Northampton wasted the opportunity to move into the top four after suffering their heaviest home defeat to Gloucester in the Premiership when they went down 31-7.
Lions head coach Warren Gatland was among the spectators and he saw one of his potential number 10s, Dan Biggar, suffer concussion in the opening quarter.
Gatland was assessing players for his standby list and forwards David Ribbans and Ruan Ackermann, South Africans qualified to play for England through residency, were on show.
Northampton had won eight of their previous 11 Premiership matches, but they failed to muster a shot in the opening half and were fortunate to be only 10-0 down at the interval thanks to a try from Louis Rees-Zammit and a conversion and penalty from Billy Twelvetrees.
Twelvetrees missed the conversions for tries from Ed Slater and hooker Jack Singleton after the break, as well as Rees-Zammit’s second, but slotted two penalties for a personal tally of 11 points as Henry Taylor went over for Northampton to make sure it wasn’t a complete blowout.
Bath 20-40 Bristol
Kyle Sinckler reacted to missing out on British & Irish Lions selection by delivering a dominant display as Premiership leaders Bristol beat Bath 40-20 at the Recreation Ground.
Sinckler and his fellow forwards headlined the west country derby as Bristol confirmed a play-off place by fighting back from 15-0 adrift to triumph in bonus-point fashion.
No 8 Nathan Hughes and wing Max Malins scored either side of half-time, while there was also a penalty try, a further score from Malins and touchdowns for full-back Charles Piutau and flanker Ben Earl, with three conversions by fly-half Callum Sheedy and one by Ioan Lloyd.
Bath established a healthy lead through tries from Lions wing Anthony Watson, who finished with a double, and replacement fly-half Rhys Priestland, while Ben Spencer kicked a conversion and penalty – but they had no answer to Bristol’s relentless scrum power.
And a miserable second half for Bath was completed when hooker Tom Dunn received a late red card. Dunn, who was dismissed for a high shoulder-led hit to Bristol centre Semi Radradra’s head, is now facing a second ban of the season following his sending-off against London Irish in March.
Exeter Chiefs 41-10 Worcester Warriors
Exeter celebrated the call-up of four of their players to the Lions with a convincing 41-10 comeback victory over Worcester at a blustery Sandy Park.
The bonus-point win took Chiefs back into second place in the table and the only blot on the afternoon was the sight of a forlorn Jack Nowell limping off midway through the second half.
Sam Simmonds scored two of their tries, while Henry Slade, Dave Ewers, Stu Townsend and Jacques Vermeulen added one apiece with Joe Simmonds kicking a penalty and four conversions.
Francois Venter scored Worcester’s only try with Jamie Shillcock adding a penalty and a conversion.
— Newcastle Falcons (@FalconsRugby) May 8, 2021
Newcastle Falcons 52-27 London Irish
George McGuigan and Sean Robinson notched two tries apiece as seven-try Newcastle ran riot at Kingston Park, overpowering London Irish 52-27.
Louis Schreuder, Ben Stevenson and Tom Penny also went over for the hosts, while Brett Connon kicked 17 points in the Falcons’ first win in seven Gallagher Premiership matches.
Tom Parton, Ben Loader and Motu Matu’u touched down for Irish.