Saracens crush Northampton as Leicester stun Bath

Saracens' coach from Northern Ireland Mark McCall, whose team crushed Northampton in the English Premiership, is seen here ahead of the European Rugby Union Champions Cup match between Clermont and Saracens at The Michelin Stadium in December, 2017

London (AFP) – Saracens bounced back from their Champions Cup exit with a crushing 63-13 victory against Northampton in the English Premiership on Saturday as Leicester boosted their play-off-hopes with victory against Bath.

Mark McCall’s men scored nine tries, taking their tally against Northampton this season to 33 in just four matches. They have racked up a half-century of points on each occasion.

There were nine separate scorers, with Alex Lozowski, Schalk Brits, Ben Spencer, Mako Vunipola, Liam Williams, Chris Wyles, Sean Maitland, Jackson Wray and Nathan Earle all going over.

Northampton were well in the game at half-time, trailing just 15-13, with Reece Marshall having bagged a try on his first Premiership start.

But second-placed Saracens turned the screw in the second half, recovering from their European quarter-final defeat at Leinster with a stunning showing.

Leicester, playing at Twickenham, scored two tries in the last seven minutes to carry them to a 34-19 win against Bath.

With six minutes left, Leicester took a crucial lead as Sam Harrison thrust himself over for his side’s bonus-point touchdown, converted by George Ford.

And the win was confirmed as Telusa Veainu went through a gap for Leicester’s fifth try that Ford converted to leave Bath needing a miracle to reach the play-offs this season.

Leicester moved up to third with three games to play while Bath are stuck in eighth.

Newcastle’s play-off hopes suffered a setback as Worcester came from behind to stun them 27-13 at Sixways.

The visitors dropped out of the top four and trail Wasps in the final play-off position by two points.

Piet van Zyl scored two tries as an excellent all-round display from London Irish gave them a 35-5 victory over Harlequins at the Stoop — just their third win of the Premiership season.

But the Exiles remain rooted to the foot of the table and would likely need to win their final three matches to stand any chance of avoiding an immediate return to the Championship.