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Gloucester too strong for Sale

Fly-half Freddie Burns contributed 26 points as a late flurry saw LV= Cup champions Gloucester begin their defence with a 58-27 success over Sale at Kingsholm.

The Cherry and Whites led 20-17 at the break with the help of a Lesley Vainikolo try and a wonderful solo effort from Jonny May.

Further tries followed from skipper Luke Narraway, Scott Lawson, Rory Lawson, Charlie Sharples and Burns, who also kicked 21 points, as the hosts gained revenge for last weekend's Premiership defeat against the same opposition.

Sale, who had three players sin-binned, had been level at 27-all after 55 minutes having registered tries through debutant Richie Vernon, Andrew Higgins and Rob Miller, while Nick Macleod contributed 12 points. But they fell away badly in the final quarter to end up on the wrong end of a heavy scoreline.

Russian winger Vasily Artemyev scored a hat-trick on his debut and Jamie Elliott bagged two tries as Northampton beat Saracens 36-6 at Franklin's Gardens, while Bath romped to a 46-16 victory over Welsh region Newport Gwent Dragons.

Ollie Lindsay-Hague maintained Harlequins' unbeaten start to the season with a last-gasp try to see off the challenge of London Irish 26-19.

Lindsay-Hague touched down in the 84th minute to help Quins, who had trailed by three points heading into the final three minutes of regulation time, claim the victory.

Worcester's pack was the dominant force as they edged out Wasps 20-19, with Tom Arscott scoring a brace of tries for the Warriors.

Kieran Murphy scored two of the five Scarlets tries as the Welsh side opened their campaign with a 31-3 bonus-point win over Leicester at Parc y Scarlets.

Greg Goosen scored a hat-trick of tries as last season's beaten finalists Newcastle Falcons won their opening clash with a convincing 33-3 victory over Cardiff at Kingston Park, while Exeter beat Ospreys 35-9.

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