Exeter power past Wasps to go top

Date published: November 22 2014

Jack Nowell scored two of Exeter’s three tries as they beat Wasps 31-15 in their Premiership clash at Sandy Park on Saturday.

Jack Nowell scored two of Exeter’s three tries as they beat Wasps 31-15 in their Premiership clash at Sandy Park on Saturday.

The result sees Chiefs provisionally move top of the Premiership, although Northampton and Sarries – who play each other on Sunday – could still regain the league lead before the weekend is over.

Nowell’s first try of the season came just two minutes in, though Wasps got one of their own soon after thanks to Rob Miller.

But Nowell’s wondeful afternoon continued as he recorded his first brace in rugby, and a third came before the break from Thomas Waldrom.

Wasps upped the pressure in the second half, but couldn’t make that pressure count. Tom Lindsay’s try came too late to mount a real comeback, as the Chiefs soared to the top of the table.

Buoyed by last week’s victory over Northampton, the Sandy Park crowd were treated to a non-stop first half, which got going almost straight from the kick off.

Will Chudley’s side step and dummy allowed him to offload to Nowell, who went over, with Gareth Steenson doing the honours from the kick.

Andy Goode narrowed the gap with a penalty, though Steenson restored the seven point lead moments later.

Miller equalled the try scoring inside 12 minutes after Wasps spread the ball across the pitch, but Goode was unable to level the scores, and from then on the Chiefs didn’t look like falling behind.

A further Steenson penalty was followed up by Nowell’s second of the game. Sam Hill released the 21-year-old on the right hand side, and he burst straight through for his second of the afternoon.

The Chiefs almost saw their lead go straight from kick off as they immediately broke, though they were held up. But another try did come five minutes before the break.

The Chiefs drove forward, and when the maul straightened, it was Waldrom who was in control of the ball to continue his remarkable scoring run of 7 in 8. Steenson’s conversion was the last points in a pulsating first half.

Wasps unsurprisingly spent most of the second half almost penned on the Chiefs try line, but they were unable to get a hold back on the game. 10 minutes of constant pressure resulted in a yellow card for Thomas Francis, yet Dai Young’s side were still left wanting when it came to points.

In fact, the only ones that came in the period he was absent, were from the Chiefs, as Steenson kicked another penalty to increase the lead to 20 points.

A try did eventually come for Wasps after Exeter were restored to 15 men. Tom Lindsay bundled his way over the line, with the TMO confirming Lindsay’s first ever Premiership try.

The promising Alex Lozowski converted his kick. And another Steenson kick, who only missed one all afternoon, finished the scoring to give the Chiefs a very convincing victory.

The win has seen Exeter rise to the helm of the Aviva Premiership, with their home run extending to six wins on the bounce. And it was another sorry afternoon for Wasps at Sandy Park, who are still yet to win there.

The scorers:

For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries: Nowell 2, Waldrom
Cons: Steenson 2
Pens: Steenson 4
Yellow card: Francis

For Wasps:
Tries: Miller, Lindsay
Con: Lozowski
Pen: Goode
Yellow card: Daly

Exeter Chiefs: 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 Dean Mumm (c), 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Carl Rimmer.
Replacements: 16 Greg Bateman, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Moray Low, 19 Ryan Caldwell, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Ian Whitten, 23 Byron McGuigan.

Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Chris Bell (c), 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Sam Jones, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Edd Shervington, 1 Simon McIntyre.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 John Yapp, 18 Jake Cooper-Woolley 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Tom Varndell

Date: Saturday, November 22
Kick-off: 15:00
Venue: Sandy Park
Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant referees: Paul Burton, Thomas Foley
Television match official: Rowan Kitt
Timekeeper: Laurie Bryant