Gallagher Premiership Round 17: Match reports & highlights of each game

We've got your domestic rugby needs covered once again, as we bring you every second of the action from the English top flight.

By Callum Davis Published: 25 April 2021 - 6.49pm

After a three-week hiatus, the Gallagher Premiership returned to BT Sport with a bang last weekend as the great and good of English rugby resumed the race for a place in the play-offs.

As ever, BT Sport is showing live coverage of every single game on TV and our digital platforms. Read on for match reports and highlights from all six games.

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Friday 23 April

Bristol Bears 12-20 Exeter Chiefs

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Exeter sent out a statement to the rest of the Gallagher Premiership after an impressive victory over leaders Bristol at Ashton Gate. 

The reigning champions, who are now eight points behind their opponents, fell behind when a rapid home breakaway eventually led to Andy Uren darting over.

The Chiefs responded emphatically, with first-half tries from Sam Skinner and Tom O'Flaherty and a penalty and a conversion from Joe Simmonds putting Rob Baxter's men 10 points ahead at the break.

Jacques Vermeulen's try then made the game safe for the visitors before Luke Morahan's consolation score and Exeter will now head into next weekend's clash at home to bottom side Worcester with a spring in their step. 

Saturday 24 April

London Irish 21-25 Harlequins 

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Marcus Smith’s last-minute try won the match for 14-man Harlequins, who boost their hopes of a top four finish with victory over London Irish.

First-half tries from Mike Brown, who was making his 350th Quins appearance, and Cadan Murley put the visitors in command before Andre Esterhuizen was sent off.

The centre clashed with Curtis Rona and was given his marching orders early in the second half, with Irish taking full advantage as Ben Loader crossed two minutes later.

Ollie Hassell-Collins’ try looked to be sending the hosts to victory, before fly-half Smith darted over the line for the win.

Gloucester 35-24 Newcastle Falcons

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Gloucester leapfrogged Newcastle into 10th with a bonus-point victory over the Falcons, thanks to late tries from Lloyd Evans and Willi Heinz.

The away side raced into the lead, scoring three tries inside the opening 20 minutes as George McGuigan added to Callum Chick's double.

In that high-scoring opening, Wales winger Louis Rees-Zammit showed why so much is expected of him with a superb solo try as the hosts headed into the break 21-7 down.

Ruan Ackermann and Heinz crossed after the interval to level the scores, before fly-half Evans and replacement Heinz – who got his second of the match – won it for the Cherry and Whites.

Leicester Tigers 18-23 Northampton Saints

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Northampton survived a tense finale to claim the East Midlands bragging rights with victory over the Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.

Having lost Teimana Harrison, Ehren Painter and Ollie Sleightholme to injury shortly before the match, Saints looked up against it but made the better start.

David Ribbans and Rory Hutchinson scored the first two tries of the day before Nemani Nadolo, making his return from a two-month injury absence, reduced the deficit.

Sam Matavesi’s well worked try increased the visitors lead in the second half, but Nadolo struck again to make for a nervy finish.

Worcester Warriors 32-25 Sale Sharks 

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Sale came from behind to close the gap on leaders Bristol to 11 points, following their defeat to Exeter, and pile further misery on Worcester.

Jamie Shillcock got the Warriors on their way as the hosts opened up an 11-0 lead before Connor Doherty struck to bring the Sharks to 11-7 at the break.

The game opened up in the second half as Warriors scrum-half Francois Hougaard scored a hat-trick but Byron McGuigan, Arron Reed, Coenie Oosthuizen and JP du Preez crossed for Sale.

The bonus-point win moves them third about Harlequins and for the hosts – bar two Covid-awarded victories – it means 14 straight defeats on the field.

Sunday 25 April

Wasps 39-29 Bath

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Wasps weathered a late fight back from Bath to record an impressive 39-29 victory at the Ricoh Arena.

Flanker Thomas Young crossed the whitewash twice as the hosts ran in five tries in a bonus-point win.

The visitors scored three second-half tries through Josh McNally, Beno Obano and Ben Spencer but Wasps pulled away through tries of their own through Mike Le Bourgeois and Paulo Odogwu to seal a league double over Bath.