Round 20 kicked off on Friday at Kingsholm where Gloucester managed a 2-point victory over London Irish in a game in which both sides put on a good showing. Billy Twelvetrees gave a particularly good performance, sealing the game in the final minute.
All eyes then turned to the AJ Bell where Sale Sharks took on the log-leading Bristol Bears. Sale put in a strong performance to take the game 22-12. So tough were the defences that the teams jogged off for half-time with no score on the board. A war of attrition followed in the second stanza which was a celebration of physicality and determination from Sale.
In a high-scoring game, Harlequins enjoyed a 44-33 victory over rivals Bath at the Twickenham Stoop. The result means that Quins will participate in the play-offs for the first time in seven years.
Worcester’s woes continue as they fell prey to Leicester Tigers at Sixways, 18-17. It looked like the Warriors might secure their second win of the campaign before a brace of tries from Ellis Genge put the Tigers back in front.
Northampton Saints put in a good shift against Wasps, earning the former a 5-point victory. Courtney Lawes showed no rustiness as he returned after a long injury lay-off while flyhalf Dan Biggar was also in great form, although the latter has a nervous wait on his hands after a dangerous clean-out on Jacob Umaga.
Exeter were characteristically solid against the Newcastle Falcons in the final fixture of the round, blasting their opponents off the park, 74-3 - a painful result for the Falcons who will look to put it behind them as soon as possible. Exeter threw down a marked challenege to the rest of the competition, saying in no uncertain terms that whoever wishes to take their title from them will have to sweat to do it.