Hogg helps Exeter down Gloucester
MATCH REPORT: Stuart Hogg scored on his return to Exeter colours as the visitors weathered a first-half storm to beat Gloucester 26-15 at Kingsholm.
Gloucester, not for the first time this season, started slowly and were punished when Jacques Vermeulen muscled his way over against the run of play.
*As it happened: Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs
The hosts dominated possession and territory in the first half but could not make it count and Gareth Steenson’s three quick penalties at the start of the second period made matters worse for Gloucester.
And Exeter continued to accelerate away as Hogg, on his return from Scotland Six Nations duty, crossed the whitewash.
Gloucester did eventually find their feet, scoring two late tries through Jake Polledri and Louis Rees-Zammit but it was too little too late as they fell to a sixth defeat in the last eight Gallagher Premiership Rugby rounds.
Exeter Chief’s Stuart Hogg said: “It shows the character of the squad and the bouncebackability incoming and winning.
“Gloucester chucked everything at us in that first half and we defended really well.
“We managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over and see the game out.
“It’s good to be back, I enjoyed that one! I managed to keep ahold of it properly.”
Gloucester Rugby head coach Johan Ackermann said: “We have to credit Exeter. We kept coughing up the ball to them.
“They slowed our ball down, fell on top of it and made it messy.
“I felt we got there eventually and we started to get momentum but it was just crucial moments when we couldn’t keep hold of the ball.
“We had first-half opportunities, and even in the second half, but we properly didn’t finish them as well as we could have.
“We have to keep working hard and keep believing, nothing is going to come easy. If we keep persisting and look at where we can improve as individuals and as a team then hopefully we’ll improve.”
Tries: Polledri, Rees-Zammit
For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries: Vermeulen, Hogg
Cons: Steenson 2
Pens: Steenson 4
Gloucester: 15 Matt Banahan, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Tom Marshall, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Lewis Ludlow, 6 Ruan Ackermann, 5 Franco Mostert (captain), 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Todd Gleave, 17 Josh Hohneck, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Freddie Clarke, 21 Jake Polledri, 22 Callum Braley, 23 Mark Atkinson
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tom O’Flaherty, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Gareth Steenson (captain), 9 Nic White, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Jannes Kirsten, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Elvis Taione, 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Jordon Poole, 17 Billy Keast, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Sam Skinner, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Harvey Skinner, 23 Phil Dollman
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Adam Leal & Phil Watters
TMO: Claire Hodnett.