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Summary

  1. FT: Leicester 15-34 Exeter
  2. FT: Sale 12-32 Northampton
  3. Exeter move one point behind leaders Wasps
  4. Rizzo & Mermoz tries for Leicester
  5. Horstmann, Penalty try, Townsend & Lees cross for Chiefs
  6. Get involved #bbcrugby

Live Reporting

By James Law

All times stated are UK

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Saturday and Sunday (goodbye)

Worcester v Bristol
Getty Images

So often in the Premiership the focus is on the top half of the table, with play-off positions and European qualification up for grabs.

Fourth-placed Bath host leaders Wasps in tomorrow's marquee match, with Harlequins visiting Gloucester.

However the big one is on Sunday as bottom side Bristol go to Worcester, who are only one place and two points above them.

Champions Saracens are also in action at Newcastle - rest assured, we'll be covering them all.

Farewell for now.

Saints maintain play-off hopes

FT: Sale 12-32 Northampton

Northampton Saints boosted their Premiership play-off chances with a bonus-point win at Sale Sharks, who are still not clear of relegation trouble.

Here's our match report.

Pleasure for Picamoles

FT: Sale 12-32 Northampton

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We've already heard from George North and Jack Nowell tonight, so it's only fair that we hear from another player following their side while on international duty.

France and Northampton number eight Louis Picamoles seems pretty chuffed with what he's seen tonight.

Top marks for use of emojis.

Full-time

Sale 12-32 Northampton

That's it.

Northampton move to within three points of Leicester and four point behind Bath, who hold the final play-off place.

Sale took 37 minutes to get their first points and lacked flair throughout - could they yet be caught by Worcester or Bristol?

Sale 12-32 Northampton

This is why rugby never fails to disappoint.

A game which seems dead to all intents and purposes, but Saints keep pushing for a potentially crucial bonus point try.

It looks like Northampton have missed the opportunity when they overthrow a lineout, but Ethan Waller races over with the last play of the game.

Stephen Myler adds the conversion of course...

Try (Waller)

Sale 12-30 Northampton

Exeter close gap on Wasps

FT: Leicester 15-34 Exeter

Telusa Veainu
Getty Images

Exeter Chiefs moved one point behind Premiership leaders Wasps with a bonus-point win at Leicester Tigers.

You can read our full report here.

Sale 12-25 Northampton

Sale have been the aggressors since that Bryn Evans try, but it looks like being too little too late.

Illegal blocking gives the home side a penalty, and they take a lineout 15 metres inside the Saints half.

However Johnny Leota knocks on to give Northampton a way out.

Sale 12-25 Northampton

Sharks have a rare sustained spell in their opponents' 22 and make it count.

New Zealand-born lock Bryn Evans eventually breaks through to touch down, but Sam James misses the resulting conversion.

As things stand Saints will still halve the gap to fifth-placed Leicester to four points.  

Try (Evans)

Sale 12-25 Northampton

Nowell delight

FT: Leicester 15-34 Exeter

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It might only be five words, but you can imagine the smile on Jack Nowell's face as he watches from the comfort of the England camp.

Exeter did the job without their star player, and their run-in suggests they'll almost definitely feature in the end-of-season Premiership play-offs for the second season running.

Sale 7-25 Northampton

Saints win a penalty at the scrum and Stephen Myler, who's been good with the boot, punishes the hosts by adding a further three points to his side's tally.

That probably just about takes the game out of the home side's reach, but I've been wrong before...

FT: Leicester 15-34 Exeter

Rob Baxter's side see the game out with relative ease, and Exeter pick up a famous victory at Welford Road.

It moves Chiefs to within a point of leaders Wasps, while Leicester miss the chance to move above Bath into the Premiership's top four.

Full-time

Leicester 15-34 Exeter

Sale 7-22 Northampton

Commentator's curse, sorry Sale fans.

From a lineout, Saints get their driving maul going and Michael Paterson is once again on hand to put the ball down.

Stephen Myler makes it a seven-point moment for the visitors and they have the buffer they've craved.

Try (Paterson)

Sale 7-20 Northampton

Sale 7-15 Northampton

Sale look as if they're starting to turn the screw.

Mark Jennings takes a high tackle from Michael Paterson and is rightly given a penalty.

The hosts kick to the corner but are sloppy at the lineout.

Still 25 minutes for Northampton to hold firm.

Leicester 15-34 Exeter

Leicester v Exeter
Getty Images

A picture is worth a thousand words...

Leicester have a dangerous-looking driving maul on the go, but Exeter look within themselves as they keep the hosts out time and time again.

It's eventually knocked forwards and Slade kicks long to give the visitors some respite.

Leicester 15-34 Exeter

The visitors have the bonus point, and Leicester need two tries to reach losing bonus territory.

