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Summary

  1. Exeter run in 10 tries to beat Harlequins and secure home semi-final
  2. Saracens, Exeter, Wasps and Leicester finish in Premiership play-offs
  3. Semi-final line-up: Saracens v Leicester and Exeter v Wasps
  4. Northampton and Sale secure two remaining Champions Cup places

Live Reporting

By Louise Gwilliam and Andrew Aloia

All times stated are UK

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That's all from us

So, on the final afternoon of the Premiership, Sale Sharks were today's big winners as their victory over Newcastle Falcons saw them secure the final European Champions Cup place.

Exeter's hammering of Harlequins handed them a home semi-final and left the London outfit having to pick up the pieces ahead of next Friday's Challenge Cup final against Montpelier.

Here's the line-up for the play-off semi-finals:

Saracens v Leicester

Exeter v Wasps

We'll be back next weekend to bring you all the action from Quins' European cup final - and we'll see you in two weeks time for the play-offs.

Sale Sharks
Getty Images

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FT: Bath 38-27 Leicester

Tigers fans #havingaparty at today's game in Bath and sending our best to @LCFC 🐯🐺🏆 #BATvLEI

Tigers fans #havingaparty at today's game in Bath and sending our best to @LCFC 🐯🐺🏆 #BATvLEI

Get Involved via #bbcrugby

FT: Newcastle 15-21 Sale

It wasn't pretty but Sale did just enough. Players in celebrating with fans. Superb season for them #bbcrugby

It wasn't pretty but Sale did just enough. Players in celebrating with fans. Superb season for them #bbcrugby

Euro party for English clubs...

Schalk Brits thumbs up for Saracens
Getty Images

Saracens canter into the Premiership play-offs with one very wide eye on the biggest prize in European rugby - the Champions Cup.

The Londoners fell at the semi-final stage in Europe last year, but went on to win the Premiership grand final. This year, it is all about the double as they face French side Racing 92 in Lyon in a weeks' time.

Oh, but that is not all because there is another tasty Anglo-French showdown in the European Challenge Cup final with Harlequins taking on Montpellier on Friday at the same Grand Stade de Lyon venue. Action-packed stuff for the locals of Lyon then.

For Quins, European silverware will put a nice shine of what has been another uneventful domestic campaign - until today, anyhow.

FT: Harlequins 24-62 Exeter

That wasn't us. We should be embarrassed and I'm bitterly disappointed. To bow out this season like this is not the way to do it. But we have a second chance next week. We'll front up and put in a performance that's more us.

Conor O'SheaHarlequins director of rugby

Sale secure Champions Cup spot

FT: Around the grounds

And we have results in from the other six matches.

  • Bath 38-27 Leicester
  • Gloucester 20-28 Northampton
  • Worcester 19-43 Saracens
  • Wasps 38-12 London Irish
  • Newcastle 12-21 Sale

What that means is that Sale finish in the top six and get a Champions Cup spot as a reward. Northampton end their campaign fifth in the table.

Victory for Wasps is not enough to finish second after Exeter won big.

Bath end the season with victory against a Leicester side that was already assured of a play-off spot.

Full-time

Harlequins 24-62 Exeter

An unbelievable scoreline as Exeter put 10 tries past Harlequins. The Chiefs secure a home semi-final in the last game of the season as Quins slip out of the Champions Cup places.

Not how Conor O'Shea wanted to end his time in the Premiership with Harlequins and a tough day for his side. They'll be hugely disappointed with that performance but they have to look ahead to next week now.

Remember, if they win the Challenge Cup they'll secure a Champions Cup spot for next season.

FT and Harlequins suffer a heavy defeat at the hands of Exeter.

FT and Harlequins suffer a heavy defeat at the hands of Exeter.

Harlequins 24-62 Exeter

We've got just over a minute left at The Stoop as Harlequins come back for the penalty. They're chipping away at the Exeter line but yet again a brilliant turnover by the Chiefs and that could be that.

What could have been?

Clive Eakin

BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Sport

"A crowd of 16,902 at the Ricoh Arena… How many might have come to a semi-final here?"

Victory for Wasps today against London Irish is not to see them finish second as Exeter have that tied up with a big win over Harlequins.

Harlequins 24-62 Exeter

Marlon Yarde is bundled into touch and Harlequins are denied their bonus-point score. But with Sale now six points ahead, things are looking desperate for the home side.

Around the grounds

Sale are on track to securing a top-six finish as they continue to lead Newcastle 18-15. There are errors from both sides. It's riveting if not enthralling stuff at Kingtson Park.

There have been two quick tries at the Ricoh Arena with Dan Robson and Josh Bassett going in for Wasps to help make it 33-12 against Championship-bound London Irish.

A quick breakdown elsewhere and Bath, Saracens and Northampton all still lead their respective games.

Try (Salvi, con Steenson)

Harlequins 24-62 Exeter

Exeter celebrate
Rex Features

A lengthy look from the TMO but there's no knock-on and the try is awarded. Julian Salvi with Exeter's 10th try.

