England Under-20s star Ben Curry gave another indication of his burgeoning talent in Sale Sharks’ clash at Gloucester Rugby in Round 20 of Aviva Premiership Rugby, even though he couldn’t prevent his side from falling to a 39-30 defeat at Kingsholm.
The 18-year-old flanker forced six turnovers during the match, which was not just the most of the weekend, but the highest from any player in an Aviva Premiership match since February 2015.
In fact, the only player to have ever made more since OPTA started recording data is David Seymour, who made seven for the Sharks against Bath Rugby in December 2011.
It was also a match to remember for Gloucester full back Tom Marshall, who scored two of the Cherry and Whites’ tries in what was a man-of-the-match display.
Marshall also tops the round’s list for carries, with his 22 putting him four clear of Harlequins pair Mat Luamanu and Mike Brown – while nobody beat more defenders, as he went past his would-be tackler nine times.
Exeter Chiefs made a bit of history in defeating Harlequins 39-26 on Friday night, as they became the first team ever to record six bonus-point victories in succession.
It was an intense match at the Twickenham Stoop; both players who made the most tackles this weekend coming to the fore, with Quins’ Chris Robshaw and Chiefs’ Jack Yeandle making 22 apiece.
Yeandle’s Exeter teammates Dave Dennis and Don Armand were next on that list with 18 and 17 respectively, while Armand took the most line-outs (seven) along with Wasps’ Matt Symons.
Worcester Warriors defeated Bath 25-19 at Sixways on Saturday, although Anthony Watson impressed once more in the No.15 jersey, gaining 100 metres and beating six defenders.
The England flyer still trails teammate Semesa Rokoduguni in both categories overall however, with the Fijian-born Englishman having gained the most metres in the Aviva Premiership (1,567), and he is still the only player in Europe to pass the 100 defenders beaten in all competitions milestone this season.
Bristol’s 12th-place finish was confirmed on Sunday, as they were defeated 36-21 by league leaders Wasps, but they certainly put up a fight at Ashton Gate.
They posed plenty of problems of their own, leading to full back Jason Woodward gaining 157 metres – the most of the weekend, followed by his teammate Ryan Edwards on 136.
Wasps winger Christian Wade marked his 100th appearance for the club with a try, while teammate Kurtley Beale was a big creative influence with four off-loads and 16 carries.
Northampton Saints suffered more late heartache on Sunday as champions Saracens came from behind to snatch an improbable 27-25 victory, but it was another encouraging performance from Harry Mallinder
The young centre not only scored Saints’ first try, but he also gained 121 metres while beating five defenders.