Table-topping Harlequins maintained their 100 percent record this season, with an equally impressive Saracens hot on their heels in the Premiership race.
Quins upstaged the Chiefs 19-13 in a pulsating encounter at the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday.
And Sarries made it six wins from six with a 19-17 victory against Gloucester at Kingsholm.
Elsewhere London Irish were denied a fourth victory of the season when Bath flyhalf Sam Vesty kicked a penalty goal two minutes from time to steal the four points for his side, while Saints earned a first bonus point win of the season.
We look at all the Saturday action!
London Irish 12-13 Bath
London Irish were denied a fourth Premiership victory of the season when Bath flyhalf Sam Vesty kicked a penalty goal two minutes from time to steal the four points for his side in a 13-12 win.
In a game that never really got flowing it came down to crucial decisions from all involved in the match that determined the outcome. Bath scored both the tries in the match and all of Irish's 12 points came from the boot of Tom Homer.
Irish enjoyed a strong start to the game and plenty of possession in the opening minutes. Jamie Gibson hit a great line off a short Dan Bowden pass to break through the visitors defence, however except for that blip the Bath defence held firm.
Bath had the better of the following 15 minutes. They were throwing different attacking threats at the home defence but were unable to break it down.
Irish lost Jonathan Joseph after 18 minutes when he made way for Steve Shingler. The loss of Joseph was a big blow for Toby Booth as the 20 year old centre has been very impressive so far this season. Credit to Steve Shingler who came on and played well.
The first half continued to be a very stop, start affair as both sides failed to get any momentum with ball in hand. From a territory perspective it was an even affair.
Bath opened the scoring five minutes before half-time. The Exiles had minutes earlier lost Delon Armitage to the sin bin and immediately after the extra man advantage paid dividends for Bath. Sam Vesty dived over for the score after good initial work from the Bath tight forwards.
Irish had chances leading into the break but to no avail. The half finished 5-0 in Bath's favour.
Tom Homer had his first kick of the afternoon three minutes into the second half and it went straight through the posts to cut the Bath lead to two points. The visitors were penalised for slowing down Irish ball in the ruck.
Irish were the more dominant side up front with Max Lahiff and Paulica Ion putting plenty of pressure on their opposite numbers. The pressure told as Bath were penalised for the second time in five minutes to give Homer his second kick of the game. It crept over off the post to give London Irish the lead.
Bath regained the lead ten minutes later in one of the most controversial moment of the game. Dave Attwood dived into the corner and looked to have been tackled out by Darren Allinson. The TMO faced with a very difficult decision and opted to award the try to Attwood. Sam Vesty missed the conversion but nevertheless Bath were back in front 10-6.
Irish came back into the contest well after the try decision. Tom Homer kicked another penalty to make it a one point ball game after the new front row trio of Corbisiero, Rautenbach and Buckland continued the good work that the three they replaced had started.
Irish upped the tempo going into the final 10 minutes with runners picking theirs lines off Bowden and the forwards clearing out rucks quickly to create quick ball. The Bath defence was too eager and drifted offside to gift Homer another penalty attempt from in front of the posts which he duly accepted.
Interpretation played a huge role in the final two minutes and the overall outcome of the game. The ball was on the deck and there to be contested by both sides. Shontayne Hape and Declan Danaher both contested the ball on the floor and looked to win the ball fairly. Not according to referee David Rose who penalised Hape and awarded Bath a penalty in a very kickable position. Sam Vesty made no mistake and won the game for his side.
Pens: Homer 4
Tries: Vesty, Attwood
London Irish: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Tom Homer, 10 Dan Bowden (captain), 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Richard Thorpe, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Declan Danaher, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 David Paice, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 James Buckland, 17 Alex Corbisiero, 18 Faan Rautenbach, 19 James Sandford, 20 Jebb Sinclair, 21 Adam Thompstone, 22 Steve Shingler, 23 Ross Samson.
Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Matt Carraro, 12 Matt Banahan, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Sam Vesty, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Ben Skirving, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Stuart Hooper (captain), 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 David Wilson, 19 Ryan Caldwell, 20 Andy Beattie, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Paul Roberts, 23 Jack Cuthbert.
Referee: David Rose
Harlequins 19-13 Exeter Chiefs
Table-topping Harlequins maintained their 100 percent record this season by undoing the Chiefs 19-13 in a pulsating encounter at the Twickenham Stoop.
Home flyhalf Nick Evans did much of the damage to Rob Baxter's side as he slotted four penalties, as well as adding the conversion to Mike Brown's second-half score.
The Chiefs, who could feel hard done by some indifferent officiating from referee Sean Davey, countered with eight points from the boot of Ignacio Mieres and a try from wing Bryan Rennie.
It was, however, not enough and despite a late barrage of pressure on the Quins' try-line, they were unable to turn their dominance into crucial points.
Back in Premiership action for the first time in a fortnight, Baxter was able to recall the majority of his frontline stars after the two week LV= Cup break. Indeed, only former Harlequins prop John Andress was retained from the starting XV that had lost at Saracens the previous week.
It meant it was a powerful Chiefs line-up, one which included James Hanks back from injury that took to the field in the capital.
Harlequins, meanwhile, stuck with many of those who have seen them to their impressive start to the season. They did, however, welcome back Nick Easter from World Cup duty with England, whilst lock George Robson ran out for his 100th game for the club.
With the Chiefs keen to get back to winning form in the top flight, the visitors started brightly and were happy to attack the leaders from the outset.
Exeter's early endeavour was encouraging, but on three minutes they were penalised for not releasing on the floor and up stepped flyhalf Nick Evans to dispatch a penalty from 30 metres out.
Despite the early setback, the Chiefs were quickly back on the offensive and they fashioned a glorious opening on nine minutes when Ignacio Mieres, Jason Shoemark and Sireli Naqelevuki combined to release Matt Jess wide on the left.
As the wing tore into the home half, he failed to spot team-mate Luke Arscott on his shoulder and instead opted to cut back inside where he was swamped by the scrambling home defence.
Still the Chiefs continued to push forward and when home fullback Mike Brown was swallowed up following a clever kick in behind from Mieres, the men from Devon had another golden opportunity for points.
A succession of scrums were started, stopped and re-set, but just as you thought the Chiefs were about to score, referee Sean Davey – not for the first time in the game – baffled the visitors with an audacious penalty call.
Moments later Mieres then failed with a lengthy penalty chance, pulling his kick wide of the right post.
The Argentine's opposite number had no such worries with his kicking boots, extending his side's lead on 27 minutes when Naqelevuki was adjudged to have carried out a high tackle in midfield.
Finally it appeared referee Davey was getting wise to some of the home tactics when he dispatched Robson to the sin-bin, but sadly the Chiefs could not make their numerical advantage pay as chances continued to come and go.
Then, with a minute of the half remaining, Kiwi ace Evans banged over a third penalty after Hanks was adjudged to have pulled down a maul just inside the Exeter half.
Needing to start the second half with a bang, the visitors suffered a double blow inside the first half as injuries forced Shoemark and Andress from the field. Thrown into the fray were Samoan international Josh Tatupu and Tui.
And it was not long before Tui was making his mark, the Maori prop undoing Joe Marler to win a penalty 25 metres out that Mieres this time landed with aplomb.
The Exeter scrum was continuing to dominate and on 52 minutes Mieres cut the deficit yet further when he landed a second penalty.
With their tails now up, the Chiefs took the lead for the first time just before the hour mark when a stunning break out from Naqelevuki saw him race over half the field before releasing the onrushing Jess.
Although the 'Heamoor Flyer' was cut down just short of the line, the Chiefs recycled the ball at pace and Arscott's looping pass to the right found Rennie who was able to dot down unopposed. Mieres duly obliged with the testing conversion attempt to put Exeter in front at 13-9.
