Gallagher Premiership Round 9: Highlights and match reports

The Premiership returned this weekend as the long road to Twickenham continued on BT Sport.

By Callum Davis Published: 29 November 2021 - 9.49am

After a thrilling climax to the Autumn Nations Series, all eyes were on the Gallagher Premiership this weekend as the great and good of English rugby resumed hostilities following a three-week hiatus.

With table-topping Leicester Tigers on a bye, the chasing pack were looking to make up ground on this season's runaway leaders.

Read on for all the information you need to know about all six games, including how to watch free highlights of each match on BT Sport.

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Friday 26 November

Bath 16-23 Exeter Chiefs - Watch replay

Bath are still searching for their first win this season after an agonising home loss to Exeter Chiefs.

Director of rugby Stuart Hooper and head coach Neil Hatley are under serious pressure to deliver a turnaround and they would have been encouraged by their side’s resilience in defence early on, while Miles Reid drove over on 20 minutes before being forced off through injury.

Exeter could only manage two Henry Slade penalties in the first half and were lucky to go into the break with 15 men on the field when Stuart Hogg appeared to knock over Tom de Glanville as the Bath youngster looked to chase his own kick down the right flank.

Cumulative pressure from the Devonians saw Exeter take the lead early in the second half when Josh Iosefa-Scott went over, before Orlando Bailey’s penalty levelled the scores at 13-13 on 47 minutes and another measured kick from the fly-half edged Hooper’s men in front again.

However, the Chiefs’ pressure late in the game eventually told and following some last-ditch Bath defending, Sam Simmonds was at his clinical best, grabbing the ball from the base of an Exeter scrum and powering his way past several desperate tackles to ground, before his brother Joe kicked the extras and then slotted over a late penalty as the strugglers were left to ponder what might have been. 

Bristol 20-36 Northampton

Northampton ended a run of three straight league defeats to go fourth in the table. 

Jake Kerr barrelled over for the opening try inside five minutes to put Bristol ahead and while the visitors hit back with two Dan Biggar penalties, the hosts responded with two of their own from Callum Sheedy, before Paul Hill and Tommy Freeman bagged late first-half tries to put Chris Boyd’s side ahead at the break at Ashton Gate. 

The Bears roared back at the start of the second period courtesy of Alapati Leiua’s converted score.

However, another Biggar penalty nudged the Saints 23-20 ahead and they increased that advantage as Freeman got his second try of the night on the hour before George Furbank got the bonus point and Biggar kicked over one final penalty. 

Wasps 33-35 Gloucester

Gloucester edged to victory as Wasps threatened to complete an incredible second-half comeback. 

The visitors made a flying start at the Ricoh Arena as a Jonny May try and three kicks from Adam Hastings put them 13-0 up after 21 minutes. Thomas Young then got the Coventry-based side on the scoreboard before Billy Twelvetrees’ converted score and another Hastings kick increased the deficit to 18 points.

On the stroke of half-time, Gabriel Oghre went over to give Lee Blackett’s side a much-needed boost, with Jacob Umaga kicking the extras. 

Twelvetrees' second try on 52 minutes threatened to end the game as a contest before Alfie Barbeary gave the home supporters hope when he powered over. 

Jack Clement then secured a bonus-point try for the Cherry and Whites before Umaga did the same for the hosts on 76 minutes and duly bagged Wasps' fifth try to set up a grandstand finish. However, Gloucester just about weathered the storm. 

Saturday 27 November

Harlequins 19-22 London Irish - Watch replay

London Irish stunned champions Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop in the London derby.

In an evenly contested match, the visitors fought back from an early deficit with Agustin Creevy, Rob Simmons and Ben White scoring for the Exiles.

Oscar Beard and Luke Northmore scored for the hosts, but it wasn’t enough as Irish held off Quins for only their second Premiership win of the season.

It was a welcome win for Irish who had won back-to-back games in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

Newcastle 24-24 Worcester

Newcastle and Worcester played out an entertaining draw in their rearranged game at Kingston Park.

The match was moved from Friday due to the impact of Storm Arwen and the Falcons were 12-10 up at half-time, with England international Adam Radwan scoring.

They thought they had won it when Kyle Cooper crossed but Worcester hit back late on through Billy Searle to level the scores.

“We probably should have taken five points,” said Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards. “Full credit to Worcester. When they had chances, they took them, and we didn't take ours.”

Sunday 28 November

Saracens 25-14 Sale - Watch replay

Saracens dominated proceedings against Sale to go second in the Premiership.

They led 13-0 at half-time after Vincent Koch’s try and went further ahead after the break courtesy of scores from Sean Maitland and England international Max Malins.

Sale’s task was made more difficult when Byron McGuigan was sent off for his part in an altercation with Nick Tompkins.

Ben Curry and Raffi Quirke did score for the visitors but they never threated to overturn Saracens’ lead.