Aviva Premiership: Newcastle finish with loss as Leicester narrowly miss out
Newcastle Falcons have held onto the final Aviva Premiership play-off place by a single point, despite losing 39-22 to third-placed Wasps.
Leicester Tigers went level with Newcastle with a bonus-point victory as they beat Sale Sharks 35-13, but previous results meant that Newcastle qualify for the playoffs.
Wasps looked like they were running away with the win and led 19-3 at half time through tries from Tom Cruse, Elliot Daly and Danny Cipriani.
After the break, Josh Bassett and Johnny Gopperth stretched Wasps’ lead to 28 points but a late flourish took Newcastle back into the game with tries coming from Josh Matavesi, Zach Kibirige and Evan Olmstead. Willie Le Roux struck late though as Wasps won by 17 points.
Leicester eased past Sale with a superb second-half performance.
Tries from Jonah Holmes, George Ford and Mike Williams led them to victory with Marlon Yarde replying for Sale.
League leaders Exeter Chiefs finished the regular season with a 41-17 win over Harlequins, running in six tries in the process.
Elsewhere, playoff contenders Saracens defeated Gloucester 62-12 with England’s Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell both impressing, and Bath poured more misery on relegated London Irish’s season as a Matt Banahan hat-trick led them to a 63-19 win. Northampton Saints defeated Worcester Warriors 32-24 in a match between two bottom-half sides.
Newcastle will travel to Exeter in the playoffs while Saracens host Wasps.
Aviva Premiership results in full: Bath 63-19 London Irish, Harlequins 17-41 Exeter Chiefs, Newcastle Falcons 22-39 Wasps, Northampton Saints 32-24 Worcester Warriors, Sale Sharks 13-35 Leicester Tigers, Saracens 62-12 Gloucester