Leicester sent off Aaron Mauger in fine style with a thrilling win at Franklin’s Gardens yesterday.
Departing head coach Mauger was told this week that he had been replaced as the top man at Tigers by Matt O’Connor but he stayed on to mastermind their thrilling 36-31 Aviva Premiership win over Northampton.
The Tigers shipped three tries in the first half to Saints as Nafi Tuitavake, Ahsee Tuala and Louis Picamoles, pictured, all went over.
But they rolled up their sleeves and turned the tide in the second half, Ben Youngs and Lachlan McCaffrey adding to a first-half try from Adam Thompstone. And in the end it was Owen Williams who held his nerve with two late penalties to seal victory and give Mauger the perfect send-off.
Elsewhere, England’s returning big guns shone for Harlequins in the Twickenham Stoop sunshine in their 53-17 rout of Newcastle.
Former England captain Chris Robshaw missed the entirety of the Six Nations with a shoulder injury but returned yesterday and helped inspire the south-west Londoners to their biggest league win of the season.
Sonatane Takulua had put Falcons ahead, but after Quins came roaring back through Rob Buchanan, man-of-the-match Mike Brown, and Joe Marchant to lead 27-10 at the interval, Marland Yarde secured the bonus point two minutes into the second half.
Mathew Luamanu, Danny Care, and Tim Swiel also scored for the hosts as they clicked through the gears, meaning Mark Wilson’s try was no more than a consolation for the visitors.
Exeter Chiefs edged to a 30-25 bonus point win over visitors Sale Sharks at Sandy Park, overturning a 19-5 deficit thanks to tries from Kai Horstmann, Olly Woodburn, Don Armand and Luke Cowan-Dickie.