Full-back Anthony Watson scored two tries in the space of three second-half minutes as Bath enhanced their play-off prospects with a thrilling 27-21 win over Leicester Tigers in front of more than 62,000 fans at Twickenham.
The Tigers had raced out to an early 12-point lead courtesy of scores from Brendon O’Connor and Telusa Veainu and, although Jonathan Joseph replied in kind, Todd Blackadder’s men still found themselves trailing 18-13 with only 15 minutes left.
A superb break from Taulupe Faletau led to Watson’s first score, however, and the England man then crossed again moments after Leicester had been reduced to 14 men when JP Pietersen was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on.
Bath’s Beno Obano joined Pietersen in the bin late on, but the West Country side hung on to seal a first win in four Premiership outings and join their fourth-placed opponents on 52 points.
Exeter Chiefs moved level on points with leaders Wasps and made sure of a play-off spot as they battled to a hard-fought 38-34 victory over rock-bottom Bristol.
Thomas Waldrom scored two of the Chiefs’ five tries, while Gavin Henson contributed 19 of the visitors’ points at Sandy Park with a try and six successful kicks.
Reigning champions Saracens also confirmed their place in the play-offs after they turned on the style at Wembley to secure a 40-19 bonus-point win over London rivals Harlequins.
A crowd of over 72,000 saw Chris Ashton, Schalk Brits, Alex Goode and Michael Rhodes all find the line for Mark McCall’s men as they chalked up a fourth sucessive Premiership win.
A late converted try from Australian lock James Horwill and four penalties from Nick Evans was all that Harlequins could muster and they remain sixth.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now