Chiefs end Leicester’s unbeaten start

Date published: November 7 2015

Exeter ended a long losing run against Leicester as Gareth Steenson scored all their points in an impressive 19-6 win at Sandy Park.

Having lost their last six Premiership games against the Tigers, Exeter put an emphatic end to that run, with Steenson's early try setting them on their way.

They dominated in the set-piece, with last-second call-up Alec Hepburn hugely impressive in the scrum, while Dave Ewers was also invaluable with his carrying game.

Exeter took the lead very early on, with Steenson making the most of Leicester being dragged out of position in defence to dive over after just five minutes.

Despite being under the cosh for much of the half, Leicester could have been right back in it when Adam Thompstone looked to have scored a stunning individual try. Released by Ben Youngs he left James Short for dead before beating the final cover tackle, but Short got back for a desperate final tackle, and Thompstone ended up dotting down on his leg and knocking on, so the try was disallowed.

Steenson added a penalty late in the half to make it 10-0, but it was quickly cancelled out by Owen Williams.

There was still time for Steenson to add a second penalty before the break as the Chiefs led 13-3.

The second half was well-managed by Exeter, but Williams knocked over his second penalty of the evening to get Leicester back to within a score heading into the final quarter.

A scrum penalty from Exeter with six minutes left enabled Steenson to make the game safe, and the Chiefs thought they had a second try when Jack Nowell crossed but it came back for a penalty after Jack Yeandle had held Riccardo Brugnara in a ruck.

The Leicester player reacted by kicking out, and was sin-binned as a result, with Steenson stretching the lead even further with his fourth penalty to seal the win and send Exeter up to second in the table.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Con: Steenson
Pens: Steenson 4

For Leicester:
Pens: Williams 2
Yellow Card: Brugnara

The teams:

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 James Short, 10 Gareth Steenson (c), 9 Will Chudley, 8 Don Armand, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Alec Hepburn
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Moray Low, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Sam Hill, 23 Matt Jess

Leicester Tigers: 15 Telusa Veainu , 14 Adam Thompstone , 13 Matt Smith, 12 Seremaia Bai , 11 Vereniki Goneva , 10 Owen Williams , 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Lachlan McCaffrey, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (c), 1 Fraser Balmain  
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Riccardo Brugnara, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Mike Fitzgerald, 20 Laurence Pearce, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Peter Betham, 23 Mathew Tait

Venue: Sandy Park
Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant referees: Paul Burton, Ross Campbell
TMO: Geoff Warren