Saints overpower Chiefs
Fly-half Ryan Lamb produced an impressive individual performance as Northampton ended a run of four Aviva Premiership defeats with a comprehensive 33-3 win over Exeter at Franklin's Gardens.
Saints' victory was never in doubt after opening up a 20-3 half-time lead courtesy of tries from centre James Downey and wing Paul Diggin. Both were created by Lamb, who finished with a 16-point haul by slotting two conversions and four penalties.
Wing Scott Armstrong rounded things off in the final moments with the hosts' third try.
Exeter, who had been third in the table entering this game, could only register an Ignacio Mieres penalty as they came off heavily second best at the breakdown as Saints' forward power proved too much to handle.
Leaders Harlequins, meanwhile, maintained their unbeaten record with a 27-18 win over Leicester at Welford Road.
Harlequins fought back from an early 5-0 deficit to make it six wins out of six in the league this season, with tries from Sam Smith, Seb Stegmann and Joe Marler, combined with 12 points from the boot of Nick Evans, earning the visitors the spoils.
For Leicester, Boris Stankovich and replacement Scott Hamilton crossed for tries and fly-half Jeremy Staunton contributed the remaining eight points, but it was not enough to save their side.
Sale held off a spirited fightback from Gloucester to claim their fourth win from six Premiership outings after edging a hard-fought encounter 13-11 at Edgeley Park.
Sharks skipper David Seymour crashed over the line in the first half and a conversion and a penalty from fly-half Nick MacLeod helped the hosts into a 10-0 half-time lead.
Two penalties from Tim Taylor got Gloucester off the mark before MacLeod added another penalty for the hosts. Centre Henry Trinder scored a late try for Gloucester, which Taylor failed to convert, to set up a grandstand finish.