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Summary

  1. FT: Harlequins 21-19 Bristol
  2. FT: Saracens 35-3 Worcester
  3. Burger scores on Saracens debut
  4. FT: Northampton 14-18 Bath
  5. Bath's Faletau injured on debut

Live Reporting

By Phil Shepka, Louise Gwilliam and Connie Morgan

All times stated are UK

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Saturday night fever

Tom Varndell
Getty Images

It was a soggy afternoon at Twickenham, but pre-match favourites Saracens and Harlequins fought off the wind and rain to secure victories against possible relegation rivals Worcester and Bristol.

Bristol made their return to the top flight after a seven-year absence, and despite falling short of the mark, showed glimpses of brilliance. They'll be a welcome addition to the Premiership.

Meanwhile, at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton waited too long to stage a comeback and George Ford helped Bath to a narrow victory.

So as summer seems to have come to an abrupt end, we'll leave you there to enjoy your Saturday night.

BUT, we're back tomorrow with more live action - Wasps v Exeter (15:00 BST). See you then.

'We made too many mistakes'

FT: Harlequins 21-19 Bristol

Andy Robinson
Getty Images

Andy Robinson talking to BT Sport:

"It was a tough pre-season and we had to answer a lot of questions in this game. But the players stood up.

"It was difficult to play in those conditions. We couldn’t keep enough possession inside their third and we turned the ball over too often.

"Quins controlled the game with their maul, which got them back into the game and we gave away two many penalties.

"We need to make sure we have better discipline."

Super Saturday

Here's a reminder of all of today's Premiership action -

Saracens 35-3 Worcester

Saracens began their Premiership title defence of their with an easy victory over Worcester in the first game of the day at Twickenham.

Northampton 14-18 Bath

George Ford's boot gave Bath victory over Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens in Todd Blackadder's first league match in charge of the visitors.  

Harlequins 21-19 Bristol

And in the second game of the London double header, Bristol's return to the Premiership ended in defeat after Harlequins came from behind to snatch victory.

Faletau injury update

Faletau
Getty Images

New Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder may have seen his team win his first game in charge at Northampton, but has some concern over number eight Taulupe Faletau.

The Wales international was taken off early with an injury at Franklin's Garden and Blackadder has given us a little update.

"It sounds like a little bit of a medial (ligament), so we'll just wait and see," he told BBC Radio Bristol.

They will be hoping it's not too serious.

'We showed good resolve to come back in the first half'

FT: Harlequins 21-19 Bristol

Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans talking on BT Sport:

"This is what you get when you train for nine weeks in beautiful sunshine, then you turn up to HQ and it rains.

"We got a scrappy win, not good enough for our standards but hopefully we will bounce back again next week.

"We played ridiculously in the first 35 minutes. But you've got to give Bristol credit. They came out of the blocks and they were really physical.

"We got a bit of momentum when they gave away some penalties. In the changing room at half time we said play simple rugby and we just got over the line."

'Lacklustre from Harlequins'

FT: Harlequins 21-19 Bristol

Mike Ford

Former Bath head coach on BBC Radio 5 live

"In the end, Bristol lacked more than one kicker on the field. They couldn't really get enough field position in the second half.

"I thought it was a little bit lacklustre from Harlequins but it's the first game of the season. They didn't play the conditions well and will need to look at that."

Full-time

Harlequins 21-19 Bristol

Harlequins make it over the line after a mixed performance at Twickenham.

Bristol claim a losing bonus point but they'll be disappointed with that result. 

They scored some lovely tries but their discipline let them down this afternoon.

FT and Harlequins hold on to win the first match of their historic 150th season #COYQ

FT and Harlequins hold on to win the first match of their historic 150th season #COYQ

'Bristol will add to the Premiership'

Harlequins 21-19 Bristol

Mike Ford

Former Bath head coach on BBC Radio 5 live

"Without question Bristol are going to add to the Premiership. When they play at Ashton Gate no doubt they'll get good crowds there. 

"If I were Andy Robinson I'd be proud of the team. It's a great start from Bristol."

Harlequins 21-19 Bristol

It's a very tense final few minutes here.

The referee blows for a forward pass and Steve Landsdown, Bristol's owner, goes mad in the stands.

That was a big call.

Missed penalty (Jackson)

Harlequins 21-19 Bristol

But it's the same result. 

Did Tom Varndell really forget the rules there? In any case, it worked. 

