Gallagher Premiership: Finn Russell’s strong Bath start goes on as Magnus Bradbury scores twice for Bristol

Finn Russell’s strong start at Bath continued as the Scotland stand-off helped his team record an impressive 25-16 triumph over defending Gallagher Premiership champions Saracens at StoneX Stadium, sending them to the top of the table by one points after two rounds of fixtures

Russell made his debut last weekend off the bench in the home win over Newcastle Falcons and was handed a start at fly-half. While an early chip was charged down to allow Sarries to open the scoring through Scottish flanker Andy Christie, Russell redeemed himself, deceiving the onrushing Sarries defence with a stunning offload to feed Tom de Glanville for Bath’s first try of the match. In windy conditions, Russell kicked five points, while fellow Scot Ruaridh McConnochie scored a try.

At Welford Road on Saturday, captain Rob du Preez’s individual try allowed Sale Sharks to make it back-to-back wins in the league as they defeated Leicester Tigers 24-17. The Sharks controlled the majority of proceedings, only to be pegged back by Ollie Hassell-Collins’ excellent finish in what was an entertaining encounter between two of last season’s top-four teams.

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Scottish back-row Magnus Bradbury scored two tries as Bristol Bears roared back from 11 points down to beat Northampton 33-27 and bag a second successive win at the start of the Gallagher Premiership season. The Bears had fallen 19-8 down at cinch Stadium but 10 points in the final two minutes of the first half set them up for a big second period. Tommy Freeman did extend the Northampton lead briefly with a bonus-point try just after the break, but Max Lahiff and Harry Thacker went over to secure a fine Bristol success.

Magnus Bradbury scored two stries for Bristol Bears. Magnus Bradbury scored two stries for Bristol Bears.
Magnus Bradbury scored two stries for Bristol Bears. | Getty Images

On Sunday, Harlequins picked up their first league win of the Gallagher Premiership season with a hard-fought 22-14 victory over Exeter at the Stoop. There was little between the sides but the hosts had slightly more attacking flair than their opponents as Jarrod Evans and Luke Northmore possessed more ideas in how to break stubborn defences.

In the Friday night match, Gloucester made it two wins from two with a nervy 18-14 victory over Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park.

Weekend results: Newcastle Falcons 14-18 Gloucester, Saracens 16-25 Bath, Northampton Saints 27-33 Bristol, Leicester Tigers 17-24 Sale Sharks, Harlequins 22-14 Exeter Chiefs.

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