Gallagher Premiership 2020/21 Round One - Highlights, match reports and reaction

Read our breakdown of the opening weekend in the Gallagher Premiership as the domestic rugby season burst back into life on BT Sport.

By Callum Davis Published: 22 November 2020 - 5.03pm

Less than a month has passed since Exeter Chiefs were crowned kings of English rugby but Premiership Rugby is back and ready to take centre stage once again, as the race for Twickenham begins once more.

The 2020/21 campaign got under way with a bang on Friday night as the defending champions headed to London to face Harlequins in a must-watch season opener.

Here, BTSport.com provide previews and information on how to watch every Round 1 fixture from the opening weekend.

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Friday 20 November

Harlequins 3-33 Exeter Chiefs

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League and European Cup double winners Exeter picked up where they left off with a dominant victory over Harlequins in London.

The ongoing Autumn Nations Cup and Tri Nations meant Exeter were missing 14 players but a three-try display from Sam Simmonds saw them to a bonus-point win regardless.

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Subscribers will be able to watch all six matches every weekend until fans return to stadiums.

Simmonds scored with a brilliant solo finish in the first half before going over from two rolling mauls late in the second period.

Chiefs also scored tries through Dave Ewers and Stuard Townsend while Quins only response was a Marcus Smith penalty which had put them ahead initially against the defending champions.

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Sale Sharks 32-23 Northampton Saints

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Sale Sharks got off to a five-point start at the AJ Bell with a thrilling win over Northampton Saints on Friday night.

Akker van der Merwe got Sale off the mark with the first try of the new Premiership season before Dan du Preez went over to give Sharks a commanding lead.

Saints bit back through James Grayson but Guy Hammersley crashed over in response and AJ MacGinty extended the lead once more. Du Preez's penalty gave the home side breathing room later on.

Saturday 21 November

Bath 12-19 Newcastle Falcons

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Newcastle Falcons announced their return to the Gallagher Premiership with a suprise win over Bath Rugby on Saturday afternoon.

Despite a 253-day wait for a competitive game after the conclusion of the Championship season, Newcastle looked fresh and ready but Bath took the lead through Joe Cokanasiga's try.

But two tries from Gary Graham saw Falcons edge ahead before Bath responded through a wonderful team try scored by Josh Matavesi.

Newcastle made sure of the win in Bath though as Tom de Glanville went over in the corner to give them breathing room.

Leicester Tigers 38-15 Gloucester

 

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Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick will be hoping a season-opening victory over Gloucester can be the turning point after a miserable few years at Welford Road.

The home side cruised to an impressive win against their underwhelming visitors inspired by debutant veteran Richard Wigglesworth.

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Wigglesworth was one of three first-half tryscorers for Tigers as they entered the interval with a comfortable 22-8 lead.

Former assistant England coach Borthwick will be delighted with how his team continued to assert their dominance over an ill-disciplined Gloucester the other side of half time as Charlie Clare scored a fourth try to secure a stylish bonus point win.

The result means Leicester have now won four on the spin either side including their impressive conclusion to the end of last season. 

Worcester Warriors 11-10 London Irish

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Action was at a premium during a hard-fought encounter between Worcester Warriors and London Irish at Sixways.

Both sides looked a little out of touch during their first game of the Premiership season but it was the home team who managed to cling on to secure the victory.

Tom Howe scored the crucial try 15 minutes before time but Irish had a chance to steal the win at the death only for Paddy Jackson to miss a late penalty kick.

Sunday 22 November

Wasps 23-20 Bristol Bears 

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Tom Willis' late try helped Wasps start their Premiership campaign with a narrow win over Bristol.

Three Jimmy Gopperth penalties put Wasps ahead after Sam Bedlow had kicked the Bears into an early lead.

Harry Randall squeezed over for Bristol before Jack Willis' try put Wasps back in front.

Bears skipper Siale Piutau crossed to restore the lead in a dramatic final quarter, but Willis touched down with two minutes left to nick the win.

In a repeat of last season's semi-final, Wasps made it 11 straight Premiership wins against Bristol, and 15 league matches unbeaten.