Sunday’s Premiership round-up: Exeter and Saracens secure dominant wins

Exeter Chiefs secured a home Aviva Premiership semi-final with a comprehensive victory away to near relegation certainties London Irish on Sunday, while Saracens eased past Bath.

London Irish 5-45 Exeter

Exeter Chiefs secured a home Aviva Premiership semi-final as they thrashed London Irish with a bonus-point victory to consign the Exiles to an almost certain relegation.

Sam Simmonds scored a hat-trick for the defending champions and league leaders, with Ben Moon, Mitch Lees and Jack Yeandle also crossing to maintain their eight-point cushion over nearest chasers Saracens.

Irish managed a consolation score through Joe Cokanasiga but they now trail Worcester by nine points with only 10 available from their last two fixtures of the regular season.

England No 8 Simmonds, who moves to 12 tries for the Premiership campaign so far – one behind league top scorer Josh Adams – was the standout performer as Rob Baxter’s men outclassed their opponents. Fly-half Gareth Steenson was flawless from the kicking tee as he finished the match with a 15-point return.

Saracens 41-6 Bath

Saracens guaranteed themselves a top-four finish in the Premiership at the end of the regular season – at the very least -with a dominant victory over an out-of-sorts Bath, who suffered their fifth defeat from their last six matches.

The hosts scored six tries at Allianz Park, with Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland guilty of poor handling for three of their opponents’ scores, as Owen Farrell scored 16 points.

Schalk Brits, Liam Williams, Richard Wigglesworth, Farrell, Schalk Burger and Ben Spencer all found the try line for Mark McCall’s men, while Bath relied on two Priestland penalties in the first-half for their only points of the match.

After an energetic start from both sides, Bath’s day quickly began to unravel as Jonathan Joseph was forced off with an apparent injury to his left ankle, after being caught awkwardly at a ruck, which will cause concern for England head coach Eddie Jones.