Not surprisingly, Harlequins responded with some vigour and quickly regained the lead as first Evans slotted a fourth penalty, then the New Zealander slotted the extras to a try from Brown, who was able to stretch just enough to cross the line.
To their credit the Chiefs refused to lie down and when they won another penalty just yards from the home line, you sensed the moment had come for Baxter's braves to strike once more.
As it was in the first period a succession of scrums ensued, quickly followed by a plethora of pick-and-go moves from the Exeter pack. Harlequins were defiant in defence and after what seemed an age; their efforts were finally rewarded as they won the scrum back.
Such defence should be admired, although the Chiefs will no doubt have been left kicking themselves at allowing such a chance to go begging.
For Baxter and his troops the relentlessness of the Premiership shows no sign of abating and already they must quickly regroup ahead of this Saturday's visit of Gloucester to Sandy Park.
Pens: Evans 4
Pens: Mieres 2
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Seb Stegmann, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Chris Robshaw (captain), 5 George Robson, 4 Ollie Kohn, 3 James Johnston, 2 Chris Brooker, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Kyle Sinckler, 18 Tim Fairbrother, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 21 Richard Bolt, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Matt Hopper.
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Bryan Rennie, 13 Sireli Naqelevuki, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Ignacio Mieres, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 James Hanks, 4 Tom Hayes (captain), 3 John Andress, 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Neil Clark, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Hoani Tui, 19 Chris Bentley, 20 Ben White, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Josh Tatupu.
Referee: Sean Davey
Northampton Saints 44-15 Newcastle Falcons
A brace apiece from Tom May, Vasily Artemyev and Chris Ashton saw the Saints earn a first bonus point win of the Premiership season.
Friday's results meant that the Saints and Falcons went into the Premiership Round Seven match-up as neighbours in the league table, separated by just four points.
And this closeness was reflected in the opening exchanges. A quick pre-match shower may have made the pitch a touch greasy on top, but both teams showed a willingness to mix play between forwards and backs and earned their reward for respective fly halves, Ryan Lamb and Jimmy Gopperth.
The breakthrough came in the 13th minute, courtesy of the first genuine mistake of the game. The Falcons had done well to recover a miss-thrown lineout in their own 22, but when Chris Pilgrim dallied with the clearance it allowed the Saints defenders to get set.
Soane Tonga'uiha, who earlier had sparked the best move of the match thus far, provided an obstacle too large for Pilgrim to avoid, and when the ball was recovered by Phil Dowson the Saints had too many men out wide for anything but a try to come, Tom May crashing over.
Corne Uys, who had shown how dangerous he could be with ball in hand in the lead up to Gopperth's penalty, had come close to preventing May from scoring, but he was bypassed in the Saints' next dangerous attack at the end of the first quarter.
Again there was some great interplay with forwards and backs getting over the gain line, but while the Falcons held this one out the ever-increasing tide of black, green and gold was looking ominous for the Geordies. So when May reached over for his second try and a 15-3 lead it was nothing more than the Saints deserved.
Then having got themselves into this position of control the Saints began to unravel a touch. Two more penalties from Gopperth sandwiched a yellow card for Courtney Lawes - the second row falling foul of referee JP Doyle for a late shoulder charge on Jeremy Manning - and the visitors were also looking dangerously optimistic when Lamb wound up for one of his trademark long passes.
Nevertheless Falcons could only manage three more points while Lawes was off the field, Gopperth sending a drop goal between the sticks, and when the Saints piled on pressure with the final scrum of the half Lamb kicked his second penalty to send the teams in for their mid-match chat with Saints leading 18-12.
Having taken 13 minutes to breach the Falcons' rearguard in the first half the Saints took just 160 seconds after the break to cross for their third try. Again it showed the hosts' ability to take advantage of an opponent's mistake, Lamb going straight through the Falcons' midfield after Joe Graham had overthrown a lineout.
