

    The European champions were turning up the heat now and earnt a penalty try for a collapsed maul in the 58th minute. Welsh and Lions No. 8 Taulupe Falateau was sent to the sin bin in a very costly penalty for the home side. Priestland kicked his second drop goal of the game, but winger Ben Spencer’s try gave Sarries the lead on 73 minutes.

    That looked to be good enough before his opposite number, Semesa Rokodugani wrestled the game and the result in Baths favour with two tries in three minutes. His first was from 35 metres out to regain the lead before reading a wide pass 10metres from his own line and running the length of the pitch to seal the win. A very good start to the season from Bath.

    Exeter defeated London Irish 37-7
    The champions are up and running. After their defeat at Gloucester last week, the home crowd were eager to see their boys back at home, and they got what they came for as the Chiefs went home with all five points.

    Gareth Steenson opened the scoring with a penalty nine minutes in before Henry Slade finished off a well-worked move three minutes later. A third penalty try of the weekend for a collapsed maul was then awarded to Exeter with Steenson adding the extras for a commanding 15-0 lead after 25 minutes.

    It was 20-0 at half time with Dom Armand scoring the first of his two tries before the break. The second half started as the first did – with a Steenson penalty – but the Sandy Park faithful were then starved of points until Alex Lewington crossed the line for Irish’s first of the afternoon, which Tommy Bell converted.

    Olly Woodburn eventually got the Chiefs’ bonus-point try in the 76th minute before Armand added a bit of gloss to the score with his second. It was far from vintage, but Exeter started slowly last year and we all know what happened then.

    (Image: AAP Image/Ross Setford)

    Harlequins defeated Gloucester 28-17
    After their shock loss to London Irish the week before, Quins got their first win of the season against Gloucester. Demetri Catrakilis kicked a 10th-minute penalty before going off injured to be replaced by young Marcus Smith.

    Billy Burns equalled things up just after Catrakilis left the field and before Dave Ward and Charlie Walker scored in the 29th and 38th minutes respectively, with Smith adding the two conversions.

    A converted Freddie Clarke try gave the cherry and whites some hope at the start of the second half, but two further Smith penalties and a Marland Yarde try all but wrapped up the points and ensured that Mike Brown’s record-breaking 282nd premiership appearance ended in victory.

    Gloucester did get the final points of the game with Jacob Rowan crossing the line in the 80th minute and Billy Twelvetrees converting, but they were well beaten.

    Northampton defeated Leicester 24-11
    To put it simply, last weekend was embarrassing for a proud club like Northampton. They had to have some sort of response against Leicester and they got it. On the flip side, that is two defeats from two for Matt O’Connor.

    Forgotten England Centre Luther Burrell was the beneficiary of some good hands to stroll in on 13 minutes, which Henry Mallinder converted. England hooker and captain Dylan Hartley then crashed over for a rare try with Mallinder again adding the extras.

    George Ford got Leicester on the board with a 35th-minute penalty that Mallinder cancelled out on the stroke of half time. Mallinder then completed a good day with the boot converting his third try of the day in the 68th minute when Tom Collins sprinted in from 30 metres out.

    Ford had added a second penalty in the 58th minute and Jonny May scored in the 80th minute, but there are problems for the Tigers.

    Worcester defeated Wasps 10-24
    This was a far cry from the slick handling, running rugby that Wasps displayed against Sale the week before. It was one of those games where they did enough to win, but it was a fairly disjointed performance which saw the best and worst from mercurial fly half Danny Cipriani. It took until the 19th minute before Jimmy Gopperth scored the first points from the tee.

    Wasps had had the Lions share of possession but couldn’t break down the stout Warriors defence through a combination of mistakes and good tackling. Marcus Watson eventually broke down that defence with a fantastic finish with the former England Sevens Star superbly collecting his own kick through after a break by Cipriani and Willie Le Roux.

    Worcester came right back at Wasps and had a try correctly disallowed after Ashley Johnson was taken out by the dummy runner, but the Warrirors didn’t have to wait too much longer before Biyi Alo powered over from close range.

    Sam Olver’s penalty 20 minutes into the second half brought the Warriors within three points, but Le Roux scampered down the touchline to score in the corner with just over 10 minutes to go before Josh Bassett claimed a sublime Cipriani kick to score with Gopperth converting both.

    It could be a long season for Worcester, who need to find a creative spark whilst Francois Hougaard is with South Africa.