Planet Rugby

Exeter end 143-year silverware wait

16th March 2014 16:49

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Champions: Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs captured their first ever major trophy by defeating Northampton Saints 15-8 in the LV= Cup Final at Sandy Park.

Tries from Chris Whitehead and Dean Mumm handed the Chiefs victory on their home ground against a talented Northampton outfit that lost yet another major final.

A booming sellout crowd of 10,000 roared the home side to victory and the scenes at the final whistle spoke volumes over how much this success means to the Chiefs, who only entered the Aviva Premiership in 2010.

Northampton were dealt a late blow before kickoff as both starting fly-half Stephen Myler and substitute Will Hooley pulled out through injury, meaning New Zealander Glenn Dickson stepped in.

He added a penalty after Exeter had raced into an 8-0 lead thanks to Whitehead's try in the fourth minute from a catch and drive and Henry Slade had added a penalty of his own.

The wind played a pivotal role for both sides in either half and hampered Slade's best efforts, the former England U20 fly-half missing a penalty before the break.

Exeter therefore held a five-point advantage at half-time, but opened up that gap thanks to a try from the skipper Dean Mumm.

The former Wallaby lock has found the try line on several occasions this season, but this was his most important score - following up a fine break from Tongan winger Fetu'u Vainikolo to score the second try for the Chiefs.

Full-back Luke Arscott then missed a golden chance to put Exeter out of sight when he broke through, only for George Pisi to knock the ball from his hands as he went for the line and keep Saints in the hunt.

The visitors then hit back in the dying stages thanks to a try from Samu Manoa, but the wind lead to a tricky kick for fly-half Dickson who couldn't land the conversion.

Slade had another penalty to secure the game but the wind carried it onto the upright to result in a scrambled finish, one that Exeter emerged from on top thanks to a choke tackle and leading to rapturous scenes around Sandy Park at a first major trophy in the club's 143-year history.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Tries: Whitehead, Mumm
Con: Slade
Pen: Slade

For Northampton:
Try: Manoa
Pen: Dickson

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 13 Phil Dollman, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Ben White, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm (capt), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Romana Graham, 20 Don Armand, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Sireli Naqelevuki.

Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 James Wilson, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Glenn Dickson, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 GJ van Velze, 7 Phil Dowson (capt) 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Mike Haywood, 1 Alex Waller.
Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 James Craig 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Alex Day 22 Sam Olver, 23 Fa'atoina Autagavaia.

Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant Referees: Peter Huckle, Paul Dix
TMO: Geoff Warren

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