Two-time Heineken Cup winners Wasps produced a scintillating display to stun 2020 European Rugby Challenge Cup victors Bristol Bears 44-8 in the Gallagher Premiership on Saturday.

Wasps, who will be eager to improve on their Round of 16 exit in last season’s European campaign, scored six tries at the Coventry Building Society Arena, debutant Ali Crossdale catching the eye with a first-half brace.

Brad Shields, Dan Frost, Tom Willis and Zach Kibirige added second-half tries in a comprehensive triumph for the hosts, whose only try concession was a first-half effort from Max Lahiff.

Elsewhere, James Grayson continued his promising early-season form by kicking 10 points in Northampton Saints’ 26-24 victory at 2020 Heineken Champions Cup victors Exeter Chiefs.

Northampton responded to an early 14-0 deficit with tries from Alex Mitchell and Matt Proctor but still trailed 21-17 at the break, Don Armand, Jack Maunder and Rus Tuima dotting down for Exeter.

Three second-half penalties – one from Grayson and two from George Furbank – capped a dramatic comeback, Furbank’s final kick coming with a minute remaining.

Meanwhile, Harlequins defeated Worcester Warriors 35-29 in a thrilling encounter at Twickenham Stoop. Quins notched five tries, Louis Lynagh, Alex Dombrandt and Cadan Murley crossing in the first period, before Joe Marchant and Dino Lamb added further tries after the break.

Worcester produced a spirited response after trailing 21-3 at the interval – Ollie Lawrence, Willi Heinz, Will Chudley and Marc Thomas all scoring tries.

Bath Rugby fell to a 20-13 reverse at home to Newcastle Falcons. Max Ojomoh chalked up a late consolation try for Bath, after Adam Radwan, Iwan Stephens and George McGuigan had touched down for the Falcons in the first period.

In the opening weekend of United Rugby Championship action four-time Heineken Champions Cup winners Leinster Rugby cruised to a 31-3 victory over Bulls. Josh van der Flier, Andrew Porter, James Tracy and Ed Byrne crossed in the four-try rout.

Gavin Coombes and Simon Zebo both notched doubles in Munster Rugby’s 42-17 victory over Sharks at Thomond Park as the Irish province crossed the whitewash six times. Craig Casey and Chris Cloete were the two-time European champions’ other try-scorers.

Scarlets fell to a 26-22 defeat at Edinburgh Rugby, Steffan Evans, Kieran Hardy and Johnny McNicholl touching down for the Welsh region in reply to two tries from Darcy Graham plus one apiece from Ben Vellacott, Blair Kinghorn and Mark Bennett.

In the TOP 14, 2021 Heineken Champions Cup runners-up Stade Rochelais overwhelmed Biarritz Olympique 59-17 with a nine-try display.

James Kerr-Barlow scored a first-half hat-trick, while Eneriko Buliruarua (2), Jules Favre, Guram Papidze and Rémi Picquette also touched down for the hosts, who were also awarded a penalty try.

Union Bordeaux-Bègles overcame a 10-9 half-time deficit to defeat CA Brive 29-10. Ben Lam was the star of the show with a second-half double within five second-half minutes after Federico Mori’s opener. Matthieu Jalibert kicked four penalties and a conversion.

Racing 92’s first-half display was just enough to hold off Lyon in a 24-20 victory as first-half tries from Gaël Fickou, Camille Chat and Ibrahim Diallo opened up a 21-0 lead at the break for the three-time Heineken Champions Cup runners-up.

Lyon rallied with tries from Temo Mayanavanua and Baptiste Couilloud, but Racing had just enough in hand to claim the spoils.

Joris Segonds kicked 15 points in Stade Français Paris’ 34-10 win over Castres Olympique – a penalty try and scores from James Hall and Telusa Veainu also contributing to victory at the Stade Jean Bouin.

Montpellier Hérault Rugby suffered a second straight defeat in a 23-22 reverse at Section Paloise. Marco Tauleigne scored two tries and Pierre Lucas and Arthur Vincent one apiece – but it was the hosts who triumphed thanks to two tries in the final ten minutes from Youri Delhommel and Aminiasi Tuimaba.