Gallagher Premiership play-offs: Highlights and reports from semi-finals on BT Sport

The best of both Gallagher Premiership semi-finals on BT Sport as four teams became two in the race to be crowned kings of England

By Callum Davis Published: 20 June 2021 - 10.46am

After a season like no other, we reached the penultimate hurdle in the race to be crowned kings of English rugby as four teams became two.

This weekend saw reigning Gallagher Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs resume their title defence, with Sale Sharks, Bristol Bears and Harlequins all vying to de-throne the Devonians.

With both semi-finals live and exclusive on BT Sport on Saturday afternoon, read on for match highlights and reports from both semi-finals.

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Most Premiership points 2020/21

Marcus Smith (Harlequins) - 270 points

AJ MacGinty (Sale Sharks) - 188 points

Paddy Jackson (London Irish) - 177 points

Joe Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs) - 156 points

Rhys Priestland (Bath) - 150 points

Bristol Bears 36-43 Harlequins

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A quite unbelievable match at Ashton Gate saw Harlequins recover from 28-0 down, force extra time and qualify for the final at Twickenham next week.

The hosts, who topped the regular season table, were 28-0 to the good before the half-hour mark through the sensational Max Malins (two), Ben Earl and Luke Morahan.

But a fast end to the first half and even faster start to the second saw Alex Dombrandt, Tyrone Green, James Chisholm and Louis Lynagh score 24 unanswered points for the resurgent visitors. Joe Marchant's late try then forced extra time to send the visiting fans wild. 

Green struck first in the additional period and while Malins levelled, Callum Sheedy missed a drop-kick attempt and Marchant was able to score in the dying moments to cap an incredible game and seal Harlequins spot at Twickenham.

Most Premiership tries 2020/21

Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs) - 20 tries

Danny Care (Harlequins) - 12 tries

Josh Bassett (Wasps) - 9 tries

Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins) - 9 tries

Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks) - 9 tries

Exeter Chiefs 40-30 Sale Sharks

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Defending champions Exeter reached a sixth successive  Gallagher Premiership final after edging a thrilling semi-final against Sale Sharks.

Luke Cowan-Dickie opened the scoring at Sandy Park while Tom O'Flaherty and the sensational Jack Nowell did further damage against Sale - who replied via the all-action Rohan Janse van Rensburg.

Sale's dangerman went over again after the interval but Nowell seized on a bouncing ball before Alex Cuthbert's try further extended Chiefs' lead on home soil.

Dan du Preez's late try set up a grandstand finish in Devon but Exeter held on to secure a final against Harlequins next week.