Ruaridh Jackson misses the opportunity to put Harlequins within touching distance of victory.

Harlequins 21-19 Bristol

Mike Ford

Former Bath head coach on BBC Radio 5 live

Tom Varndell is going to get some stick in the morning.

Missed penalty (Jackson)

Harlequins 21-19 Bristol

Ruaridh Jackson misses the penalty attempt...but he's been told he can have another go.

Tom Varndell a little too eager to charge down the kick.

Harlequins 21-19 Bristol

andy
BBC

It's too close to call as Bristol's director of rugby Andy Robinson heads down from the stands.

Quins are charging forward through the rolling maul as Bristol are penalised once again for bringing it down illegally.

Chris Robshaw points to the posts.

'Not over yet'

Harlequins 21-19 Bristol

Mike Ford

Former Bath head coach on BBC Radio 5 live

"This game is not over yet. Bristol chose to kick it to Varndell, which is a great option. 

"Then it's great contest between Marland Yarde and Tom Varndell and it's gone out for a Quins throw."

Harlequins 21-19 Bristol

Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston, who took over from Conor O'Shea this season, has an anxious 10 minutes ahead of him.

His side have been well below par this afternoon, as Bristol's Tusi Pisi kicks ahead and Ross Chisholm comes across to save the day. 

Tom Varndell almost bagged his second try of the game there.

Bristol are not giving up.

John Kingston
Getty Images

Penalty (Evans)

Harlequins 21-19 Bristol

Evans
Getty Images

Nick Evans edges Quins in front, with a little over 15 minutes to go.

It's been all Harlequins towards the end of this game.

Harlequins 18-19 Bristol

We're into the final 20 minutes here, as the dreadful conditions continue.

Harlequins are playing in the right areas but they can't find a way through the Bristol defence.

Will Cliff with a burst for the men in gold and they finally make it out of their half. 

Penalty (Evans)

Harlequins 18-19 Bristol

The boot of Nick Evans puts Harlequins back within touching distance of Bristol.

Harlequins 15-19 Bristol

It really is a drab day in London, but the action on the pitch has been anything but. 

The newcomers Bristol have not only shone in attack, but their defence are putting in a shift too. Soane Tonga'uiha with a good covering tackle there to keep Quins at bay.

25 minutes to go...

'They are trying to suck Quins in'

Harlequins 15-19 Bristol

Mike Ford

Former Bath head coach on BBC Radio 5 live

Bristol
Getty Images

"You've got to admire how Bristol are playing in these conditions. 

"Tusi Pisi is having an excellent game, as has Jordan Crane. They are trying to suck Quins in to be tight in the centre and get them around the edges."

Harlequins 15-19 Bristol

Bristol are looking the more creative team with ball in hand, as they have done all afternoon. 

Former Leicester man Jordan Crane picks up and darts through the middle but the accuracy is not quite there from his teammates and the ball is knocked on, again.

Bristol use the pause to make their first tactical replacements of the afternoon.

Harlequins 15-19 Bristol

But Bristol survive. The ball is knocked on by Quins after a second scrum as conditions are making everything a little tricky on the Twickenham turf.

Slight pause in the action as Bristol's scrum is re-set for a third time. Quins assistant coach Graham Rowntree echoes the feelings of everyone as he lets out a huge sigh.

Harlequins 15-19 Bristol

Bristol have begun this second half with a bang but they're under pressure here as Quins bed down for the scrum right five metres out. 

Marchant and Yarde await the ball...

Try (Edwards, missed con Pisi)

Harlequins 15-19 Bristol

Bath
Getty Images

The referee asks the question, but the TMO awards the try.

A really scrappy one as Ryan Edwards gets the ball down after a kick and chase.

Tim Visser tried to block him out but there was no stopping Edwards. Tusi Pisi takes on the kicking duties from the injured Gavin Henson but sends the conversion wide.

Second half under way

Harlequins 15-14 Bristol

Bristol with a huge test here in the second half. 

Everything looked to be going their way until 35 minutes, when Harlequins showed their class and ran in two tries.

FT: Northampton 14-18 Bath

"The belief seems to be here with this team," Todd Blackadder tells the BBC after Bath's long-awaited win v Saints.

"The belief seems to be here with this team," Todd Blackadder tells the BBC after Bath's long-awaited win v Saints.

