Faf drops in for Sharks win
PREMIERSHIP WRAP: World Cup-winning Springbok Francois de Klerk produced another masterclass as Sale Sharks strengthened their play-off push.
De Klerk landed a penalty and a drop-goal, while Manu Tuilagi made a try-scoring return to Welford Road as the Sharks beat Leicester 40-31.
The England centre left Leicester in July after rejecting a 25 percent pay cut, and he bit the Tigers with a first-half touch down to help Sale reclaim second place behind runaway league leaders Exeter
It was a trademark Tuilagi score, illustrating enviable power and strength as Leicester defenders were left scattered.
The Tuilagi try highlighted a dominant first 50 minutes by Sale, with fly-half AJ MacGinty and captain Jono Ross also claiming tries.
* Earlier Owen Farrell was sent off for Saracens as Wasps recorded a famous 28-18 victory at Allianz Park.
The scores were level on the hour mark when the England flyhalf was dismissed for a horrible high hit on Charlie Atkinson.
Atkinson, an 18-year-old academy back, on the occasion of his second Premiership start, was grounded for a lengthy period before being helped from the field of play.
Farrell made an immediate admission to referee Christophe Ridley who wasted little time in giving him his marching orders that could rule him out of the Champions Cup quarterfinal against Leinster later this month.
It proved to be the game’s big turning point entering the final quarter as Tom Willis drove over for his first Premiership try and Jimmy Gopperth, on the occasion of his 100th club appearance, took his points haul to 23 as Wasps kept their focus firmly on achieving a top-four finish with a seventh win in eight games under head coach Lee Blackett.
Saturday scores and scorers
Saracens 18-28 Wasps
Tries: Daly, Maitland
Pens: Farrell, Goode
Pens: Gopperth 7
Red card: Owen Farrell (Saracens, 60 – foul play)
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jackson Wray, 6 Mike Rhodes, 5 Tim Swinson, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Jamie George, 1 Richard Barrington
Replacements: 16 Kapeli Pifeleti, 17 Sam Crean, 18 Alec Clarey, 19 Callum Hunter-Hill, 20 Sean Reffell, 21 Tom Whiteley, 22 Dom Morris, 23 Elliott Obatoyinbo
Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Paolo Odogwu, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Michael Le Bourgeois, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jimmy Gopperth (captain), 9 Ben Vellacott, 8 Sione Vailanu, 7 Ben Morris, 6 Tom Willis, 5 Tim Cardall, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Biyi Alo, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Ben Harris
Replacements: 16 Antonio ‘Thomas Harris, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Jack Owlett, 19 Theo Vukasinovic, 20 Kieran Curran, 21 Sam Wolstenholme, 22 Charlie Atkinson, 23 Will Simonds
Referee: Christophe Ridley
Assistant referees: Craig Maxwell-Keys & Adam Leal
TMO: David Grashoff
Harlequins 27-41 Bath
Tries: Marchant, Landajo, Lang
Cons: Herron 2, Lang
Pens: Herron 2
Tries: McConnochie 2, Stooke, Boyce
Cons: Priestland 3
Pens: Priestland 5
Yellow cards: Jack Walker (Bath, 73), Tom Dunn (Bath, 78)
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Brett Herron, 9 Danny Care, 8 Alex Dombrandt, 7 Will Evans, 6 Chris Robshaw (captain), 5 Glen Young, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Simon Kerrod, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Will Collier, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Tom Lawday, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 James Lang, 23 Paul Lasike
Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Cameron Redpath, 11 Ruaridh McConnochie, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Miles Reid, 6 Josh Bayliss, 5 Charlie Ewels, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Beno Obano
Replacements: 16 Jack Walker, 17 Lewis Boyce, 18 Christian Judge, 19 Josh McNally, 20 Tom Ellis, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Josh Matavesi, 23 Tom de Glanville
Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant referees: Matthew Carley & Simon McConnell
TMO: Sean Davey
Leicester Tigers 31-40 Sale Sharks
For Leicester Tigers
Tries: Liebenberg, Kerr, Steward
Cons: Ford 2
Pens: Ford 4
For Sale Sharks
Tries: MacGinty, Tuilagi, Ross 2, Solomona
Cons: MacGinty 4
Pens: MacGinty 2, De Klerk
DG: De Klerk
Leicester Tigers: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 David Williams, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 George Ford (captain), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Harry Wells, 5 Calum Green, 4 Tomás Lavanini, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Charlie Clare, 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 Jake Kerr, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Nephi Leatigaga, 19 Cameron Henderson, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Ben White, 22 Zack Henry, 23 Guy Porter
Sale Sharks: 15 Luke James, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Jono Ross (captain), 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Jean-Luc du Preez, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen
Replacements: 16 Ashman, 17 Valerey Morozov, 18 Will-Griff John, 19 Cameron Neild, 20 Matt Postlethwaite, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Sam James, 23 Arron Reed
Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant referees: Karl Dickson & Jack Makepeace
TMO: Rowan Kitt
Gloucester 36-23 London Irish
Tries: Evans, Thorley, Rees-Zammit, Stanley, Varney
Cons: Evans 2, Twelvetrees 2
For London Irish
Tries: Hassell-Collins, Creevy
Cons: Jackson 2
Pens: Jackson 3
Gloucester: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Ollie Thorley, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Jonny May, 10 Lloyd Evans, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Jake Polledri, 7 Lewis Ludlow (captain), 6 Jack Clement, 5 Matt Garvey, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jack Stanley, 19 Ruan Ackermann, 20 Jordy Reid, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Louis Rees-Zammit
London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Matt Williams, 12 Terrence Hepetema, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Albert Tuisue, 7 Blair Cowan (captain), 6 Matt Rogerson, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 George Nott, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Harry Elrington
Replacements: 16 Matt Cornish, 17 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Jack Cooke, 20 Ben Donnell, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Ross Neal, 23 James Stokes
Referee: Hamish Smales
Assistant referees: Simon Harding & Phil Watters
TMO: David Rose