Gallagher Premiership Round Five: Highlights and reports of every New Year's game

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

By Robert Cottingham Published: 3 January 2021 - 9.56pm

The first Gallagher Premiership matches of 2021 got underway across New Year's Day weekend as Engish club rugby took centre stage.

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Friday 1 January

 Bristol 29-17 Newcastle

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Bristol inflict Newcastle’s first Premiership defeat of the season, as the Bears start the new year with a bonus-point win at Ashton Gate.

Ratu Naulago ran under the posts inside the first minute to get the hosts off to a flyer and the sides traded two tries a piece in an entertaining first half.

Nathan Hughes extended Bristol’s slender lead in the second half and despite Newcastle hitting back through Philip van der Walt, debutant George Kloska crossed for the Bears’ fourth to confirm the win.

Saturday 2 January

 Wasps 34-5 Exeter

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Wasps earned a modicum of revenge for their Premiership final defeat 10 weeks ago with a thumping victory over champions Exeter.

Rob Baxter chose not to recall his international stars and the Chiefs were made to pay as they suffered their first league defeat of the season.

For the hosts, the five-try bonus-point win was a welcome start to the new year as the closed the gap on the league leaders to boost their top four chances.

 Gloucester 19-22 Sale

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Josh Beaumont makes a match-winning contribution on his return to action for Sale, who leave Gloucester bottom of the Premiership table.

Featuring for the first time in 14 months, the Sharks back rower struck two minutes from time to hand caretaker boss Paul Deacon his first win since taking charge.

Despite leading at half time the hosts were unable to complete the victory and remain rooted to the foot of the early-season table.

Sunday 3 January

 Leicester 36-31 Bath

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Leicester Tigers got off to a winning start in 2021 with a hard-fought 36-31 win over Bath as they came from behind to clinch victory on Sunday afternoon.

Tigers were down by 14 points early on as Bath took the lead with a bizarre early try but fought back through Freddie Steward, Harry Wells and Cameron Henderson tries.

And George Ford more than played his part with 21 points of his own as Tigers made it another frustrating day for Stuart Hooper's visitors.