Despite those facts, this game is still being played with 100% commitment.

Both sides make substitutions and Tigers are attempting to come forward against a wave of Exeter defence.

Leicester 15-34 Exeter

With Geoff Parling now back on the pitch, it's Exeter who arguably look most likely to get the next score.

James Short, who has 10 tries in his last nine Premiership appearances, spills the ball out wide within yards of the try-line.

Your latest weather update - it's teeming down at Welford Road.

Second half

Sale 7-15 Northampton

We're into the second half in the north west, and once again Sale find themselves up against it.

With Worcester and Bristol meeting on Sunday, defeat for the hosts tonight may  leave them vulnerable towards the bottom.

Leicester 15-34 Exeter

Thomas Waldrom carries
BBC

Exeter's Thomas Waldrom has been quietly effective against his former club tonight.

For the last two seasons he's topped the Premiership try-scoring charts, but this term it's carries where he stands out - he was on 250 before the game, that total will certainly be a bit higher by now.

There's a reason why he's earned the 'Thomas the tank' nickname...

Leicester 15-34 Exeter

Bonus point try, and a match-winning try for Exeter?

Mitch Lees is a unit, and will not be stopped from a few yards out.

It came after the visitors won the scrum, and Henry Slade kicked for another two points on top.

Remember, this has happened while Chiefs have had Geoff Parling in the bin.

Try (Lees)

Leicester 15-32 Exeter

Leicester 15-27 Exeter

Owen Williams
Getty Images

Exeter, still down to 14 players, have some much-needed possession to relieve the pressure.

Have they survived the crucial period in the match?

Leicester's efforts have been hit by an injury to Sam Harrison, who had been excellent since coming on 10 minutes ago - he's replaced by Peter Betham.

Half-time

Sale 7-15 Northampton

Just as Sale's tails are up, they give away a penalty from the restart which Stephen Myler makes with ease.

Despite Josh Charnley's first try in rugby union, Northampton are certainly in the ascendancy. 

Leicester 15-27 Exeter

Chiefs are hanging on a bit here.

Former Leicester man Geoff Parling, who was brilliant at the lineout in the first half, is yellow-carded for being offside at the lineout.

Despite being a man down Exeter get a scrum turnover - that is the definition of grit, determination and effort.

Sin-bin (Parling)

Leicester 15-27 Exeter

Sale 7-12 Northampton

That's more like it from Steve Diamond's side.

Michael Haley chips through and Josh Charnley is all to happy to dot down at the end of it.

Sam James converts from the touchline.

Try (Charnley)

Sale 5-12 Northampton

No try

Leicester 15-27 Exeter

If Tigers are going to get something from this match, this is the crucial period.

Since Maxime Mermoz has gone over, the hosts have been rampant and Exeter's Olly Woodburn feels the pressure as he knocks on.

Leicester are deep in the opposition's 22 and win several penalties before a fine crossfield kick finds Adam Thompstone, who thinks he's touched down before the deadball line.

However the TMO disagrees and we're back for a penalty.

Sale 0-12 Northampton

It goes to the TMO, but nothing is going to deny Michael Paterson that try.

The home faithful seem to think it shouldn't have stood, but the officials see no issue and the points are given with less than five minutes until the break.

To add insult to injury, Stephen Myler's conversion is successful.

Try (Paterson)

Sale 0-10 Northampton

'Leicester need another quick one'

Leicester 15-27 Exeter

Steve Johnson

Ex-Leicester flanker on BBC Radio Leicester

Leicester need to get another quick one and not do what they did in the first half and just sit back.

Exeter will take their time.

Leicester 15-27 Exeter

Tigers find a gap in the Exeter defence, and it's France international Maxime Mermoz who exploits it.

The home side had turned to their bench for the first time, Mike Williams and Sam Harrison coming on, and both have already had an impact.

Owen Williams kicks between the posts and Leicester are back in contention.

Try (Mermoz)

Leicester 13-27 Exeter

Sale 0-5 Northampton

It took 28 minutes, but we have points on the board in Manchester.

Harry Mallinder shows good skill with ball in hand to feed winger Ken Pisi, who only has to dive over to secure the try.

Stephen Myler misses the subsequent conversion.

Try (Pisi)

Sale 0-5 Northampton

Second half

Leicester 8-27 Exeter

Henry Slade, watched in the stands by Eddie Jones, does the honours to get things going again at Welford Road.

What do Tigers need to do to turn this around? Surely they can't allow Exeter to win by this margin on home turf.

Sale 0-0 Northampton

I'm afraid to say this has the look of game between two sides who are slightly low on confidence.

We've passed the midway point of the first half and... there hasn't been a whole lot to report.

Mike Phillips has had to come off for Sale after taking a knock on the head, and is replaced at scrum-half by Peter Stringer.