Match Report – Harlequins 3 – 33 Exeter

Defending champions Exeter Chiefs destroyed Harlequins, while Sale Sharks saw off Northampton on the opening night of the 2020/21 Gallagher Premiership season…

Harlequins 3-33 Exeter Chiefs

Exeter number eight Sam Simmonds scored a hat-trick of tries as the Chiefs got their Premiership title defence off to a winning start with a bonus-point 33-3 victory over Harlequins at the Stoop.

Hat-trick hero @samsimmonds_ helps @ExeterChiefs run riot 🦸‍♂️@Harlequins couldn't fire a shot, while Chiefs open the defence of their title in style 🔥

Moment of the match?#GallagherPrem #HARvEXE pic.twitter.com/WjQsYW1Fiw

Just 27 days since securing last season’s crown, the champions looked rusty in the opening quarter but a superb solo effort from Simmonds turned the game the Chiefs’ way.

After the interval, the outstanding Simmonds added two more scores with Dave Ewers and Stu Townsend also on the tryscoring sheet.

Joe Simmonds added four conversions with a penalty from Marcus Smith being Quins’ sole response.

Sale Sharks 32-23 Northampton Saints

Sale began putting the frustration of last season’s controversial ending behind them as they held on to beat Northampton 32-23 in their Gallagher Premiership opener.

Nothing quite like a nail-biting finish to kick-start the new #GallagherPrem season 😬@SaleSharksRugby hold on to overcome @SaintsRugby after an emphatic battle at the AJ Bell 🔥#SALvNOR pic.twitter.com/loa45cNLKr

The Sharks were denied a tilt at the play-offs last term when a coronavirus outbreak within their club forced them to forfeit their final regular-season fixture.

They have been backed to make a strong title push this term and they started brightly enough with a four-try win.

AJ MacGinty led the way by scoring 14 points, including a try, while Akker Van Der Merwe, Dan Du Preez and Simon Hammersley also touched down.

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