Try (Stanley, con Botica)

Harlequins 24-55 Exeter

A lovely initial break from Joe Marchant who gets support from Ben Botica and Chris Robshaw before Winston Stanley crosses for a defiant try. 

Harlequins 17-55 Exeter

Chiefs go in search of try number 10 of the afternoon. It sounds farcical even saying that. What has happened here at The Stoop?

Around the grounds

England captain Dylan Hartley takes the field for Northampton and it's the first action he has seen for seven weeks after suffering concussion against France in the Six Nations. It has actually been 15 weeks since the hooker last featured for Northampton.

He joins the action with Saints 28-20 up against Gloucester.

Meanwhile, Chris Aston has grabbed a hat-trick for Saracens as they now lead Worcester 43-14. Elsewhere, Bath are holding off Leicester 31-27, Wasps are 21-12 in front against London Irish still. Sale Sharks are working hard as they maintain an 18-15 advantage against Newcastle.

Try (Slade, missed con Steenson)

Harlequins 17-55 Exeter

This is horrible for Quins. Their defence has dissolved. Another simple try for Chiefs and you start to fear for Harlequins next week in Lyon. Can they recover psychologically? 

Try (Chudley, con Steenson)

Harlequins 17-50 Exeter

Sharp work from the scrum-half who goes over for their fifth try in 22 minutes. The half-century comes up for the Chiefs and this is not the result or preparation Harlequins would've wanted.

Harlequins 17-43 Exeter

Can Newcastle be Quins' saviours? The latest is that they only trail by three points against Sale and they're the only hope Harlequins have at the moment. 

Exeter have destroyed their defence here at The Stoop and they're now dominating at the scrum too.

Around the grounds

Sale Sharks
Getty Images

Sale have the television match official to thank right now as Alex Tait's effort for Newcastle is chalked out after a review. All about downward pressure, that. Sharks still lead 18-15. A defeat would make things awkward for the Sharks because it then becomes a question of points difference and no one wants that.

Meanwhile, it really is very much as you were everywhere else. Bath lead Leicester 31-22, Northampton are still 28-20 up against Gloucester, there haven't been any points in the second half at Ricoh Arena where the hosts lead London Irish 21-7. And Saracens, well they are just coasting at 36-14 against Worcester.

Try (Dollman, con Steenson)

Harlequins 17-43 Exeter

How easy was that? Mitch Lees runs a great decoy line which gives Phil Dollman all the space. He turns on the burners and saunters through the Quins defence. 

59 Try Chiefs @philldollman pins his ears back and goes over from 20m out

59 Try Chiefs @philldollman pins his ears back and goes over from 20m out

Around the grounds

Wasps v London Irish
Getty Images

Right, things are getting turned on their head a little right now. Newcastle captain Nili Latu is in for a hat-trick for Falcons and it's 15-15 against Sale. A Joe Ford penalty, however, edges Sharks ahead 18-15.

Things are going a good deal better for Northampton, as a second George North try and two Stephen Myler penalties put Saints 28-20 up against Gloucester. They are parked in fifth spot right now.

At The Rec, Bath take the lead against against Leicester with Francois Louw's tying it up before George Ford knocked over the extras to make it 24-22.

Elsewhere, Saracens are going it easy 36-14 against Worcester.

Try (Sinckler, con Botica)

Harlequins 17-36 Exeter

But Quins are not finished yet. Kyle Sinckler with a spin and acceleration to beat the Chiefs defence. And he sprints all the way back to the half-way line. He's not giving in.

Try (Nowell, con Steenson)

Harlequins 10-36 Exeter

Jack Nowell
Rex Features

Jack Nowell with his hat-trick. Exeter have been a joy to watch this afternoon... If you're not a Quins fan.

Harlequins 10-29 Exeter

Chiefs ring the substitutions and they're confident of that home semi-final now. I suspect a few other teams will begin the subs too with Exeter cemented in second. 

Try (Short, con Steenson)

Harlequins 10-29 Exeter

A really good finish from Short who rounds a couple of props on the wing but the winger has too much gas and dives over the line. Harlequins look dead on their feet here.

Harlequins 10-22 Exeter

Nick Easter
Getty Images

Well Quins are showing spirit. A great passing move as Jamie Roberts finds Marlon Yarde on the wing but his offload back inside is deflected by Chiefs and the Harlequins attack comes to an end.

A few minutes of frantic play as the game opens up but Yarde steadies the ship with a huge clearing kick.

Around the grounds

Black clouds and angry April (storm) showers hit Kingsholm. Is it going to be a stormy end to the season for Northampton? As it stands, even though Saints are 20-15 down against Gloucester, they will finish in the top six. Harlequins, however, can pip them to a Champions Cup place if they can battle back against Exeter.

The only second-half score elsewhere in the Premiership has come at The Rec, with Ollie Devoto getting Bath back to within two points of Leicester at 19-17.

