Planet Rugby

Chiefs scalp Saracens

23rd September 2012 16:07

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exeter v saracens Ignacio Mieres Chris Ashton

Three penalties: Ignacio Mieres

Exeter caused the upset of Round Four in the Premiership on Sunday with a 14-12 victory over Saracens at Sandy Park.

A second-half try from Fijian flyer Sireli Naqelevuki was enough to secure an impressive win for Chiefs.

The Chiefs were deserved victors, but they were pushed every step of the way by their opponents, who held the lead just after the quarter-hour mark courtesy of a penalty goal from Owen Farrell.

Exeter hit back immediately through a three-pointer from Ignacio Mieres and the two sides traded further penalties before half-time, with Mieres' double in the last ten minutes of the half putting the Chiefs on the right end of a 9-6 scoreline.

There was a more action-packed start to the second half, and Farrell, whose missed conversions at Wembley a week earlier had cost Sarries dear, wasted little time in booting his side level.

But the visitors' hopes of taking the game by the scruff of the neck were hindered on 49 minutes when Chris Ashton was sin-binned for foul play.

It was the second time in the contest that Sarries had been reduced to 14 men, after Kelly Brown saw yellow in the first, and it was the second card that would prove pivotal, as two minutes later Exeter were over for the game's first and only try.

The gap was opened by a sweeping passing move directly from the line-out, with Naqelevuki chiming in to the line and finishing well to give the Chiefs a five-point cushion.

But, after Farrell's fourth penalty goal of the afternoon sailed over, the Chiefs looked to be in real trouble when Chris Whitehead was dispatched to the sin-bin.

Ashton, meanwhile, was back on for Sarries, though neither he nor the hard-working visiting pack could unlock the Exeter defence and prevent the hosts from recording their second win of the season.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Try: Naqelevuki
Pens: Mieres 3

For Saracens:
Pens: Farrell 4

Yellow cards: Brown (Saracens - 28th min); Ashton (Saracens - 49th min); Whitehead (Exeter - 60th min)

Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Phil Dollman, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Sireli Naqelevuki, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Ignacio Mieres, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 James Phillips, 5 James Hanks, 4 Tom Hayes (capt), 3 Carl Rimmer, 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Simon Alcott, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Chris Budgen, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Ben White, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Mark Foster.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 James Short, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Kelly Brown (capt), 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Alistair Hargreaves, 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Steve Borthwick, 20 Ernst Joubert, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Joel Tomkins.

Venue: Sandy Park
Referee: David Rose
Assistant referees: Paul Dix, Ashley Rowden
Television match official: David Grashoff

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