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Exeter scrape past Scarlets

15th December 2012 17:32

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Exeter Chiefs Simon Alcott scores v Scarlets

Try for Exeter Chiefs: Simon Alcott

A late James Scaysbrook try saw Exeter Chiefs edge the Scarlets 30-20 in their Heineken Cup clash at Sandy Park on Saturday.

The Chiefs got off to a flying start as Haydn Thomas found Matt Jess on his shoulder after a slick line-out inside the opening five minutes and the winger fed Ian Whitten to sprint over underneath the posts.

The visitors were forced to endure a 10-minute spell down to 14 men soon afterwards as well as Liam Williams was penalised for a high tackle.

And, after Gareth Steenson and Aled Thomas exchanged penalties, the Scarlets found themselves 14 points down when hooker Simon Alcott charged down Thomas' attempted clearance and regathered the ball to score.

James Hanks' sinbinning midway through the first half gave the Welshmen a chance to get a foothold in the game though and, after Thomas had slotted over his second penalty of the day, Ken Owens crashed over from short range to reduce the deficit.

The home side did head into the interval with a seven-point advantage though as Steenson knocked over another penalty with the last meaningful kick of the half to make it 20-13.

But the Scarlets levelled things up just two minutes after the restart through Scott Williams, who scored in the corner after the Exeter defence couldn't handle the pace and power of George North, to set up a nervy second half.

The Chiefs edged ahead again on the hour mark when a period of concerted pressure and several reset scrums ended with Steenson comfortably converting his third penalty of the game.

And that is the way it remained until just two minutes from time as both sides had their fair share of possession and territory but neither was able to make the crucial breakthrough.

Exeter did seal victory at the death though and it was fitting that their influential captain Scaysbrook was the man to do it, picking the ball up from the base of a ruck and spotting a gap in the defence like a good scrum-half before trundling over to make it back-to-back wins over the men from Llanelli.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Tries: Whitten, Alcott, Scaysbrook
Cons: Steenson 3
Pens: Steenson 3
Yellow card: Hanks

For Scarlets:
Tries: Owens, Scott Williams
Cons: Thomas 2
Pens: Thomas 2
Yellow card: Liam Williams

Exeter: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Sireli Naqelevuki, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Gonzalo Camacho, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Tom Johnson, 7 James Scaysbrook (capt), 6 Dean Mumm, 5 James Hanks, 4 Aly Muldowney, 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Simon Alcott, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Neil Clark, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Carl Rimmer, 19 Damian Welch, 20 Ben White, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Luke Arscott.

Scarlets 15 Liam Williams 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies (capt), 12 Scott Williams, 11 Gareth Maule, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Kieran Murphy, 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 George Earle, 5 Richard Kelly, 4 Sione Timani, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Shaun Hopkins.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Deacon Manu, 19 Johan Synman, 20 Tomás Vallejos, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Dan Newton, 23 Kristian Phillips.

Venue: Sandy Park
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Christophe Berdos (France), Eric Soulan (France)
Television match official: Eric Gonthier (France)

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