Exeter clinch draw with Gloucester

Date published: October 8 2016

Damian Welch's late try helped Exeter Chiefs secure a 27-27 draw with visitors Gloucester at Sandy Park in the Premiership.

The sides scored two tries apiece in an entertaining first half, the first of which was scored by the away side’s Matt Scott before Thomas Waldrom responded for the hosts.

Charlie Sharples responded for the visitors on his 200th appearance and Ian Whitten scored the first of his two tries to draw the hosts level.

After the break, Gloucester drew clear with two penalties before Ben Morgan scored to send his side into a commanding 27-14 lead.

However, for the third time this season Gloucester surrendered a strong lead in the closing stages as Whitten and Damian Welch scored late tries to earn Exeter a creditable point. Gloucester, meanwhile slip to their second draw of the season and now sit in 10th place.

Gloucester scored the game’s first try after 12 minutes, Scott finishing off a smart move after the initial break from Jacob Rowan.

Greig Laidlaw converted to send his side into an early 7-0 lead. The hosts responded with a try from Waldrom after 24 minutes. A number of close range attacks on the Cherry and Whites’ line eventually culminated in a chance for Waldrom who touched down in typically bulldozing fashion. Steenson converted to level the scores.

The parity was not to last as Exeter botched the restart, this allowed Sharples to capitalise, catching a high ball before winning a foot-race to the line to score. Laidlaw’'s conversion restored the visitors’ seven-point lead.

With 31 minutes on the clock the Chiefs scored their second try of the match. Whitten was set through to score after a break from Sam Hill. Steenson converted once more to draw the scores level.

Billy Twelevetrees scored a penalty after 38 minutes to send the Cherry and Whites into the interval with a 14-17 lead.

After 50 minutes Laidlaw scored another penalty for the visitors to take them into a six-point lead. Seven minutes later Glos scored their third try of the match, David Halaifonua continuing his fine form to play in Morgan to score. Laidlaw converted to hand Gloucester a 13-point advantage.

In the 69th minute, Exeter clawed a try back after some sustained pressure. This led to Whitten touching down in the corner for his second try to make the score 19-27 with Steenson missing his conversion attempt.

The Irishman atoned for his error three minutes later with a successful penalty kick to bring his side within five points of the visitors.

In the final minute of the match the Chiefs deployed their ever-dangerous rolling maul and it worked to devastating effect – Welch the man to touch down as the hosts scored a late equalising try.

Steenson missed the conversion meaning that the match finished level at 27-27.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Tries: Waldrom, Whitten 2, Welch
Cons: Steenson 2
Pens: Steenson

For Gloucester:
Tries: Scott, Sharples, Morgan
Cons: Laidlaw 3
Pens: Twelvetrees, Laidlaw

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Ian Whitten, 10 Gareth Steenson (c), 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Damian Welch, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Max Bodilly

Gloucester: 15 James Hook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 David Halaifonua, 10 Mark Atkinson, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Jacob Rowan, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Paul Doran-Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paddy McAllister
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Nicky Thomas, 19 Joe Latta, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Ollie Thorley, 23 Lewis Ludlow

Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant Referees: Matthew O’Grady, Simon McConnell
TMO: Geoff Warren