Chiefs bounce back to crush Irish

Date published: October 11 2014

Damian Welch touched down twice as Exeter Chiefs sealed their fourth Premiership win with a dominant 44-24 triumph over London Irish.

Damian Welch touched down twice as Exeter Chiefs sealed their fourth Premiership win with a dominant 44-24 triumph over London Irish.

Tries from Carl Rimmer, Henry Slade and Welch, as well as the accurate boot of Gareth Steenson, eased Exeter 30-3 ahead at the interval.

Further scores from Welch and Don Armand secured the bonus-point, but consolation efforts by Blair Cowan (twice) and Andrew Fenby rescued some pride for Irish.

The West Country outfit have signalled their intent already this season, gaining impressive wins over Gloucester and Harlequins, but their shock defeat to Newcastle Falcons was a setback.

Determined to right the wrongs of that loss, Exeter opened with intensity and pace and Steenson’s penalty gave them a deserved advantage.

Although Shane Geraghty levelled matters almost immediately, the hosts were more dangerous with ball in hand and Rimmer touched down following an outstanding line off Will Chudley’s shoulder.

Slade then crossed the whitewash after another excellent move before the Chiefs’ fly-half added a pair of penalties to extend the lead to 23-3.

That became a 27-point buffer at the break through Welch’s score as Rob Baxter’s men effectively moved into an unassailable advantage with 40 minutes gone.

Irish director of rugby Brian Smith needed a response but it failed to materialise, even if the Exiles were slightly more incisive in the early stages of the second period.

Instead, Exeter promptly sliced through the visiting defence to secure their bonus-point try from the excellent Welch.

Smith’s side were now a forlorn outfit and a minute later the hosts had another score when good work from Jack Nowell sent Armand across the whitewash.

To their credit, Irish scored three tries in the final 10 minutes through Cowan (twice) and Fenby, but it was mere consolation.

For Exeter:
Tries: Rimmer, Slade, Welch 2, Armand
Cons: Steenson 5
Pens: Steenson 3

For London Irish:
Tries: Cowan 2, Fenby
Cons: Geraghty 3
Pen: Geraghty
Yellow Card: Paice

Exeter: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Don Armand, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 1 Carl Rimmer
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Brett Sturgess, 18 Moray Low, 19 Ryan Caldwell, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Ian Whitten, 23 Tom James

Irish: 15 Andrew Fenby, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Eamonn Sheridan, 12 Shane Geraghty, 11 Topsy Ojo, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Scott Steele, 8 Luke Narraway, 7 Tom Guest, 6 Kieran Low, 5 Jebb Sinclair, 4 George Skivington (c), 3 Halani Aulika, 2 David Paice, 1 Tom Court
Replacements: 16 Jimmy Stevens, 17 Matt Parr, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Dan Leo, 20 Blair Cowan, 21 Tom