Esterhuizen double helps Harlequins see off Bath
PREMIERSHIP SATURDAY WRAP: A late rally secured Harlequins a ninth-successive home bonus-point triumph as they recorded a 31-17 victory against winless Bath, who remain at the bottom of the table.
Springbok centre Andrew Esterhuizen scored two tries in 16 minutes before a positive response from Bath saw Sam Underhill and Will Stuart cross for tries.
Orlando Bailey’s boot had Bath ahead at the break, however a strong second 40 saw Marcus Smith and Joe Marchant (2) cross for the home side to record victory.
Meanwhile, Leicester Tigers earned their sixth successive English Premiership win this season as the leaders defeated Sale Sharks 19-11 at Welford Road.
Tigers flyhalf George Ford was their match-winner as he tried to prove a point to England boss Eddie Jones after being left out of the Nations Series squad.
Ford, capped 77 times, kicked four penalties and converted Hanro Liebenberg’s 50th-minute try.
Kieran Wilkinson kicked two penalties for the Sharks and hooker Curtis Langdon scored a late try, but it was another gritty Tigers victory as they continued their impressive resurgence under head coach Steve Borthwick.
London Irish clinched their first victory of the season as Exeter Chiefs were beaten 33-21.
The Exiles never trailed as they humbled the title contenders by securing their first win since March.
Tries from Argentina hooker Agustin Creevy and Australia wing Curtis Rona gave them a dream start but they were forced to weather the storm as the Chiefs fought back.
Irish pulled clear when Benhard van Rensburg, Ben Loader and Ollie Hassell-Collins touched down.
Lloyd Evans kicked 19 points as Gloucester extended their unbeaten run to four games with a 29-20 win against Newcastle Falcons.
Evans, called up to replace Scotland international Adam Hastings, responded with an exemplary display of goal-kicking with no misses from seven attempts.
The flyhalf succeeded with five penalties and converted both of his side’s tries, scored by Val Rapava-Ruskin and Jonny May.
Ben Stevenson and Cameron Nordli-Kelemiti scored Newcastle’s tries, with Joel Hodgson adding two penalties and two conversions.
Scores and scorers:
Harlequins 31-17 Bath
Tries: Esterhuizen 2, Marchant 2, Smith
Cons: Smith 3
Tries: Underhill, Stuart
Cons: Bailey 2
Exeter Chiefs 21-33 London Irish
For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries: Witty, Hogg, Nowell
Cons: J Simmonds 2, Slade
For London Irish:
Tries: Creevy, Rona, Van Rensburg, Loader, Hassell-Collins
Cons: Jackson 4
Gloucester 29-20 Newcastle Falcons
Tries: Rapava-Ruskin, May
Cons: Evans 2
Pens: Evans 5
Tries: Stevenson, Nordli-Kelemeti
Cons: Hodgson 2
Pens: Hodgson 2
Leicester Tigers 19-11 Sale Sharks
Pens: Ford 4
Pens: Wilkinson 2
Sources: AFP & @BathRugby