Exeter break into top four

Date published: December 2 2016

Exeter scored all their points in the first half to record a one-sided 21-3 victory over Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday.

Josh Beaumont will have been hoping to lay down his England credentials but was penalised early on for holding the ball up. This resulted in a penalty try and a sin-binning for the number eight. This had set the tone for the rest of the match as Exeter scored two further first-half tries through James Short and Will Chudley. 

After half-time, the sides appeared to have consigned themselves to the result as Exeter made it three wins in a row. Sale will be disappointed with a result and a performance that sees them remain in ninth place. 

In customary Chiefs style, the first try of the match came from a driving maul with eight minutes played. Referee Wayne Barnes penalised Beaumont for holding up the visitors' pack by awarding a penalty try and sending the Sale captain to the sin-bin. Gareth Steenson successfully converted before AJ MacGinty cut the deficit with a penalty for the hosts from straight in front of the posts, making the score 3-7 after 11 minutes. 

The Devon side scored their second try in the 20th minute, an Exeter line-out was poorly dealt with by the hosts which allowed them to drive forward. This assault was halted but the ball was well-worked out wide for James Short to score. Steenson added the extras. 

The third try came in spectacular style from Will Chudley in the 35th minute. Sam Hill broke through the Sale defence before a perfectly timed pass to Chudley who ran in un-opposed. 

Steenson scored his third conversion to make the half-time score 21-3. The second half was a full-blooded and attritional affair but did not see any points added to the score line.

The scorers:

For Sale:
Pen: MacGinty 
Yellow Card: Beaumont

For Exeter:
Tries: Penalty Try, Short, Chudley
Cons: Steenson 3

Sale Sharks: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Sam James, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Josh Charnley, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 TJ Ioane, 7 Ben Curry, 6 Cameron Neild, 5 Josh Beaumont (c), 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Ross Harrison
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 James Flynn, 18 Halani Aulika, 19 Jonathan Mills, 20 David Seymour, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Sam Tuitupou, 23 Paolo Odogwu

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Ollie Devoto, 12 Sam Hill, 11 James Short, 10 Gareth Steenson (c), 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Kai Horstmann, 6 Don Armand, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Carl Rimmer
Replacements: 16 Shaun Malton, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 Michele Campagnaro

Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Peter Allan, Paul Dix
TMO: David Rose