It was the turn of Sale Sharks to suffer from the Quins' clinical finishing skills. Conor O'Shea's boys have now crossed the whitewash fifteen times in 240 minutes, and they've got fly half Nick Evans topping the leading point scoring charts with 49. The encouraging aspect from a Sharks' point of view was that, although their opponents increasingly came into the game as their front row dominated, there were just nine points between the teams with six minutes left. Then the visitors made two blunders which cost them fourteen points. Another worry for Sale Sharks must be that - notwithstanding the quality of their first three opponents - they're only mustered two tries, and one an interception breakaway at that.
Most eyes were on Saracens and Leicester Tigers who met at Wembley before a reported crowd of 41,063 and they had no tries at all about which to enthuse. It ended 9-9 and wasn't the kind of game to justify paying a TV subscription. Afterwards, Toby Flood and Richard Cockerill both used the word, "Disappointing", whilst Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall rued, "a day of missed opportunities."
There was another draw at Sixways, where Gloucester's Freddie Burns made it 16-all with an 80th minute penalty. Ironically, his team had conceded eleven penalties during the game, compared to Worcester's three. Warriors' boss Richard Hill seemed pleased with his side's performance. "We played well with ball in hand and our defence was much improved. We've got to learn to be a bit more composed and finish chances off," he said. It was a second home draw at Sixways out of two.
London Irish are at the foot of the table overnight, after they went down 43-14 to the Wasps in the 'Thames Valley Derby'. The Irish have shipped forty points or more in all three games so far. An immaculate 23-point debut for fly half Stephen Jones and four tries for a bonus point at Adams Park left home Director of Rugby Dai Young saying, "Stephen brings the experience and a calm head, and everybody knows Joe Simpson's a real threat in open play."
Back to tries, Northampton Saints didn't score any at Bath on Friday evening, but kicked 18 points to overcome the home side by four points. Full back Ben Foden hobbled off after rolling an ankle in a bad landing.
Sale Sharks' opponents next Friday, London Welsh took on Exeter Chiefs at the Kassam on Sunday afternoon. London Welsh secured their first ever Premiership points with a 25-24 victory after a hard-fought display. Tries from Luke Arscott and Matt Jess, which were both converted by Ignacio Mieres, gave Chiefs an early lead. Welsh were then awarded a penalty try by referee Pearson before Nick Scott went over and Gordon Ross's penalty put them 15-14 ahead.
Richard Baxter put Chiefs back in front but, after an exchange of penalties, Alfie To'oala reduced the deficit and Seb Jewell added a winning conversion.
Next Aviva Premiership home game at Salford City Stadium will be Sale Sharks v London Welsh, on Friday 21st September (kick off 8.00pm). Buy tickets online or ring 08444 994 994.