Chiefs extend unbeaten run to keep pressure on Wasps
Exeter Chiefs kept the pressure on Premiership leaders Wasps with an impressive 34-15 bonus-point victory over Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.
A powerful first-half display proved crucial in sending Rob Baxter's side one point behind Wasps, who take on Bath at The Rec on Saturday, extending their unbeaten league run to 10 matches with an eighth win in that span.
Michele Rizzo's touchdown gave Leicester an early advantage, but Kai Horstmann responded in kind and a penalty try in the 24th minute, which saw Tom Youngs receive a yellow card, was converted by Henry Slade to put Exeter 17-8 up.
Stuart Townsend also crossed for the Chiefs before Slade brought the half to a close with a successful penalty, but Maxime Mermoz's effort galvanised the Tigers after the restart.
Despite Geoff Parling being sin-binned with Exeter coming under increasing pressure inside their own 22, Mitch Lees powered over for the visitors and Slade completed an individual 14-point haul by adding the extras.
Northampton Saints moved to within three points of Leicester thanks to replacement prop Ethan Waller's 80th-minute try securing a 32-12 bonus-point win over Sale Sharks.
Saints assumed control in the first half and scores from Ken Pisi and Michael Paterson turned their dominance into points.
Josh Charnley crossed for his first Premiership try since his code switch from Wigan Warriors, but the Sharks were unable to mount a successful comeback, with Waller racing over beyond the 80th minute to compound their misery.