Planet Rugby

Exeter cruise into top six

21st April 2013 15:58

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Gareth Steenson wasps v exeter

Gareth Steenson: 17 points

Exeter moved into the top six of the Aviva Premiership thanks to a comprehensive 37-24 win over London Wasps on Sunday.

The result with one round left to play means the Chiefs are one win away from booking a place in next season's Heineken Cup.

Tries from Jack Yeandle and Jack Nowell, aided by the accurate boot of Gareth Steenson, took the Chiefs into a 20-10 lead at half-time.

Christian Wade went over for Wasps before the break with Elliot Daly and Stephen Jones adding the rest of their points from the boot, but it was Exeter who continued their dominance after the interval.

And further touchdowns by Damien Welch and Haydn Thomas sealed the bonus-point and moved them up to sixth in the Premiership.

Hugo Southwell and Tom Varndell did get consolation scores for the hosts but they were comprehensively beaten.

Having made yet another late season surge, the Chiefs found themselves in with an excellent chance of securing Heineken Cup qualification.

Wasps have also enjoyed a good season after the travails of last year and opened the scoring through Daly. However, the visitors have impressed with their vibrant style this season and found several gaps in a non-existent defence.

Steenson sounded warning of Exeter's threat when his break ended with the Irishman levelling the scores with a penalty. A turnover then saw Welch break down the right hand side. The ball was recycled quickly and Yeandle powered over in the left corner.

The West Country outfit were easily on top and Nowell exploited another gap in the hosts' rearguard for a second Chiefs' try.

Although the High Wycombe-based side got back into the game through Wade's superb score, that was only after the fly-half had extended the visitors' advantage.

Despite the best efforts of Dai Young's men in the second-half it was the Exeter who continued to dictate the encounter.

Welch and Southwell traded converted tries in the opening 10 minutes of the period to take the score to 27-17 in the away team's favour.

But it was Thomas' touchdown which effectively rubber-stamped the victory before Steenson's three-pointer took them clear by 20 points. Wasps did have the final say when Varndell went over but they stay eighth in the table.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Tries: Wade, Southwell, Varndell
Cons: SM Jones 2, TW Bell
Pens: Daly 5

For Exeter:
Tries: Yeandle, Nowell, Welch, Thomas
Cons: Steenson 4
Pens: Steenson 3

Wasps: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 Chris Bell (c), 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 James Haskell, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Joe Launchbury, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Zak Taulafo.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Will Taylor, 18 Simon McIntyre, 19 Marco Wentzel, 20 Sam Jones, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Tommy Bell, 23 Hugo Southwell.

Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Phil Dollman, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter (c), 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Ben White, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Ian Whitten.

Referee: Greg Garner

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