Exeter maintain recent domination of Leicester


Exeter overcame a sluggish start to get their Gallagher Premiership season under way in style with a 40-6 defeat of Leicester at Sandy Park.

The visitors had a near full strength line-up but went away empty-handed to maintain their miserable run at Sandy Park, having lost their previous league visits 30-6 and 31-10.

Sam Simmonds, comfortably man of the match, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Henry Slade, Matt Kvesic, Ian Whitten and Olly Woodburn scored Exeter’s tries with Gareth Steenson converting five.

George Ford replied with two penalties for Leicester.

The first 15 minutes were a scoreless non-event as both sides struggled to bring any continuity to their play, with neither able to provide the merest hint of a score.

It therefore came as no surprise that the first chance came via a penalty, which Ford knocked over after the hosts were penalised at a scrum 35 metres out.

Exeter were the first to threaten the try-line when Simmonds and Santiago Cordero skilfully combined to make 50 metres but Woodburn knocked on to bring the move to a halt.

Despite having the lion’s share of possession, Chiefs continually made handling errors and were punished, when against the run of play, Ford extended Leicester’s lead with a long range penalty.

The hosts immediately hit back to score the first try of the game with Phil Dollman and Jack Yeandle making vital contributions to set up a try for Woodburn, who forced his way over from close range.

That score was the precursor for Exeter to raise the tempo as their opponents struggled to cope with the explosive pace of Simmonds and the creativity of Cordero, ensuring the second quarter was a huge improvement on the first.

Two minutes before the interval, Chiefs’ dominance was rewarded when Simmonds finished off a sustained period of pressure, with Steenson’s conversion giving his side a 14-6 interval lead.

The first period of the second half saw Tigers regain their composure to make it an even contest with Manu Tuilagi making a couple of trademark bursts – but the third quarter was much like the first, played mainly in the middle third of the field with scoring chances at a premium.

On the hour, Exeter sealed victory when Cowan-Dickie crashed over after a surge from Ian Whitten had put the defence on the back foot before replacement Slade picked up the bonus point try.

Leicester were now a demoralised outfit and  conceded two further tries to Kvesic and Whitten in the final four minutes.


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