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Chiefs edge Gloucester at the death

24th March 2012 16:56

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Gareth Steenson celeb Gloucester v Exeter 2012

Winning conversion: Gareth Steenson

A 79th-minute try from Aly Muldowney saw Exeter snatch a 28-27 Aviva Premiership win over Gloucester at Kingsholm on Saturday.

The result could prove crucial in the race for the play-offs.

The home side registered the first points of the game as fly-half Freddie Burns kicked an early penalty but the Chiefs soon worked their way back into the game and they produced the opening try through prop Craig Mitchell midway through the first half.

Mitchell crashed over after an excellent break from winger Matt Jess had laid the platform and scrum-half Haydn Thomas managed to get the quick ball necessary for the prop to finish the move off.

Exeter's cause was aided with ten minutes remaining in the first half when Gloucester lock Jim Hamilton was sent to the sin bin and the men from Devon took full advantage of the extra man.

This time Jess applied the finishing touch to score in the corner after good work from the forwards and, although he missed the conversion, Ignacio Mieres added a late penalty to give the Chiefs an impressive 15-3 half-time lead.

Burns and Mieres exchanged penalties in the opening stages of the second half before the Cherry and Whites began to cut loose, scoring three tries in the space of less than ten minutes to turn the match on its head.

First, Gloucester kicked to the corner from a penalty and their lineout laid the platform for the backs to create an overlap and James Simpson-Daniel crossed for the try.

And moments later Burns got in on the act with an outstanding individual try of his own. He chipped the ball ahead on the edge of the Exeter 22 and regathered to score underneath the posts before adding the conversion to give the home side a 20-18 advantage.

Simpson-Daniel then turned provider for the third try as he ran back a Gareth Steenson kick before feeding replacement scrum-half Nick Runciman to score.

And Burns added the extra two points to take Gloucester's lead beyond seven points.

The Chiefs were far from finished though as Steenson kicked a penalty with three minutes remaining to cut the deficit to just six points.

Exeter then laid siege to the opposition try-line, kicking to the corner and eventually going over through replacement Muldowney. And Steenson kept his cool to add a difficult conversion, making the final score 28-27 to the visitors and keeping them very much in the hunt for a top four place.

The scorers:

For Gloucester:
Tries: Simpson-Daniel, Burns, Runciman
Cons: Burns 3
Pens: Burns 2

For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries: Mitchell, Jess, Muldowney
Cons: Mieres Steenson
Pens: Mieres 2, Steenson

Yellow card: Hamilton (Gloucester - 31st min)

Gloucester: 15 Jonny May, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 11 James Simpson-Daniel, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Luke Narraway (capt), 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Matt Cox, 5 Alex Brown, 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Dan Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Tom Savage, 20 Peter Buxton, 21 Nick Runciman, 22 Tim Taylor, 23 Tim Molenaar

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Bryan Rennie, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Ignacio Mieres, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 James Hanks, 4 Tom Hayes (c), 3 Craig Mitchell, 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Hoani Tui.
Replacements: 16 Neil Clark, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Chris Budgen, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Ben White, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Sireli Naqelevuki.

Venue: Kingsholm
Referee: Greg Garner

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