Third-placed Ulster secured a dramatic 25-23 Celtic League win over Glasgow at Ravenhill when the veteran Ireland fly-half David Humphreys capped a virtuoso performance by landing a 40-metre penalty - his sixth in all - four minutes into injury time.
Two minutes earlier, Dan Parks' third successful penalty looked to a have sealed victory for Glasgow. Humphreys, linked recently to Western Stormers, scored all Ulster's points, including a 70-metre solo try and a conversion, and overtook Gavin Henson to become the competition's top scorer with 522 points. Graeme Morrison and Craig Hamilton ran in the visitors' tries, both converted by Parks.
Bath, so inspired in this season's Heineken and Powergen Cups but second from bottom in the Premiership, will earn some welcome breathing space for their new head coach Brian Ashton if they can see off table proppers Leeds in this afternoon's basement battle at Headingley.
Ashton, who coached at the Rec from 1989-96, saw Bath slip to a 21-9 home defeat by leaders Sale in his first game at the helm last Monday, but was encouraged by what he saw. Bath's bid to put at least 10 points of daylight between themselves and Leeds will be boosted by the England prop David Flatman's return from an 18-month injury nightmare during which the 25-year-old had four Achilles tendon operations.
Leeds welcome back the former All Blacks scrum-half Justin Marshall, who missed last weekend's 31-7 defeat at Gloucester because of a shoulder problem.
Wasps, fresh from two bonus-point wins, rest prop Tim Payne and flanker Jonny O'Connor for the home encounter with Newcastle. Jeremy Staunton and Eoin Reddan start at half-back ahead of Alex King and Matt Dawson.
Thomas Castaignède returns for Saracens against Gloucester at Vicarage Road. The visitors will be without England flanker Andy Hazell due to a head injury. The England scrum-half Harry Ellis has made a rapid recovery from knee surgery and is among Leicester's replacements as they aim for only their second away league win in 12 months against London Irish. And the highly-rated flanker Magnus Lund misses Sale's home game with Bristol after injuring an arm in training yesterday.
Junior Fatialofa helped himself to a hat-trick of tries in Exeter's 23-8 victory over Earth Titans in the quarter-finals of the Powergen National Trophy. David Jackson and Tom Richardson each claimed a brace in Nottingham's 34-3 home win over London Welsh, while Bedford scraped through 14-13 at Otley.