Harlequins and Saracens both maintained their winning runs to remain top of the Premier 15s table after matchday three.

Quins lead on points difference after beating Gloucester-Hartpury 39-12, while Sarries left it late to seal a 28-24 win at Loughborough Lightning.

Wasps moved third, beating Darlington Mowden Park Sharks 29-14, and Bristol Bears won 36-0 at Firwood Waterloo.

Richmond also claimed their first win of the season by beating Worcester Warriors 35-8.

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Women’s Rugby correspondent Adam Zoltie at Twyford Avenue

Each side had contrasting motivations going into this fixture. For Wasps, it was a chance to eradicate the memory of last week’s narrow loss to Gloucester-Hartpury, while Sharks were keen to build on their eight-try rout of Firwood and show they are a remodelled side from last season.

The opening stages were evenly poised, with both teams going blow-for-blow in defence and each attack being met with only limited gains. However, Wasps’ ability to recycle the ball paid dividends and Katie Mason dashed over the line after an impressive 17 phases of play.

Despite another quick score from Harriet Millar-Mills, the visitors weren’t phased in the slightest and Heather Kerr jotted down following an emphatic attacking move. Although Claire Molloy’s smart finish stretched the gap to two converted tries at the break, DMP had every right to feel like they could take something from this match.

However, two impressive tries from Abby Dow meant that, even with Kerr’s second, they returned to Darlington with just an encouraging performance to look back upon.

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Saracens scored with the final act of the match to beat Loughborough and keep up the pressure on the league leaders.

The defending champions trailed 17-0 at half-time after tries for the hosts by Emily Scarratt, Katy Daley-McLean and Isla Alejandro.

But Sarries improved after the break and two Hannah Botterman tries in quick succession reduced the deficit to just three points.

The hosts then extended their lead as Scarratt crossed again but Sarah McKenna hit back before Libby Lockwood struck the decisive blow in the final minute.

Leaders Harlequins, who have lost both Premier 15s finals, opened up an early lead through Leanne Riley against a confident Gloucester side that arrived at the Stoop in third place.

Zoe Aldcroft crossed for the visitors to draw the scores level before Giada Franco rumbled over to hand Quins a five-point lead the interval.

Shaunagh Brown added a third try for the hosts after the break but they were pegged back once more as Emma Sing scored for Gloucester.

But Quins’ dominance told after the hour mark when Brown scored her second try, before debutant Sarah Beckett crashed over.

Lucy Attwood got the ball rolling early on as Bristol made it back-to-back league wins with victory over Firwood.

Becky Hughes doubled their advantage on her first appearance of the season moments later, and Sarah Bern powered over to make it 19-0 at the break.

Elinor Snowsill sealed the bonus point after the interval before Attwood scored her second and Amy Coles added the sixth try on her league debut.

Having suffered heavy defeats to Quins and Sarries on the opening two weekends, Richmond bounced back with victory over Worcester, who remained rooted to the foot of the table.

Both sides cancelled each other out with early penalties and Akina Gondwe scored the first try for Worcester.

But the hosts drew level through Alex Zdunek and Ellie Boatman gave them the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Grace Moore scored the third two minutes after the restart before a second for Boatman sealed the bonus point and an interception try for Hallie Taufoou rounded off the victory.