Exeter book Twickenham date

Date published: May 21 2016

Exeter will face Saracens in this season's Premiership final after they got the better of Wasps, winning 34-23 at Sandy Park on Saturday.

Four tries were scored in a scintillating first 40 minutes, Wasps crossed through Dan Robson and Carlo Festuccia while Exeter got their first score from Ian Whitten.

It was the second try that proved the crucial moment in this match, though. Exeter were held up on the Wasps and this resulted in a penalty try for the home side.

Festuccia was also sent to the sin-bin for the indiscretion. This meant Wasps spent the first ten minutes of the second-half down to ten men and the hosts took advantage when Dave Ewers went over in the 46th minute.

A late penalty try sealed the deal for Exeter as they booked a place at Twickenham to face Saracens.

Two Gareth Steenson penalties gave Exeter an early lead but it was Wasps who scored the first try of the match in the 16th minute. A driving maul helped pushed Wasps towards the line with Festuccia the man on hand to touch down. Jimmy Gopperth landed a tricky conversion attempt in the driving rain to take the lead for his side with the score 6-7.

This lead did not last long as Exeter scored their first try. Whitten showed wonderful strength in charging towards the Wasps defence and could not be held by George Smith before sliding over the line for a good score. Once again, Steenson's kicking was accurate to stretch his side's lead to six points.

Wasps claimed their second try in the 31st minute, Robson snuck through the Chiefs defence to score well. Gopperth converted, making the score 13-14.

The first-half drew to a close with the Chiefs being awarded a penalty try in the 39th minute. Referee Greg Garner deemed the visitors to have been holding up play illegally on the try-line. Festuccia was sent to the sin-bin as a result and Steenson kicked the simple conversion from under the posts to make the half-time score 20-14.

Wasps would not lie down easily though and Gopperth slotted a penalty kick in the 45th minute, cutting the deficit to three. 

With Festuccia still in the bin, the hosts took advantage. Ewers barged over the whitewash in the 46th minute for a vital score. Steenson added the extras from the tee, taking the score to 27-17.

Two penalties from Gopperth cut the gap to just four points with 13 minutes remaining.

Exeter held strong though and made sure of victory in the 80th minute by earning a penalty try. Steenson scored the conversion, making the final score 34-23.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Tries: Whitten, Penalty 2, Ewers
Con: Steenson 4
Pen: Steenson 2

For Wasps:
Tries: Festuccia, Robson
Con: Gopperth 2
Pen: Gopperth 3

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Gareth Steenson (c), 9 Will Chudley, 8 Don Armand, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Sam Hill, 23 James Short

Wasps: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Siale Piutau, 11 Frank Halai, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 George Smith, 6 James Haskell (c), 5 Bradley Davies, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley , 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Matt Mullan
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Sam Jones, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Rob Miller

Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant Referees: Tom Foley, Ross Campbell
TMO: Stuart Terheege