After Exeter Chiefs’ loss to Gloucester the day before,both Wasps and Leicester Tigers took advantage to move ahead of them in theAviva Premiership table yesterday as both recorded home victories. Wasps gofourth and Leicester sit just behind them in fifth, with Exeter a further pointback now in sixth as the race for the end of season play-off places hots up.

Wasps 41 Sale 16

Waspsenjoyed a relatively comfortable afternoon in their new surroundings at theRicoh Arena with a 41-16 win against Sale, outscoring their opponents on thetry count by five to one.

Their new home venue is fast becoming a good ‘omen’for them as they also took yet another bonus point to help in their leaguebattle in the top six, this being the third league win in a row as their seasonstarts to gain momentum. Besides a brace of tries for Joe Simpson, JamesHaskell, Ashley Johnson and Nathan Hughes all got in on the try-scoring act asthe points were racked up for the home side. Not to be left out, Andy Goodeenjoyed another productive match with 16 points scored from his trusty boot.

For once, Danny Cipriani could not rally the Sale side,but they at least managed to score a try of their own late on from AndreiOstrikov, which Cipriani converted.

Leicester 17 Bath 8

Thiswas sweet revenge for the Tigers after being blitzed in the reverse fixture byBath earlier in the season in an ignominious 45-0 defeat. Their winning marginat Welford Road was nowhere near as flattering but could prove decisive for theirown hopes of success come the end of the season, besides putting a temporary hold on Bath’schallenge at the top with Northampton.

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A packed crowd of around 24,000 sawLeicester utilise their set piece as has traditionally been their strength downthe years, with a typically ferocious catch-and-drive from a line-out allowingTom Youngs’ to ultimately go over for a try. Home side momentum was maintainedthrough the boot of Owen Williams, who converted four penalties to push hisside into a commanding lead. Bath did score a try of their own through RossBatty, to add to England prospect George Ford’s penalty, but when Ford missedthe conversion of the try, their hopes of a losing bonus point were dashed.

Bathstay six points behind leaders Northampton Saints after the reversal, withSaracens a further four points back in third in the table.

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