Exeter bounce back in style

Date published: September 17 2016

Exeter claimed their first win of the Premiership season on Saturday as a hat-trick from Luke Cowan-Dickie saw them beat Harlequins 36-25.

Chiefs came flying out of the blocks with full-back Lachie Turner scoring his first of two first-half tries after just five minutes.

Cowan-Dickie also scored a brace in a half dominated by the hosts as they secured a bonus point.

Rob Buchanan touched down for Quins as they offered little in response.

Cowan-Dickie completed his hat-trick five minutes into the second half and the hosts looked to be cruising. However, Harlequins rallied with tries from Danny Care and then Marland Yarde to make things tight heading into the final 10 minutes. Nonetheless, Exeter held on to secure their first win of the season.

This was despite a late red card for Tomas Francis for what looked to be a kick to an opponent's head at the ruck.

Exeter took the lead early on when, in the seventh minute, a long spell of pressure on the Quins line was finally converted into a try by Turner. Gareth Steenson missed his conversion attempt to leave the early score at 5-0.

The Chiefs infringed straight from kick-off giving Quins' Tim Swiel an opportunity to cut the deficit, he took his chance to make the score 5-3.

Swiel kicked a second penalty just three minutes later to take the visitors into a slim one-point lead. This lead did not last long as Cowan-Dickie pounced on an overthrown Quins line-out to score a try. Steenson was able to add the extras on this occasion to take the score line to 12-6.

Turner scored his second and the hosts' third try after 20 minutes, the Australian was set free by a fantastic Olly Woodburn offload to run in from 30 metres out for an early try of the season contender. Steenson converted for a 13-point lead.

Quins scored their first try in the 26th minute, Buchanan peeled off the rear of a powerful driving maul to cross the whitewash. Swiel added the conversion to make the score 19-13.

Cowan-Dickie added his second try of the match in the 35th minute following a line-out and maul. Steenson kicked the extras to establish a 13-point lead for the hosts.

Steenson notched another three in the 39th minute meaning that Exeter would go into the half-time interval in possession of a 29-13 lead. 

The home side began the second-half in the manner in which they finished the first as Cowan-Dickie scored another try from a line-out maul to complete his hat-trick in the 46th minute. Steenson was successful with his conversion attempt from the touchline to take the score line to 36-13.

After 66 minutes, Harlequins gave themselves a glimmer of hope as Mike Brown played in Care to score under the posts. The conversion was added to cut the deficit to 16 points.

With 72 minutes played, the visitors scored again, Yarde and Charlie Walker combining well down the left-hand side for the latter to score. No conversion was added but an advantage came for the visitors when Chiefs' Francis was shown a red card for reckless use of his foot at the ruck.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Tries: Turner 2, Cowan-Dickie 3
Cons: Steenson 4
Pens: Steenson
Red Card: Francis (72 mins)

For Harlequins:
Tries: Buchanan, Care, Walker
Cons: Swiel 2
Pens: Swiel 2

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

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Winston Stanley, 11 Charlie Walker, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Danny Care (c), 8 Jack Clifford, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 James Horwill, 4 Sam Twomey, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Will Collier, 19 George Merrick, 20 James Chisholm, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 James Lang, 23 Alofa Alofa

Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix, Thomas Foley
TMO: David Sainsbury