Steenson stars as Chiefs cut the gap, Wasps march on


Gareth Steenson reached the landmark of 1,000 Premiership points in a 27-17 victory for Exeter Chiefs over Bath that leaves them just three points behind leaders Saracens.

Champions Sarries were held to an entertaining 36-36 draw at Sale Sharks on Saturday and Steenson starred as the Chiefs seized the opportunity to close the gap a day later at Sandy Park.

Rob Baxter's men were not at their best, but 16 points from the trusty boot of fly-half Steenson gave them a 10th Premiership win of what is proving to be another hugely impressive season and inflicted a ninth loss on struggling Bath.

The home side led 16-7 at half-time thanks to three penalties from Steenson and a converted Ian Whitten try, with an Amanaki Mafi try just before the break giving Bath hope.

Japan number eighth Mafi went over again following another well-worked line-out move and Tom Homer added the extras for a second time to reduce the deficit to two points.

Bath then lost Max Lahiff to the sin-bin and the Chiefs, boosted by the return of England forward Dave Ewers from a knee injury, went on to see out a victory that was sealed when Kai Horstmann crashed over in the closing stages to enable Steenson to reach four figures in Premiership rugby. 

In-form Wasps stretched their winning streak to six matches with a ruthless 41-10 bonus-point hammering of Harlequins at the Ricoh Arena.

Dai Young's third-placed side produced a dominant first-half display and led 21-5 at the interval thanks to tries from Jake Cooper-Woolley, Christian Wade and Nathan Hughes - all three converted by Jimmy Gopperth.

Luke Wallace crossed for Quins' only points of the first half and another try from Charlie Walker made it 21-10, but Thomas Young claimed the bonus-point try before further scores from Siale Piutau and Brendan Macken added insult to injury.

Jean de Villiers scored a try on his home debut as Leicester Tigers ended a three-game losing run in style by dishing out a 47-20 hammering to bottom club London Irish at Welford Road.

Adam Thompstone also scored two of the Tigers' seven tries in a bonus-point rout that moved them above Quins and rivals Northampton Saints into fourth place.