sport

Bath boosted by Banahan score

Bath claimed a four-try bonus point that lifts them back into third place in the Aviva Premiership as they overcame Worcester 32-20 at the Rec.

They lead Leicester on games won and, with Northampton to face at home before the final game away to another of the play-off contenders Harlequins on May 10, it looks set to go down to the wire.

Bottom club Worcester were never out of this game until Matt Banahan's late try, which denied them a losing bonus point. Up to that point they looked more than capable of winning, having scored three tries themselves through Josh Drauniniu, Andy Symons and Chris Pennell but came away with nothing.

Bath's other tries, all scored in the first half, came from Micky Young, Horacio Agulla and Nick Abendanon. George Ford, who was sin-binned for taking out David Lemi in the air, kicked nine points with Gavin Henson adding a penalty.

Wasps seized the initiative in the battle for European qualification after sweeping Gloucester aside with a 38-30 bonus-point victory at Twickenham.

Two tries from James Haskell and one apiece from Tom Varndell, Elliot Daly and Ashley Johnson enabled the London club to replace Exeter in seventh place in the Aviva Premiership, which offers a play-off route into next season's Champions Cup.

Sale kept a grip on sixth place and guaranteed a place in the European Rugby Champions Cup for next season with a 55-12 victory over Exeter at Sandy Park.

Mike Brown's decisive try continued Harlequins' late charge for a place in the Aviva Premiership play-offs and ended Leicester's seven-match winning league run.

Brown powered over in the 70th minute to snatch victory for Quins, who battled back from 10-0 and 13-3 down to secure their third successive triumph in a pulsating 24-20 showdown at Twickenham Stoop.

Referee Tim Wigglesworth awarded the 2012 Premiership champions a penalty try and was involved in several other controversial decisions.

Fly-half Nick Evans kicked three penalties and a conversion as fifth-placed Quins kept up the pressure on the top four with a critical match against closest rivals Bath looming on May 10.

Vereniki Goneva and Jamie Gibson scored tries for Leicester, whose hopes of replacing Northampton in second have dimmed.