Planet Rugby

Exeter nil London Irish

01st March 2014 16:58

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Exeter Chiefs centre Ian Whitten on a run

Exeter's second: Ian Whitten

Exeter Chiefs claimed a much-needed win over London Irish on Saturday as they prevailed 18-0 in the Aviva Premiership fixture at Sandy Park.

The only points of the first-half came from Henry Slade's boot as the hosts went in ahead at the break.

The Chiefs then moved up a gear in the second-half, and tries from Phil Dollman and Ian Whitten were reward for an efficient performance as London Irish rarely threatened.

The first 10 minutes were nip and tuck between the two sides. Neither side looked like creating an opening. Exeter fly-half, Slade, then broke the deadlock with a penalty to make it 3-0.

London Irish looked to hit back immediately, though, and almost did only to concede a penalty on the Chiefs five-metre line.

The visitors were then dealt a double-blow in the 20th minute when tighthead prop Leo Halavatau was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on. Slade converted the resulting penalty to put Exeter 6-0 to the good.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, the Exiles responded well and were enjoying a lot of ball inside the Exeter 22. That possession led to a penalty in Irish's favour, but James O'Connor could only strike the post with his penalty, leaving the away side still trailing.

Exeter had much of the play towards the end of the first-half, but failed to make their possession count as the score stayed the same going in to the interval.

The Chiefs flew out of the traps at the start of the second-half and scored a try almost instantly. Welsh centre Dollman went over, and Slade duly converted to leave the hosts with a healthy 13-0 advantage.

London Irish looked almost unable to cope with Exeter's high tempo, and were very much on the back foot, with the wind firmly behind Exeter's charges.

As the half wore on, the visitors somewhat came back in to the game, but were unable to make any real progress with ball in hand. Then, just before the hour mark, the hosts were reduced to 14 men temporarily, after Ben White was sin-binned for a dangerous looking tip-tackle on Darren Allinson.

Irish couldn't capitalise, though, and in the 68th minute Exeter recorded another try. Whitten managed to break forward after getting on the end of his own chip, and despite being tackled by Alex Lewington, the Irish centre was able to go over.

That score made it 18-0 to the hosts, and that is how the score would stay as the Chiefs recorded a well-deserved victory over a lacklustre London Irish side.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Tries: Dollman, Whitten
Con: Slade
Pen: Slade 2

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

London Irish: 15 Topsy Ojo, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Eamonn Sheridan, 12 James O'Connor, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Shane Geraghty, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Ofisa Treviranus, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Kieran Low, 5 Nic Rouse, 4 George Skivington (c), 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 David Paice, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Mike Mayhew, 17 Matt Parr, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Jebb Sinclair, 20 Ian Gough, 21 Gerard Ellis, 22 Ian Humphreys, 23 Ed Hoadley.

Date: Saturday, March 1
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Venue: Sandy Park
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Roger Baileff, Ashley Rowden
Television match official: Geoffrey Warren
Timekeeper: Matthew Peters

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