Quins too strong for Saints

Harlequins remain top of the Aviva Premiership following an 18-9 victory over Northampton at Franklin's Gardens.

With England boss Stuart Lancaster watching in the stands, the persistent rain made it an attritional game as Nick Evans kicked all of Quins' points, with his sixth penalty being the last kick of the game to deny Northampton a losing bonus point.

Northampton's points came through two penalties from Stephen Myler and one from Ryan Lamb. But they will be ruing a first-half Ben Foden try being ruled out for a forward pass, which replays showed was wrongly called by the touch judge.

Charlie Hodgson steered Saracens to a crushing 22-0 victory over Bath with a masterly performance in treacherous conditions at the Recreation Ground.

The fly-half kicked five penalties and set up a try for half-back partner Richard Wigglesworth with the one moment of magic in the game - before adding the conversion for good measure.

Leicester were unconvincing but ultimately ran out 31-9 winners over struggling London Irish at the Madejski Stadium thanks to two tries from Niall Morris.

The Tigers built up an early lead and seemed in control but they allowed a battling Irish side a foothold in the game through three penalties from Ian Humphreys.

A penalty from Toby Flood, who contributed 11 points, and two late converted tries gave Leicester a flattering final scoreline in their favour.

Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns kicked six penalties to lead his side to an 18-16 victory over Exeter at Kingsholm.

Visiting hooker Simon Alcott scored the only try of a cracking clash, converted by fly-half Gareth Steenson who also added three penalties.

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