Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred in defence for the home side.
The No.8 made a round high 21 tackles for Dean Richards’ side as they claimed their fifth win in the league already this season – as many as they managed in the entirety of the last campaign.
His back row colleague Mark Wilson was similarly tireless – indeed he and Bath Rugby’s Tom Homer are the only two players to have played every minute after the first ten rounds of the season.
Harlequins did make off from Kingston Park with a try-scoring bonus point thanks largely to Aaron Morris.
The full-back, in the absence of Mike Brown, made a round high 20 carries for 149 metres with ball in hand while his teammate in the back three Tim Visser made four clean breaks in total but it was not enough.
Morris’ tally for metres made was only beaten by Lachlan Turner of Exeter Chiefs who ran for a whopping 162m with ball in hand in his side’s win at Sale Sharks.
The damage was done early by Rob Baxter’s side – there were no points scored in the second half of this game, the first time Exeter have ever been involved in a scoreless second half in their Premiership history.
In the East Midlands Leicester Tigers continued their dominance over Northampton Saints at Welford Road with a narrow win. The Saints have now not won away against the Tigers since 2007.
Elsewhere Wasps closed the gap at the top of the table with victory over Worcester Warriors at Sixways.
Rob Miller slotted six from six shots at goal in this match – it was only the fourth time he has taken on kicking duties for Wasps and the first time since October 2014.
Cooper Vuna beat eight defenders for the Warriors, the most he has ever managed in a Premiership game and the most by a Worcester player since May 2014 though it proved in vain.
Elsewhere Homer’s late penalty proved vital as Bath downed league leaders Saracens at the Rec while Gloucester Rugby claimed back-to-back bonus-point wins at Kingsholm for the first time since 2011.
Will Hurrell was a bright spot for the visitors – who this week announced Pat Lam will take charge next season – as the centre won a round joint-high three turnovers in this match and has 14 overall in the season now, two more than any other player.
While Hurrell is leading the way in turnovers after ten rounds of action, he is closely followed by Luke Wallace of Harlequins and Kahn Fotuali’i of Bath Rugby.
In the tackle tallies, no one has made more than Tom Savage of Gloucester – he is only one clear of Newcastle’s Wilson with Mariano Galarza of Gloucester in third.
Exeter workhorse Thomas Waldrom unsurprisingly leads the carry count in the league by quite some margin while England winger Semesa Rokoduguni has made more metres with ball in hand than any other player.
He has also beaten more defenders than any other player but both Christian Wade and Visser lead him when it comes to clean breaks.
Ally Hogg (Newcastle Falcons) – 21
Lewis Ludlow (Gloucester Rugby) – 18
Matt Garvey (Bath Rugby) – 18
Aaron Morris (Harlequins) – 20
Jack Clifford (Harlequins) – 18
Jordan Crane (Bristol Rugby) – 17
Lachlan Turner (Exeter Chiefs) – 162
Aaron Morris (Harlequins) – 149
Cooper Vuna (Worcester Warriors) – 142
Cooper Vuna (Worcester Warriors) – 8
Dan Robson (Wasps) – 7
Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby) – 6
Bryce Heem (Worcester Warriors), Jack Tovey (Bristol), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks), Will Hurrell (Bristol) – 3
Dan Robson (Wasps), Tim Visser (Harlequins) – 4
Chris Pennell, Bryce Heem (Worcester Warriors), Alex Tait (Newcastle Falcons) – 3
Tom Savage (Gloucester) – 121
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) – 120
Mariano Galarza (Gloucester Rugby) – 113
Thomas Waldrom (Exeter Chiefs) – 179
Cameron Neild (Sale Sharks) – 127
Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), Jordan Crane (Bristol) – 126
Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby) – 730
Olly Woodburn (Exeter Chiefs) – 637
Tim Visser (Harlequins) – 616
Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby) – 35
Christian Wade (Wasps) – 27
Will Hurrell (Bristol Rugby) – 26
Will Hurrell (Bristol Rugby) – 14
Luke Wallace (Harlequins) – 12
Kahn Fotuali’i (Bath Rugby) – 11
Tim Visser (Harlequins) – 17
Christian Wade (Wasps) – 15
Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath Rugby) – 14