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Summary

  1. FT: Northampton 31-36 Leicester
  2. Leicester edge Saints in derby thriller
  3. Late show gives Mauger winning send off
  4. FT: Exeter 30-25 Sale Sharks
  5. FT: Harlequins 53-17 Newcastle

Live Reporting

By Tom Garry and Andrew Aloia

All times stated are UK

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Thanks for joining us

That's about it for today's Premiership drama, folks. Time for a breather.

Do join us again tomorrow when Saracens host Bath, with the visitors looking to get straight back into the top four having been leapfrogged by Leicester today, and leaders Wasps host Worcester.

Until then, have a good evening, and good bye.

Mauger signs off as Tigers boss with dramatic win

FT: Northampton 31-36 Leicester

There was plenty of emotion in this action-packed derby game, with Leicester boss Aaron Mauger victorious in his last match in charge.

Lachlan McCaffrey of Leicester

Northampton 31-36 Leicester

Leicester take a big stride towards the play-offs with a breathless derby victory over top-four rivals Northampton.

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Quins improve top-four hopes

FT: Harlequins 53-17 Newcastle

Just how important will Harlequins' big win over Newcastle be as they chase a semi-final spot?

Mike Brown

Harlequins 53-17 Newcastle

Harlequins improve their hopes of a top-four finish with a convincing victory over Newcastle at the Stoop.

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Chiefs fight back to boost hopes of a home semi

FT: Exeter 30-25 Sale

Exeter did it the hard way, but they came up with a vitally important bonus-point win against Sale.

Don Armand

Exeter 30-25 Sale

Exeter Chiefs come from 14 points down to beat Sale Sharks and boost their hopes of securing a home Premiership semi-final.

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Reaction: Tigers win it for Mauger

FT: Northampton 31-36 Leicester

Leicester's Owen Williams tells BT Sport:

"It has been a tough week. We wanted to win it for him [Aaron Mauger] today.

"He is a quality bloke. He's a good man, he cares about his players greatly and he's a good coach."

FT: Northampton 31-36 Leicester

It is a huge win for Leicester! And outgoing interim boss Aaron Mauger celebrates an emotional win in his final game in charge. He looks like he has lived every tackle of that breathless match.

He'll leave Tigers on a winning note. They are up to fourth in the table.

Full-time

Northampton 31-36 Leicester

Tigers turn the ball over and that's it!

Leicester have won one of the best games you'll see all season!

Northampton 31-36 Leicester

Northampton need a try. The clock has ticked past the 80. The hosts have the ball in Leicester's half. Last chance.

Penalty (O Williams)

Northampton 31-36 Leicester

He makes it! From all of 50m out. It just has the length. Superb from Owen Williams!

Northampton 31-33 Leicester

Tigers win a penalty at a scrum, as Saints are penalised for collapsing.

Owen Williams will kick this again, even though it is way, way out, on the halfway line.

Time is being eaten up...

Full-time

Harlequins 53-17 Newcastle

Harlequins v Newcastle
Getty Images

Well, after going a try down early on Harlequins never looked in trouble against Newcastle.

Tim Swiel's late try, Quins' seventh of the day, helped seal a thumping 53-17 win! 

Penalty (O Williams)

Northampton 31-33 Leicester

.... And it is a superb kick from Owen Williams! Over by the left touchline, he hits it straight and true.

Leicester, with a man down still, are back in front. How many more twists is there time for?

Northampton 31-30 Leicester

But now Leicester have a penalty in the Saints half and Owen Williams will kick this...

It looks like a daft offside infringement from Luther Burrell, there.

FT: Exeter 30-25 Sale

Exeter v Sale
Rex Features

Sale manage to take something away from Sandy Park in the final minute, as AJ MacGinty slots a penalty.

So that is a losing bonus point for the Sharks, while Exeter's fightback earns them a bonus-point win!

Penalty (Myler)

Northampton 31-30 Leicester

Stephen Myler
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High tackle. Penalty to Saints... around 40m out... And Stephen Myler nervelessly takes his own kicking tally for the afternoon to 16 points and Saints regain a slender lead.

Leicester lead

Northampton 28-30 Leicester

Leicester break with energy through Telusa Veainu and JP Petersen goes so close to the line before it comes out the left flank to Lachlan McCaffrey , who swivels past the last Saints defender to score in the corner. Good finish from the big man!

And Owen Williams converts from a very, very tight angle to put the visitors ahead.

Try (McCaffrey)

Northampton 28-28 Leicester

14 men? No problem. Tigers are level.

Northampton v Leicester
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Exeter 30-22 Sale

Henry Slade lands a very important penalty with less than four minutes remaining.

That kick gives Exeter a two-score lead! It will be a tense finish, but Chiefs may just have done enough to prevail!

Sin-bin (M Williams)

Northampton 28-23 Leicester

Northampton are furious as Tigers' Mike Williams appears to go in high on Teimana Harrison.