Harlequins 10-22 Exeter

Tom May

Ex-Newcastle centre on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

That's absolute quality. That's what England coach Eddie Jones has come to see - to see Henry Slade serve up balls like that. That's a really difficult skill and there aren't many people who can execute it like Slade can.

Try (Nowell, missed con Steenson)

Harlequins 10-22 Exeter

Just too good. Henry Slade with a superb ball out to Jack Nowell, who glides over the line. Perfect pass, perfect finish. Perfect ending for Chiefs?

Exeter Chiefs have scored four and it's a long way back now for Quins.

Kick-off

Harlequins 10-17 Exeter

Chiefs are on course here for a home semi-final at Sandy Park but there's no doubt Quins will have something to say about that. 

They've got 40 minutes to turn this around and fight for that final European Champions Cup place.

Sale bagged two first-half tries against Newcastle and will restart with a five-point lead - how will Quins respond here at The Stoop?

bbc-coverageOn the wireless

HT: Harlequins 10-17 Exeter

While we wait to get stuck back in to our six second halves around the country, it's worth reminding you that you can listen to both BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and BBC local radio commentary of today's action.

Just use the audio icon or pop up to the 'Live Coverage' tab to select your choice of listening.

RPA player of the year list

HT: Harlequins 10-17 Exeter

Tom May

Ex-Newcastle centre on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

On the fact that no Saracens players were shortlisted for the Rugby Player's Association player of the year award: "I did find it very bizarre and I felt sorry for the Saracens lads - names such as Billy Vunipola, Owen Farrell and Alex Goode. 

"I think the way they've gone about things has maybe ruffled a few feathers. But actually, they're just trying to move the game forward. You don't see many players go to Saracens and leave, and that's because of the environment they're trying to create.

"I think it's pretty unfair that there are no Saracens players on that list."

Tom May on commentary
BBC Sport

Were they 344 award-winning minutes?

HT: Harlequins 10-17 Exeter

Andy Goode in action for Newcastle
Getty Images

Have you ever heard the one about the fly-half who came out of retirement and was nominated for one of the game's biggest individual honours?

No? Well, then you have not read the story about how Andy Goode is on the Rugby Players' Association player of the year shortlist, despite playing only 344 minutes in the Premiership for Newcastle this season - having, of course, come out of retirement for a three-month stint.

Wowzer, you say. Well, at 36 Goode is still, well... Good, I guess.

Read the full story here.

Half time

Harlequins 10-17 Exeter

Jack Nowell
Getty Images

So, despite conceding three tries in the first half, Harlequins go into the break with just a seven-point deficit. But, with Sale on course for victory against Newcastle, they'll need a huge final 40 to secure that sixth spot.

Jack Nowell has been devastating in attack for the Chiefs and Jamie Roberts has missed a fair few tackles. His side need to contain Exeter and cut out the errors to give Conor O'Shea a proper send-off.

Around the grounds

Half-time scores from across the land:

  • Gloucester 20-15 Northampton
  • Wasps 21-7 London Irish
  • Warriors 14-29 Saracens
  • Newcastle 10-15 Sale
  • Bath 10-19 Leicester
HALF-TIME: Warriors 14-29 Saracens #COYW

HALF-TIME: Warriors 14-29 Saracens #COYW

Try (Care, con Evans)

Harlequins 10-17 Exeter

And Quins will have something to celebrate over their half-time oranges. Marlon Yarde with a huge pass out wide to Danny Care, who gives his side hope. They're back to within seven at the break. 

Harlequins 3-17 Exeter

An outstanding defensive scrum from Harlequins right on their line. Great work ethic from Mark Lambert, who gets his side out of a tight spot and they'll try one last attack before the break.

But inevitably, it ends in an error. A frustrating half for Quins.

Around the grounds

Billy Twelvetrees
Getty Images

Now for an as-it-stands update for European Champions Cup places.

If all stays as it is, the big winners will be Sale Sharks as they lead Newcastle 15-10. And, though Northampton are 13-8 down against Gloucester after Lloyd Evans' try for the Cherry and Whites, Saints will still finish sixth.

As for Quins, well as you can gather they are heading for a seventh-placed finish.

Now for some other score updates, as Saracens reclaim a slender 15-14 lead against Worcester thanks to Chris Asthon's try. 

Wasps' Charles Piutau adds a second try and they lead 16-7 against London Irish.

And, at The Rec, Leicester are up 19-10 now against Bath.

Harlequins 3-17 Exeter

Harlequins with a lot of pressure here but they just can't seem to find a way through. The ball is lost forward and the fans let out a collective groan. 

Exeter with a quick break and Ross Chisholm collects the deep kick. His head, shoulder and foot did look to have been in touch but the officials didn't spot that one. A let off.

Harlequins 3-17 Exeter

Jamie Roberts
Rex Features

The players won't know it but it's more bad news for Harlequins as Sale Sharks have a 10-point lead over Newcastle. Quins started solidly at The Stoop, but Exeter have been the far more exciting team. 

Six minutes to the break and Danny Care makes a half-break but is hauled down by Henry Slade.