Jon Clarke was in support and although he could have gone for the line himself he unselfishly put the unmarked Vasily Artemyev over for his first Aviva Premiership Rugby try. The same combination gave Saints the bonus point 10 minutes later, but they owed their score to the forwards, who by now were well on top.
The power coming from the scrum in particular was immense, with the rolling maul not far behind. And while Gopperth tried his best to stem the tide with a penalty on the hour he was powerless to stop Chris Ashton scoring between the posts. Travis Perkins man of the match Lamb slotted the extras and the job was just about done.
There were 18 minutes still to play, however, and while the flurry of replacements made little difference to the direction of traffic it took until the 76th minute for the next try to come.
Again it came from a Falcons fumble, but Ashton's skill in picking up the ball off his bootlaces at pace was worth a score by itself, and his run in and swallow dive raised the roof - more than once, thanks to the big screen replays! - and put a nice shine on the final result.
Tries: May 2, Artemyev 2, Ashton 2
Cons: Lamb 3, Myler
Pens: Lamb 2
Pens: Gopperth 4
Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Jon Clarke, 12 Tom May, 11 Vasily Artemyev, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Phil Dowson, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Roger Wilson, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Stephen Myler, 23 Scott Armstrong.
Newcastle: 15 Jeremy Manning, 14 Luke Eves, 13 Corné Uys, 12 Jamie Helleur, 11 Rikki Sheriffe, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Chris Pilgrim, 8 Ally Hogg (captain), 7 Will Welch, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Andrew van der Heijden, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Joe Graham, 1 Grant Shiells.
Replacements: 16 Michael Mayhew, 17 Ashley Wells, 18 Dan Frazier, 19 Glen Townson, 20 Redford Pennycook, 21 Jordi Pasqualin, 22 Alex Tait, 23 Greg Goosen.
Referee: JP Doyle
Gloucester 17-19 Saracens
Saracens made it six wins from six in the Premiership with a 19-17 victory against Gloucester at Kingsholm.
Sarries trailed by eight points going into the final 10 minutes of the game until Owen Farrell struck a penalty and then the flyhalf created a try for Brad Barritt four minutes from time to win the game.
Saracens were 3-11 behind at the break after a blustery and wet opening 40 minutes at Kingsholm. Freddie Burns had kicked the home side into a 3-0 lead before Olly Morgan started and finished a move midway through the half for the opening try.
Charlie Hodgson hit back with a penalty on the half hour but another Burns kick just before the interval gave the home side an eight point lead going into the second half.
The opening 30 minutes of the second half turned out to be a battle of the boot with Owen Farrell twice striking penalties for the visitors while replacement Tim Taylor did the same to give Gloucester and eight point lead going into the final 10 minutes.
But Farrell struck a penalty with eight minutes left on the clock to set up an exciting finish – and what a finish it was.
Playing with a penalty advantage, Farrell's clever chip through deep inside the Gloucester 22 found the onrushing Brad Barritt who collected the ball and touched down under the posts. Farrell converted to give Sarries a 19-17 lead with just four minutes left on the clock.
It was a tense final four minutes but the Saracens defence held firm and when Steve Borthwick won a penalty with the clock on zero, the ball was cleared to touch and Saracens ended Gloucester's home record of 22 unbeaten matches.
Pens: Burns 2, Taylor 2
Pens: Hodgson, Farrell 3
Gloucester: 15 Olly Morgan, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 11 Jonny May, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Rory Lawson, 8 Luke Narraway (captain), 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Will James, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Tom Savage, 20 Peter Buxton, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Tim Taylor, 23 Mike Tindall.
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 David Strettle, 13 Owen Farrell, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 James Short, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (captain), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Deon Carstens, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Hayden Smith, 20 Andy Saull, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Chris Wyles, 23 Joe Maddock.
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
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