Exeter Chiefs held on to claim a hard-fought 25-22 Aviva Premiership victory over Gloucester at Kingsholm on Friday.
Exeter Chiefs held on to claim a hard-fought 25-22 Aviva Premiership victory over Gloucester on Friday.
Exeter went to the top of the Premiership table for one night at least as they claimed their third win in their last four visits to Kingsholm.
Ben White's try, 14 points from the boot of man-of-the-match Gareth Steenson, and two Henry Slade penalties handed the Chiefs their second win of the season.
An Exeter win looked unlikely after Gloucester raced into a 12-3 lead thanks to tries inside the first 12 minutes from Jonny May and prop Dan Murphy.
England man May brilliantly latched onto his own chip kick ahead to marginally touchdown before Matt Jess could lay a hand on the ball before Gloucester went further in front when a dynamic line-out catch and drive was finished off by Murphy.
Exeter had been reduced to 14 men by that stage after winger Ian Whitten had been judged, rather harshly, to have taken May out in the air when competing for a high ball.
Four Steenson penalties, though, brought the visitors level and extended the Irishman's flawless kicking run this season to 14. Steenson missed for the first time this season not long after, but White's try on 32 minutes, which came after a series of pick-and-goes near the Gloucester line, continued their momentum.
Steenson converted to put the Chiefs 19-12 up.
Slade then knocked over a penalty from just inside the Cherry & Whites' half to hand the Chiefs a 10-point lead at the interval.
Exeter thought they had scored a second try not long after the re-start but Slade's inside pass to Will Chudley, who had hacked on to score, was ruled to be forward.
Matt Kvesic's first appearance of the season was halted two minutes after he'd entered the fray when he was yellow-carded for a dubious tip tackle on Thomas Waldrom.
Slade knocked over another long-range kick from the resulting penalty to put the Chiefs 13 points clear. To their credit, Gloucester came storming back and try number three arrived when Sione Kalamafoni burrowed his way over from close range.
James Hook added the extras and kicked a further penalty to reduce the arrears to three points, but time was against Gloucester and Exeter held on to chalk up another four league points.
For Gloucester :
Tries: May, Murphy, Kalamafoni
Yellow cards: Kvesic
For Exeter Chiefs:
Pens: Steenson 4, Slade 2
Yellow card: Whitten
Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Purdy, 12 Billy Twelvetrees (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 James Hook, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Ross Moriarty, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Dan Murphy
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 John Afoa, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Mark Atkinson, 23 Bill Meakes
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Ian Whitten, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Ben White, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Jack Yeandle (c), 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Moray Low, 19 Ryan Caldwell, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Phil Dollman, 23 Jack Nowell
Kick-off: 19.45 BST (18.45 GMT)
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Roger Baileff & Andrew Pearce