Rampaging Chiefs sitting pretty at the top
PREMIERSHIP WRAP: Forwards Jonny Hill and Sam Simmonds both scored hat-tricks as Exeter Chiefs extended their lead at the top of the standings.
The Chiefs now have a handy 14-point advantage, following their nine-try, 59-7 demolition of Worcester Warriors on Sunday.
Jack Nowell, Jacques Vermeulen and Stuart Hogg also crossed for the Chiefs, with Joe Simmonds adding seven conversions.
Warriors, who selected virtually a reserve side to take on the leaders, could only muster a solitary late try from Ashley Beck in response, converted by Billy Searle.
The thumping win leaves the Chiefs 14 points clear of second-placed Sale after the Sharks leapfrogged Bristol Bears with a 40-7 win on Saturday, while the Warriors remain in 10th place.
The hosts secured their bonus point inside the first half-hour but there was still time for Hill to complete his hat-trick before half-time.
He drove over from close range then supported an elusive run from Nowell to outflank the cover defence. Simmonds’ conversion gave his side a 38-0 interval lead.
Thirty seconds after the restart, the travelling side scored their seventh try when a long pass sent Alex Cuthbert flying down the left flank and his inside pass provided Hogg with an easy run-in.
The Chiefs rang the changes but it made no difference to the one-way traffic, with the impressive Vermeulen’s try taking the hosts past fifty points.
Simmonds then completed his hat-trick but, with about 10 minutes remaining, Beck opened the home side’s account.
Earlier on Sunday, Harlequins revived their play-off challenge with a 30-17 bonus-point win over fellow top-four hopefuls Northampton.
Nathan Earle and Scott Baldwin scored first-half tries and Chris Robshaw and Chris Ashton added two more in the second-half to leave them seven points behind fourth-placed Bath.
Sunday scores and scorers below the standings …
Exeter 59 Worcester 7
For Exeter Chiefs
Tries: S Simmonds 3, Hill 3, Nowell, Hogg, Vermeulen
Cons: J Simmonds 7
For Worcester Warriors
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Alex Cuthbert, 10 Joe Simmonds (c), 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Jonny Gray, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Jack Innard, 17 Billy Keast, 18 Marcus Street, 19 Will Witty, 20 Richard Capstick, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Harvey Skinner, 23 Tom Hendrickson
Worcester Warriors: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Nick David, 13 Ashley Beck, 12 Will Butler (c), 11 Alex Hearle, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Michael Heaney, 8 GJ van Velze, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Tom Dodd, 5 Andrew Kitchener, 4 James Scott, 3 Richard Palframan, 2 Beck Cutting, 1 Callum Black
Replacements: 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Lewis Holsey, 18 Joe Morris, 19 Justin Clegg, 20 Caleb Montgomery, 21 Matt Cox, 22 Jono Kitto, 23 Oli Morris
Referee: Adam Leal
Assistant Referees: Jonathan Healy, Christophe Ridley
TMO: David Rose
Gloucester 46 Leicester 30
Tries: Simpson, Thorley 4, Harris, Evans
Cons: Twelvetrees 4
For Leicester Tigers
Tries: Penalty tries 2, Taufua
Con: Ford; penalty tries don’t require conversions
Pens: Ford 3
Gloucester: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Ollie Thorley, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Jonny May, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Jake Polledri, 7 Lewis Ludlow (c), 6 Ruan Ackermann, 5 Matt Garvey, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jack Stanley, 19 Jordy Reid, 20 Jack Clement, 21 Stephen Varney, 22 Tom Seabrook, 23 Lloyd Evans
Leicester Tigers: 15 George Worth, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Guy Porter, 12 Tom Hardwick, 11 Jordan Olowofela, 10 Zack Henry, 9 Jack Van Poortvliet, 8 Jordan Coghlan, 7 Thom Smith (c), 6 Ollie Chessum, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Tomás Lavanini, 3 Joe Heyes, 2 Charlie Clare, 1 Ryan Bower
Replacements: 16 Jake Kerr, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Nephi Leatigaga, 19 Cameron Henderson, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 George Ford, 23 Dan Kelly
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Referees: Jack Makepeace, Paul Dix
TMO: Claire Hodnett
Harlequins 30 Northampton 17
Tries: Earle, Baldwin, Robshaw, Ashton
Cons: Smith 2
Pens: Smith 2
For Northampton Saints
Tries: Hutchinson, Penalty try
Cons: Grayson; penalty try does not require a conversion
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Paul Lasike, 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Alex Dombrandt, 7 Will Evans, 6 Chris Robshaw (c), 5 Matt Symons, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Simon Kerrod, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Will Collier, 19 Dino Lamb, 20 James Chisholm, 21 Scott Steele, 22 James Lang, 23 Aaron Morris
Northampton Saints: 15 George Furbank, 14 Ryan Olowofela, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Tom Collins, 10 James Grayson, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Shaun Adendorff, 7 Lewis Ludlam (c), 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Nick Isiekwe, 4 Alex Moon, 3 Ehren Painter, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi
Replacements: 16 Reece Marshall, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Dave Ribbans, 20 Teimana Harrison, 21 Henry Taylor, 22 Fraser Dingwall, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Simon Harding, Dean Richards
TMO: David Grashoff
Played Saturday: Sale 40 Bristol 7
Playing Monday: London Irish v Saracens; Bath v Wasps