Quins close the gap at the top after thrilling bout of Premier 15s action

Sportsbeat
·3 min read
A hat-trick from England star Jess Breach inspired Harlequins to a 45-5 win over Sale Sharks © Action Images
A hat-trick from England star Jess Breach inspired Harlequins to a 45-5 win over Sale Sharks © Action Images

A thrilling Saturday of Premier 15s action featuring 274 points across five matches saw Harlequins move to within one point of Saracens at the top of the table.

Wasps pulled off a stunning win to shock the league leaders 26-24, and Quins took advantage with a resounding 45-5 success over Sale Sharks.

Elsewhere, Exeter Chiefs recorded their sixth straight win in style as they saw off DMP Durham Sharks 76-5 while Loughborough Lightning and Gloucester-Hartpury beat Worcester Warriors and Bristol Bears respectively.

But, the biggest winners of Round 13 were undoubtedly Gerard Mullen’s Quins side as their tenth win of the campaign edged them ever closer to their title rivals, inspired by a Jess Breach hat-trick.

The visitors were ahead in the 20th minute, Leanne Riley setting up Ellie Green for her first try of the season.

Elle Bloor then powered over to give Quins a 12-point lead at the break, before Breach’s second-half double secured the bonus point with 15 minutes to go.

There was still time for Breach to cross for her hat-trick, and Shaunagh Brown added her ninth try of the season.

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Katy Daley-Mclean did at least get Sale on the board with her score but Quins captain Abbie Ward put the cherry on top with a seventh try of the afternoon for the visitors.

The gap at the top has closed thanks to a brilliant victory for Wasps at Twyford Avenue.

An inspired Meg Jones stole the show, and she opened the scoring with a wonderful solo effort early on.

The Saracens pack responded quickly through May Campbell, but Jones hit two penalties to edge Wasps into a six-point lead.

Rocky Clark turned the tide for the visitors before half time and a line-out drive five minutes into the second half appeared to have Sarries heading for victory.

However, Abby Dow’s superb try showed that Wasps still had a sting left in them.

Saracens responded through a Marlie Packer try but Jones’ third penalty combined with another fantastic, converted Dow try saw the hosts grab an unbelievable victory over the two-time champions.

Exeter Chiefs are the form side in the league right now and they moved closer to the top four with a comprehensive win over DMP Durham Sharks, Louise Burgess scoring four tries.

Chiefs had three tries inside the opening 17 minutes thanks to Kate Zackary, Rachel Johnson and Burgess.

Merryn Doidge got in on the try-scoring act to secure the bonus point and then Burgess added two more to rack up a quick-fire hat-trick. Niamh Terry darted over just before half time to make it 45-0 at the break.

Taylor Black then scored Chiefs’ eighth try shortly after the restart, and Doidge added her second.

Either side of Emily Hunter’s reply for Durham, Burgess added a fourth try, while a Gabby Cantorna score and Johnson’s second completed a thoroughly impressive performance.

Loughborough Lightning are just four points off the top after they maintained their momentum with a 43-14 win over Worcester Warriors.

Leading try-scorer Lark Davies, Emma Hardy, Emily Scarratt, Olivia Jones, Abby Duguid and Helena Rowland all dotted down alongside a further driving maul score to earn a fourth straight win.

And Gloucester secured a sixth win of the season as they took the West Country derby with Bristol 36-0 thanks to tries from Natasha Hunt (2), Hannah Jones, Kelly Smith and Ellie Underwood (2).