Exeter cruise past troubling Leicester
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Exeter Chiefs ran in seven tries at Welford Road to put a major dent in Leicester Tigers’ hopes of Premiership survival.
The league leaders dominated more or less from the outset, and secured a bonus-point after just half an hour thanks to scores from Matt Kvesic, Jack Yeandle, Olly Woodburn and Henry Slade.
Tom Youngs’ try just before the break gave Tigers hope, but Ollie Devoto, Santiago Cordero and Jack Nowell added further scores in the second-half to seal the comprehensive 52-20 win.
A bad day at the office for the hosts was made worse by Youngs’ late red card, with Geordan Murphy’s men still just five points away from the relegation zone.
It took Chiefs only nine minutes to score the opening try of the afternoon, Matt Kvesic capping a flowing 14-phase move in the left corner.
Captain Jack Yeandle bulldozed his way past several home challenges for the visitors’ second score of the game, but a moment of magic from England international George Ford shortly after hauled Tigers back into contention.
Jinking his way through the middle, the fly-half was eventually hauled down close to the try-line, with Matt Toomua taking advantage of recycled ball to float a long pass into the right corner for Jonny May to dot down.
Olly Woodburn pounced in acrobatic style as Chiefs took the initiative once again, and their bonus point was confirmed when Slade – a key figure once again – marked his 100th Gallagher Premiership appearance for Exeter with a score of his own.
Still, though, the visitors could not fully shake off the dogged hosts, and when Jack Nowell was sent to the bin for diving over a ruck, hooker Youngs crashed through to bring the teams within eight points at the interval.
That, however, was the best it got for Murphy’s men, as the influential Slade broke clear again on 43 minutes to lay a try on a plate for fellow centre Devoto.
And it was far from the end of the scoring, with Argentine Cordero searing through in customary fashion to finish in style.
A dangerous hit from Youngs saw him receive his marching orders, and Nowell then put the icing on the cake for Rob Baxter’s side with an intercept try from long-range.
A boost to Exeter’s hopes of finishing first in the table, but a major blow to Tigers as they seek to avoid the dreaded drop.
For Leicester Tigers:
Tries: May, T Youngs
Cons: Ford 2
Pens: Ford 2
For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries: Kvesic, Yeandle, Woodburn, Slade, Devoto, Cordero, Nowell
Cons: Simmonds 7
Yellow card: Jack Nowell (Exeter CHiefs, 34)
Red Card: Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 55)
Leicester: 15 Matt Toomua, 14 Jonny May, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Jordan Olowofela, 10 George Ford, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Brendon O’Connor, 7 Mike Williams, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Will Spencer, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (captain), 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 Jake Kerr, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Valentino Mapapalangi, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Ben White, 22 Gareth Owen, 23 Sam Aspland-Robinson
Exeter: 15 Santiago Cordero, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Nic White, 8 Matt Kvesic, 7 Don Armand, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Ollie Atkins, 4 Dave Dennis, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Jack Yeandle (captain), 1 Alec Hepburn
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Sean Lonsdale, 20 Richard Capstick, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Sam Hill, 23 Ian Whitten
Referee: Thomas Foley
Assistant Referees: Jack Makepeace & Roy Maybank.
TMO: Geoff Warren.