Exeter extended their advantage as Aviva Premiership leaders and took another major step towards a home play-off by subduing Saracens 24-12 at Sandy Park.

A top-of-the-table clash – despite both sides being deprived numerous players through injuries and international commitments – did not disappoint.

Chiefs fly-half Joe Simmonds – younger brother of England back-row forward Sam Simmonds, who featured off the bench after suffering a shoulder injury three weeks ago – kicked four penalties and provided a key assist for full-back Phil Dollman’s try.

Exeter’s superior scrum was rewarded with a second-half penalty try, while Saracens claimed touchdowns from flanker Ben Earl and centre Marcelo Bosch, with scrum-half Ben Spencer converting Earl’s 33rd-minute touchdown

Tom Cruse’s 76th minute charge-down try enabled Wasps to seal a nervy 24-16 home win over London Irish.

Wasps claimed three tries to the visitors’ two, but were pushed all the way by opponents who produced a spirited second-half display.

As a result, Dai Young’s team are unbeaten in their most recent four-match block of Premiership action, and have climbed above Newcastle and Saracens into second place with five rounds of regular season action remaining.

After Irish’s Greig Tonks was wide with a 40-metre penalty attempt, they also lost hooker David Paice to the sin-bin for an obstruction on Guy Thompson.

And the home side took full advantage of their temporary numerical superiority to drive Cruse over from a close-range line-out.

Danny Cipriani added the conversion, after which the visitors twice failed to convert field position into points

England prop Kyle Sinckler was among the try scorers as Harlequins claimed their first Aviva Premiership victory of 2018 with a hard-fought 20-5 success over Bath.

It ends a four-game losing streak in the league for Quins, who were much-improved defensively in a match which was admittedly short of top quality.

While they can hope to use this result as the start of a better run of form, the loss is a damaging one for Bath’s play-off hopes, as they remained five points adrift of the top four following a wasteful display.

Fly-half Demetri Catrakilis made just his second start of the season for Harlequins after his recovery from a throat injury, while Bath were able to welcome back Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau.

Leicester kept alive their hopes of an Aviva Premiership play-off place with a convincing 34-5 win over Worcester at Sixways.

Tigers’ bonus-point success lifted them to within three points of Newcastle, who occupy fourth position with five league games remaining.

The impressive Telusa Veainu scored two tries for Leicester, with Jonah Holmes, Greg Bateman and Manu Tuilagi each grabbing one and Matt Toomua converting three and kicking a penalty.

Worcester’s best player, flanker Alafoti Faosiliva, scored the home side’s try but it came in an error-ridden team performance.

Fortunately for them, London Irish’s defeat means the gap at the bottom remains at 12 points.

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Missing teenager Ashleigh Fair found in Paddington

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Missing teenager Ashleigh Fair found in Paddington

Missing teenager Ashleigh Fair found in Paddington 4 March 2018 Image copyright Thames Valley Police Image caption Ashleigh Fair was...

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