HT: Harlequins 15-14 Bristol

Phew, what a breathless finish to the first half at Twickenham and ending at Franklin's Gardens.

Go and grab yourself a cup of tea. Or something stronger perhaps.

You may need it after the break!

Full-time

Northampton 14-18 Bath

George Ford
Getty Images

My goodness, two Nic Groom tries in the final few minutes made it closer than it should have been, but Bath hold on for the victory.

George Ford was the difference - 18 points with the boot including two drop-goals.

A winning start for new director of rugby Todd Blackadder.

Half-time

Harlequins 15-14 Bristol

Well, what a first 40 minutes.

Newly-promoted Bristol had all the possession for half an hour and looked to be going into the half-time oranges with a healthy lead.

But two tries in quick succession from Quins turned the game on its head.

A very interesting second period to come. Stay tuned....

Try (Marchant, con Evans)

Harlequins 15-14 Bristol

After a long look from the TMO, there was no forward pass and the try is awarded to Joe Marchant. A conversion by Nick Evans and Quins go into the break one point ahead.

Bristol completely unraveled in the dying moments of the first half. They'll be some strong words from Andy Robinson in their dressing room...

TRY FOR NORTHAMPTON!

Northampton 14-18 Bath

What on earth is happening at Franklin's Gardens?! Neither side looked close to crossing the whitewash for 75 minutes and now we have two tries in four minutes.

It's South African scrum-half Nic Groom again. Stephen Myler adds the extras and it's just a four-point game. One minute remaining.

78: Tremendous pressure for Bath now as Groom dances his way out of the tackle to score his second try. 12-18.

Try (Yarde, missed con Evans)

Harlequins 8-14 Bristol

And things are hotting up at Twickenham too.

Harlequins with a strong maul from the line-out. 

Marland Yarde the unlikely scorer as he comes in at the back of the maul. Under the new laws, the ball is transferred to the winger at the back and he dives over the line.

TRY FOR NORTHAMPTON!

Northampton 7-18 Bath

Oh, things have suddenly got interesting. Saints debutant Nic Groom goes over with six minutes remaining and Stephen Myler converts.

Is there enough time to turn this game around? Unlikely - but at least we have a try! Bath are also down to 14 men with Chris Cook in the sin-bin.

Harlequins 3-14 Bristol

The Quins players are getting a ticking off from the referee - milking the penalty apparently.

But let's get back to the real action as Bristol concede another penalty for sacking the maul. Quins go to the corner...

Harlequins 3-14 Bristol

Yarde
Rex Features

It's all getting a bit scrappy as conditions worsen at Twickenham. But Bristol's defence is stepping up and they've not missed a tackle so far this half.

Andy Robinson will be a very happy man if his side can make it to the half-time hooter with this scoreline.

Marland Yarde looks to inject some pace into the Harlequins attack but it's another spilled ball. The winger shakes his head in frustration.

'Bath have played the smartest rugby'

Northampton 0-18 Bath

Jeremy Guscott

Ex-England centre on BBC Radio 5 live

"It's the best start possible. They're not going to get the try bonus-point but an away victory against a side of Northampton's calibre, a side they haven't beaten home or away for at least two seasons, it's a step in the right direction.

"Bath have played the smartest rugby and a victory it deserves to be."  

George Ford has just slotted over his fourth penalty to make it 18-0. Less than 10 minutes to go.

Northampton 0-15 George Ford

George Ford slots another penalty

Northampton Saints have lost their discipline and their heads in the rain at Franklin's Gardens.

They give away another penalty at the scrum and George Ford makes no mistake from the tee.

The fly-half has all 15 points scored in this match.

Harlequins 3-14 Bristol

Bad news for Bristol. After an earlier hefty collision with Joe Marler, Gavin Henson limps off to be replaced by Ben Mosses. 

That wasn't part of the plan. 

Try (Pisi, con Henson)

Harlequins 3-14 Bristol

Can you believe it? Bristol can't.

A hint of a forward pass but Tusi Pisi skips out of the tackle and accelerates through the gap to run clear of the Quins defence.

His first outing in a Bristol shirt and he's settled in well as Henson adds the two.

Ford proving the difference

Northampton 0-12 Bath

George Ford
Getty Images

The ball is slipper than a bar of soap, but George Ford is still having no problem finding his kicking range.

The Bath fly-half finds some space and sends over his second drop-goal of the match.

Is that the three points that seals the win for Todd Blackadder's men?