Exeter Chiefs went eight points clear at the top of the Premiership with a 26-13 bonus-point win over Leicester Tigers and Bristol Bears beat Saracens to move into second spot on Saturday.
Sale Sharks’ defeat to Harlequins on Friday in the first match in the competition for five months due to the coronavirus crisis gave the Chiefs the chance to increase their lead at the summit.
Rob Baxter’s men grasped that opportunity at Sandy Park, Dave Ewers and Stuart Hogg scoring first-half tries to give the leaders a 10-6 lead at the break after a George Ford drop-goal and penalty put the Tigers 6-0 up.
Luke Cowan-Dickie went over early in the second half before Exeter were awarded a penalty try, with the Tigers unable to mount an unlikely fightback after earning a penalty try of their own.
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) August 15, 2020
Ambitious Bristol left it late to see off already-relegated defending champions Saracens 16-12 at Ashton Gate.
A fourth Alex Goode penalty following three from Callum Sheedy gave Sarries the edge, but Bristol – who handed debuts to Semi Radradra and Kyle Sinckler – won it with a penalty try, which also resulted in Jamie George being sin-binned.
New signing Ben Spencer was among the Bath try-scorers and Tom Dunn grabbed a double in a 34-17 win over London Irish.
Jonny May’s second Gloucester debut was cut short by a dangerous tackle from Melani Nanai, who was shown a red card midway through the first half and could only watch the Cherry and Whites cruise to a 44-15 victory in their first game with a revamped coaching staff.
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