Exeter Chiefs were on the wrong end of a remarkable comeback at Sandy Park on Saturday, as Northampton recovered from a 26-0 deficit to take spot in the Gallagher Premiership with a thrilling 42-36 victory.

The Chiefs were electric in the opening stages of the game, scoring four tries in a breathtaking spell of attacking rugby. Two tries from Jacques Vermeulen sandwiched a wonderful score from Emmanuel Feyi-Waboso and Stu Townsend also touched down.

The Saints could have been further behind, but for some dogged defending, and got a foothold in the game with tries from Calum Braley and Ollie Sleightholme. Momentum continued to shift away from the Chiefs with sin bins costing them dear.

The impressive Sleightholme would go on to score a hat-trick and Northampton were in control at 35-29 with 15 minutes left to play, but there were a couple more twists left in this gripping drama.

Rus Tuima broke through the visiting defence on 72 minutes and must have thought he’d won the game for the Chiefs. Northampton, however, had one more play up their sleeve and Rory Hutchinson stole the victory when he piled over from a lineout.

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter told BBC Sport: "I've said to the lads that I couldn't be any prouder of them than I am now.

"If Northampton mess up that last line-out or we scramble it into touch, why would this feel any different to how it did in Toulon, when we kicked the last kick of the game?

"What you've performed in the game is still exactly how you performed in the game, but if the last score goes to the opposition in a way that it did today you've still got to accept everything that happened, over the 80 minutes.

"Over the 80 minutes did we get everything right? Of course we didn't. Over the 80 minutes did we do some good things? Yes, we did.

"We've got to look at those things just as they are and take them for what they are."