Dec 27 2009
London Irish ended Saracens' unbeaten Guinness Premiership record in a thunderous 23-19 top-of-the-table battle at the Madejski Stadium.
The visitors led until 10 minutes from the end, despite wasting opportunities to extend their six-point advantage by attempting failed drop-goals. Elvis Seveali'i darted over to punish them and put the hosts ahead for the first time in the match, with Malone making no mistake from the conversion.
Leicester extended their unbeaten home record to 24 matches but made desperately hard work of subduing depleted rivals Sale 32-6 at a packed Welford Road.
Sale made 11 changes to the side that started last week's Heineken Cup game against Harlequins but they made the home side graft for their victory.
Leicester did not claim the bonus point until the final play of the game when number eight Jordan Crane drove over after a succession of scrums close to Sale's line.
Sale defended tenaciously but could not convert their own attacking opportunities into a try and had to rely on two Charlie Hodgson penalties for their points.
Bath claimed their first Guinness Premiership home win since April after defeating Gloucester 24-8 in a dire west country derby at the Recreation Ground.
Fly-half Nicky Little guided them to victory, landing four penalties as Bath prospered from Gloucester's indiscipline before substitute Jack Cuthbert and wing Matt Banahan posted late tries.
Leeds grabbed a relegation lifeline when they edged a 16-15 win at Newcastle. Former Leeds player Rob Vickerman made an explosive early break backed up by Charlie Amesbury as Newcastle made all the early running.
Danny Cipriani endured a frustrating return to action, missing five of his seven kicks, but Wasps still claimed London bragging rights as they beat Harlequins 21-20 Twickenham.