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Hook gives Exeter the boot

11th November 2011 23:05

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Hook: Kicked five out of six

Perpignan pivot James Hook kicked five penalties to give his new club an opening 15-12 Amlin Challenge Cup win over Exeter at the Stade Aime Giral on Friday.

It was a dream home debut for the Wales star as he scored all of his side's points with the boot and saved the Catalans blushes against a dogged Chiefs outfit.

The home side were behind for 50 minutes before they finally took the lead against their visitors, who left France with a well-earned bonus point.

The Chiefs certainly caught their hosts cold early on and took an early 9-3 lead thanks to the home side's indiscipline and the boot of the visitors impressive fly-half Gareth Steenson.

Both front rows enjoyed a rare old battle in the raw atmosphere in Catalonia, with neither prepared to take a step back in an often brutal contest. But the visitors still managed to go in 12-9 at the break.

Hook pulled the home side level just after half-time before Exeter found themselves down to 14 men after flanker James Scaysbrook was shown a yellow card for a high tackle on Perpignan's number eight Henry Tuilagi.

The Welshman slotted over his fifth penalty to give Perpignan a 15-12 lead after fellow Welsh international and former Ospreys teammate, Craig Mitchell, was penalised for collapsing a scrum.

The Chiefs did launch a terrific fightback towards the end of the second half and only some last ditch defence by Perpignan kept the visitors at bay to earn a valuable bonus point away from home.

The scorers:

For Perpignan:
Pens: Hook 5

For Exeter:
Pens: Steenson

Yellow card: James Scaysbrook (Exeter Chiefs, 45)

Perpignan: 15 Joffrey Michel, 14 Adrien Plante, 13 David Marty, 12 Gavin Hume, 11 Julien Candelon, 10 James Hook, 9 Florian Cazenave, 8 Henry Tuilagi, 7 Bertrand Guiry, 6 Grégory Le Corvec, 5 Robins Tchale Watchou, 4 Yoann Vivalda, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Jérôme Schuster.
Replacements: 16 Charles Geli, 17 Kisi Pulu, 18 Danie Thiart, 19 Olivier Olibeau, 21 Ovidiu Tonita, 22 Kevin Boulogne, 23 Nicolas Laharrague.

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Joseph Tatupu, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Patrick Phibbs, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Ben White, 5 James Hanks, 4 Tom Hayes, 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Neil Clark, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Simon Alcott, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Tom Johnson, 20 James Phillips, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Phil Dollman.

Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)

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