Exeter do the double over Saints

Date published: April 12 2015

Exeter climbed into the top four of the Premiership standings after they powered past league leaders Northampton 21-10 at Sandy Park on Sunday.

In a bruising first-half, the West Country outfit, playing with the wind, went into the break 8-5 ahead through Phil Dollman's try and Henry Slade's penalty. 

James Wilson's touchdown was the visitors' response before the interval, but they failed to build on that in the second period.

Instead, Exeter controlled proceedings and extended their advantage through a penalty try and eight points from the boot of Slade, although Saints did get a consolation through Jamie Elliott. 

Northampton went into the game as heavy favourites for a home semi-final and a victory over the Chiefs would have taken them to within touching distance of that achievement. 

The hosts were on fine form having secured a position in the last-four of the European Challenge Cup, but it was Jim Mallinder's men who started the brighter.

They pressed the opposition line and looked to have opened the space for a possible try, but the move was ended when George Pisi knocked on. That allowed the Chiefs to get into the game and, following a Saints' infringement, Slade kicked Rob Baxter's side ahead. 

With the momentum now with Exeter, the home team put together a flowing attack which resulted in Dollman going over. 

However, back came Northampton and they dominated the next few minutes. Dean Mumm was yellow carded and, despite failing to score while the lock was off the field, the visitors manufactured the position for Wilson to touch down. 

It was a proving to be a fast paced affair, but solid defence, as well as a number of penalties, was stopping either team from adding to the score. 

Calum Clark was yellow carded towards the end of the half and that allowed the hosts to build some pressure after the break. 

Slade was successful off the tee before Stephen Myler was yellow carded for a deliberate knock-on. With 14 men off the field and the scrum a powerful weapon for the Chiefs, the Saints eventually succumbed as referee Wayne Barnes awarded a penalty try. 

Following Northampton's humbling at the hands of Clermont, it was all going wrong for the away side. The set-piece was regularly in retreat and, under pressure, Alex Waller was sin-binned. 

However, all Exeter could add was another Slade penalty in the final 30 minutes. 

Northampton pressed for a late try and duly touched down through Elliott but it wasn't enough.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Tries: Dollman, Penalty
Con: Slade
Pen: Slade 3

For Northampton:
Tries: Wilson, Elliott

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Ian Whitten, 13 Jack Nowell, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Ben White, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Mitch Lees, 4 Dean Mumm (c), 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Tom James.

Northampton Saints: 15 James Wilson, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Calum Clark, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Christian Day, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Gareth Denman, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Jon Fisher, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Tom Stephenson, 23 Ahsee Tuala.

Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff, Paul Burton
TMO: Geoff Warren