Quins win and get early bath

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Maurie Fa'asavalu Maurie Fa'asavalu

Referee Gwyn Morris called full-time nine minutes from the end as holders Harlequins secured their first win in this season's LV=Cup at the third attempt, beating 2012 winners Leicester 20-6 to inflict their first defeat.

Play was halted when a torrential hailstorm and high winds hit the Twickenham Stoop and the crowd was warned to move clear of scaffolding at one end of the ground.

With high winds, rain, hail and lightning lashing The Stoop where advertising hoardings and assorted debris were blowing on to the pitch, referee Morris ordered the players to the dressing room.

It was announced that the game had been stopped early on "health and safety grounds".

Even though their own hopes of reaching the last four had been virtually extinguished before kick-off, Quins had shown their pride with a disciplined display which leaves Tigers' last-four ambitions in the balance.

Former England winger Paul Sackey, flanker Maurie Fa'asavalu and number eight Tom Guest scored the Harlequins tries with fly-half Ben Botica kicking a conversion and a penalty.

Leicester replied with two penalties from fly-half Ryan Lamb, back in the side after recovering from a broken finger.

Second half tries by Mark Easter and Charlie Ingall kept Sale in contention for an LV= Cup semi-final place following a 20-6 triumph over Worcester Warriors at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Joe Ford's penalty was the only score in the first half as the home side went into the break with a 3-0 lead.

Ford and Elliott Davies then traded three-pointers after the interval before Easter's try took the hosts 13-3 clear.

Davies added another from the tee to take the Warriors to within seven points, but Ingall's touchdown secured the Sharks' second win of the tournament.

Exeter Chiefs made it three wins over Ospreys in as many seasons with a 36-22 success to keep alive their slim hopes of progressing in the LV=Cup.

With Leicester loosing at Harlequins, the Devon side need maximum points from next weekend's trip to Worcester to achieve their goal.

Ospreys went into the break with a slender 10-8 lead after three tries were scored in a nine-minute spell with their touchdowns from Dafydd Howells and Morgan Allen, with Exeter replying through Luke Cowan-Dickie and a Ceri Sweeney penalty.

There were four tries in a nine-minute spell at the start of the second half with a second for England Under-20 player Cowan-Dickie and one from James Scaysbrook, both converted by Sweeney for a 22-10 lead.

But Ospreys came back to secure a bonus point with a touchdown from Matthew Jenkins, converted by Matthew Morgan, and Tom Grabham to level the scores.

But a James Phillips try, converted by Sweeney, restored the Chiefs' lead.

But they were not content with Don Armand going over for their fifth try, converted by Sweeney, for a 14-point advantage.

Northampton Saints are almost certain to be through to the knockout stages of the LV= Cup after they took the second half of their clash with Newport Gwent Dragons by the scruff of the neck and finished with a bonus point 34-16 victory.

Tries from wing Fa'atoina Autagavaia, a penalty try, hooker Mike Haywood, prop Gareth Denman and back row Gerrit Jan Van Vetize plus three conversions and a penalty from fly-half Glenn Dickson secured the win that leaves second-placed Scarlets six points adrift with one game to play in the pool.

Two bonus point victories by Newcastle, who play on Sunday, would put them level on 14 points with Northampton - but that is a tall order.

Bath were too powerful for a youthful and enterprising Cardiff Blues side and duly clinched a semi-final place in the LV= Cup following a 24-13 victory and aided by Worcester's defeat at Sale.

The home team's punishing driving maul laid the platform for three of their tries, including first-half touchdowns by flanker Alafoti Fa'osilva and scrum-half Micky Young.

Gavin Henson came off the bench against one of his former clubs to claim the third early in the second half but it was just five minutes before the end that Guy Mercer claimed the bonus point try for the runaway Pool 3 leaders.

Wasps collected their first LV=Cup victory of the season with a deserved 22-15 win over their close rivals London Irish.

Irish remain winless in the competition and on paper they had the stronger side but a poor start and missed goal kicks by the visitors cost them the match.

Each team scored three tries but seven points from the boot of Joe Carlisle was the decisive factor. Wasps had built up and early 19-5 lead with tries from Charlie Davies, Ed Jackson and Josh Bassett before Irish responded with tries from Chris Hala'ufia and Jamie Hagan to add to an earlier one from Sailosi Tagicakibau.

The game was marred by an injury to Irish centre, Guy Armitage, who left the field on a stretcher midway through the second half.

In Friday's game, tries from centre Steffan Hughes and wing Aaron Warren earned the Scarlets a hard-fought 13-7 LV= Cup victory over Gloucester at Parc Y Scarlets.

The win keeps the Welsh region's hopes of progressing to the knock-out stages alive, although it leaves Gloucester, who were indebted to a converted try from centre Billy Burns, with only one win from three games.

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