It was party time at Exeter as the Chiefs marked their 50th Aviva Premiership match with a 42-28 victory over Harlequins that earned them a try-scoring bonus point and prevented the visitors from going back to the top of the table.
Jason Shoemark scored two of Exeter's five tries in a five-minute spell to settle the match, with Brett Sturgess, Ben White and Sireli Naqelevuki scoring the others. Gareth Steenson, one of four changes from the Exeter side beaten at Leicester last week, converted four of them in amassing 17 points.
Steenson's opposite number Nick Evans was the mainstay for Harlequins with a try, a conversion and two penalties. Despite leading 18-16 at half-time thanks to Ugo Monye's fourth try of the season and battering Exeter in the closing stages, Quins could not recover to force a victory that would have put them back at the top of the table.
The final blow to their cause was delivered two minutes from the end by the replacement Naqelevuki. He raced clear to score Exeter's fifth try, which Steenson converted.
Leinster put three tries past Munster in Dublin to give themselves a timely boost before the launch of their Heineken Cup defence with a 30-21 victory in the RaboDirect Pro12.
Tries from Richardt Strauss and Peter O'Mahony inside the first six minutes were the opening blows of another explosive interprovincial derby. Jonathan Sexton and Ronan O'Gara then swapped a series of penalties, while Leinster's second try from Ian Madigan made the difference at the break as his side led 20-14.
Brian O'Driscoll needed the smallest of openings as the hosts added 10 more points before the hour but Munster battled back late on with a final try from Conor Murray.
In Soweto, the world champions New Zealand scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to overcome South Africa 32-16 in their final Rugby Championship match.
Lock Sam Whitelock, scrum-half Aaron Smith and centres Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith scored tries, with the fly-half Dan Carter adding three conversions, a penalty and a drop goal for the unbeaten All Blacks.
South Africa scored a try through wing Bryan Habana, which was converted by fly-half Johan Goosen, who also kicked a penalty. Goosen's replacement Elton Jantjies kicked two penalties just before half-time to give the Springboks the lead at the break.
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