Was that contact with Harrison's head? They go for a review... No. No red card. He caught him though, flying into the ruck without using his arms.

It is a yellow for the Leicester replacement. They are down to 14.

Northampton 28-23 Leicester

Now Tigers have possession in the Saints half, 30m out, trying to break down the defence... But the hosts turn it over! Cheers from the home fans.

Up the other end, Saints do well at the breakdown and look to have earned a penalty.

Missed penalty (Williams)

Northampton 28-23 Leicester

Tigers' Owen Williams misses! He swerves it slightly left of the left upright, from a fairly central position. Saints' five-point lead remains.

Harlequins 48-17 Newcastle

A quick glance across at the action at The Stoop and Newcastle have their second try of the game against Harlequins.

The Falcons light things up, something they have struggled to do for so much of today, and from close range Mark Wilson gets over. With just 13 minutes remaining, that surely is too little too late.

Northampton 28-23 Leicester

Frustration ripples around Franklin's Gardens as Leicester win a penalty in the Saints half as a scrum collapses.

The visitors will kick for the posts from here...

Exeter 27-22 Sale

Don Armand
Rex Features

Exeter are over! Exeter have the lead!

The hosts have spent long periods of the second half building pressure and captain Don Armand is the man to finally go over.

Henry Slade's kick and good and Exeter have a five-point lead - that is their biggest advantage all day. But will it be enough?

Northampton 28-23 Leicester

This is a delicately-poised East Midlands derby now.

Saints don't just want the win - they want the bonus point to go above fourth-placed Bath!

But Tigers are within one score of winning themselves. It is on a knife edge.

And remember, just three points separated Saints and Tigers before today.

Northampton 28-23 Leicester

Northampton surge forward yet again but can't get past a resilient Tigers defence and this time the visitors get the turnover! They punch the air. Danger averted - for now.

Northampton v Leicester
Getty Images

Exeter 20-22 Sale

The game is delicately poised at Sandy Park.

Sale playing with real smarts now, trying to slow the game up.

A few too many errors in Exeter's game is costing them. Still, there is just two points in it with little over 15 minutes remaining.

Replacement (Northampton)

Northampton 28-23 Leicester

The England skipper Dylan Hartley comes off to be replaced by Mike Haywood.

Hartley gets a big round of applause from the home fans for his display.

Penalty (Myler)

Northampton 28-23 Leicester

Saints have to settle for three points as an advantage comes to nothing so they go back for a Stephen Myler penalty and he makes no mistake from the tee.

Harlequins 48-10 Newcastle

Danny Care
Getty Images

Harlequins are really piling it on against Newcastle now.

Danny Care, one of the England quartet to return for Quins today, darts over from close range. A very big win in hosts' grasp now.

Northampton 25-23 Leicester

Saints are pressing for yet another try. They're right up to the Tigers' line, 3m out.

Northampton 25-23 Leicester

Still no time to breathe at Franklin's Gardens as another Tigers burst forward almost produces a try.

This time though there's nothing doing as a Dan Cole handling error earns a reprieve for Northampton.

Harlequins 41-10 Newcastle

Oh my, things are not going great for Newcastle. They are very much on the slippery slope to despair, as Harlequins run in a fifth try through Mat Luamanu after the Falcons had Evan Olmstead sin-binned for obstruction.

Penalty (Myler)

Northampton 25-23 Leicester

Northampton respond immediately, winning field position from kick-off and the pressure results in Stephen Myler slotting Saints back in front. 

Conversion (Burns)

Northampton 22-23 Leicester

Ben Youngs
Getty Images

Burns add the extras without fuss.

It was a great score by Ben Youngs, who bursts free on the left and steams in from distance to put Tigers right back in the game.

Exeter 20-22 Sale

With 50 minutes up at Sandy Park, Exeter take the lead for the first time as Henry Slade kicks a penalty.

It was short lived, however, as AJ MacGinty makes it six from six with the boot to edge Sale 22-20 ahead.

Try (Ben Youngs)

Northampton 22-21 Leicester

Exeter 17-Sale 19; Harlequins 34-10 Newcastle

Tries, tries, tries galore.

Olly Woodburn's score for Exeter Chiefs gets them to within two points of Sale. It took all of four minutes for things to get increasingly interesting at Sandy Park. Henry Slade misses the conversion and so Sale's lead remains... for now at least.

At The Stoop, Marland Yarde comes up with the bonus-point try for Harlequins! And the hosts are doing it easy as they lead Newcastle 34-10 after 42 minutes.

Harlequins v Newcastle
Getty Images

Northampton 22-16 Leicester

We have started where we left off in the second half. A brave break from George North near his own line almost leads to Saints bursting through the middle, but Tigers scramble back and the danger is averted.

This is some match.

Northampton 22-16 Leicester

Early pressure from Tigers as replacement Lachlan McCaffrey powers towards the Saints line but the hosts steal possession and are able to clear.