Immanuel Feyi-Waboso scores twice as Exeter Chiefs thump Harlequins to keep Premiership play-off dream alive

Planet Rugby
Immanuel Feyi-Waboso in action for Exeter Chiefs.

Immanuel Feyi-Waboso in action for Exeter Chiefs.

Exeter Chiefs gave their hopes of making the Premiership play-offs a significant boost after they eased past Harlequins, winning 58-26 at Sandy Park on Saturday evening.

Henry Slade, Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (2), Dan John, Harvey Skinner (2) and Dafydd Jenkins all crossed for Exeter as they move up to fifth position on the league table.

Harlequins, who came into the game off the back of a Champions Cup semi-final loss to Toulouse, were outplayed in the second half but at least take a try bonus point from the loss after Marcus Smith, Tyrone Green, Alex Dombrandt and Louis Lynagh scored.

Click here for scorers

Exeter trailed 21-14 after 36 minutes but hit back in spectacular fashion with 44 unanswered points – before Lynagh’s late try – to leapfrog Harlequins into fifth place in the table. Chiefs now travel to Leicester on the final day of the season sitting two points behind fourth-spot Sale, with Quins at home to Bristol the same day.

Quins made a blistering start, scoring a try after only 100 seconds with a fantastic show-and-go and sidestep by England fly-half Smith taking him through the Exeter defence and in beside the posts, converting himself.

The Chiefs responded superbly to that early setback, but it took them until the midway point of the first half to turn their pressure into points due to some fine Quins defence.

Exeter finally got on the scoreboard when they worked the ball to the left where Smith’s international team-mate Slade got over in the corner before adding the extras.

After wasting a couple of chances close to the try line, Quins finally carved out an opportunity for Jarrod Evans to put full-back Green over for their second touchdown of the game, converted again by Smith.

Smith then turned from hero to villain when he finished another sizzling run with a wild one-handed pass which was picked up off the deck by Feyi-Waboso, who crossed next to the posts, allowing Slade the simple task of converting to level it all up at 14-14.

Harlequins hit back almost straight away when number eight Dombrandt broke off the back of a driving maul to brush aside Exeter scrum-half Tom Cairns’ weak tackle.

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However, the pendulum swung back towards the hosts with the last play of a breathless first half when an excellent handling move saw young full-back John get his second try in two weeks to leave it 21-21 at the break.

The Chiefs came firing out of the blocks at the start of the second half, and fly-half Skinner put them in front for the first time with their bonus-point try in the corner.

The home side lost South African flanker Jacques Vermeulen to a yellow card for killing the ball at a Quins break, but instead of the visitors capitalising on their extra man, it was instead Exeter who stretched their lead to 13 points with two Slade penalties, and he added another after Exeter were back up to full complement.

With Quins showing signs of tiring after their short turnaround following their European semi-final defeat to Toulouse, Feyi-Waboso added his second try of the game, quickly followed by a second from Skinner and a seventh for the team from skipper Jenkins, with Slade making it nine out of nine with his boot for a personal 21-point haul.

The teams

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Dan John, 14 Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Joe Hawkins, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Harvey Skinner, 9 Tom Cairns, 8 Greg Fisilau, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Ethan Roots, 5 Dafydd Jenkins (c), 4 Jack Dunne, 3 Marcus Street, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Max Norey, 17 Billy Keast, 18 Ehren Painter, 19 Christ Tshiunza, 20 Ross Vintcent, 21 Niall Armstrong, 22 Will Haydon-Wood, 23 Zack Wimbush

Harlequins: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Louis Lynagh, 13 Oscar Beard, 12 Luke Northmore, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Will Porter, 8 Alex Dombrandt, 7 James Chisholm, 6 Chandler Cunningham-South, 5 Stephan Lewies (c), 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Will Collier, 2 Jack Walker, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Sam Riley, 17 Fin Baxter, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 George Hammond, 20 Jack Kenningham, 21 Will Evans, 22 Danny Care, 23 Jarrod Evans

Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Referees: Anthony Woodthorpe, Greg Macdonald
TMO: David Rose

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