Premiership: Exeter Chiefs 20-24 Leicester Tigers
|Exeter Chiefs (17) 20|
|Tries: Ewers, Thomas|
|Cons: Steenson 2 Pens: Steenson 2|
|Leicester Tigers (13) 24|
|Tries: Allen, B Youngs|
|Cons: Burns Pens: Burns 3, Williams|
Ben Youngs scored a decisive second-half try to help Leicester Tigers overcome Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.
The hosts led 17-13 at the break with converted tries from David Ewers and Haydn Thomas coming either side of Anthony Allen's effort for Leicester.
Gareth Steenson added a penalty, while Freddie Burns was also perfect with the boot with eight first-half points.
Burns teed up his third penalty before Youngs put Tigers ahead, while Steenson and Owen Williams traded late kicks.
|Sandy Park re-opening|
|Exeter Chiefs only managed to attract 9,850 for their first match at Sandy Park since the ground's capacity was increased to around 12,500.|
Exeter returned home for their first match at the recently refurbished Sandy Park looking to add to their remarkable start to the campaign, having thrashed newly-promoted London Welsh in their Premiership opener last week.
Tigers winger Niki Goneva was sin-binned early for a high tackle on Thomas, allowing the Chiefs to pile on the pressure with Ewers eventually stretching over for the first score on 11 minutes after Ryan Caldwell and Steenson tested Leicester's try-line defence. Steenson then added the first of his four kicks.
Burns orchestrated Leicester's response off the back of two penalties in quick succession, putting Allen through for Tigers' first points with a neat grubber kick before then teeing up the extras to level.
Exeter looked to be in again soon after but Matt Jess spilled a Sam Hill pass 25 metres from the line as Leicester's defence was scrambling to backtrack.
Danger was only momentarily averted as the hosts went to the corner with a penalty. Julian Salvi did well to keep Hill at bay off the back of the resulting lineout, only for Thomas to then spin over the line for his side's second try from close range.
Steenson was again successful with the conversion and then traded penalties with Burns, who reduced the half-time margin to four points with his third successful kick of the day.
Former Gloucester number 10 Burns kicked the visitors to within one point of Exeter immediately after the break after the hosts were penalised at the ruck.
Some clever kicking from Burns to pin the Chiefs back deep in their own half set the platform for Youngs to squeeze over the line to put Tigers ahead for the first time.
Exeter were denied a reply by the TV match official for a knock-on after flanker Ben White dived over to finish a counter attack.
Steenson kicked a 35-metre penalty from right in front, making it a one-point game with less than 10 minutes remaining.
A yellow card for Ewers on 74 minutes, however, cost Exeter as Williams came off the bench to kick a late penalty against 14 men to seal victory.
Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter:
"That could prove to be a very valuable losing bonus point for us at some stage, yes we want to win, but I can take it on the chin when we show the endeavour to go out and win the game.
"When we keep that mindset about us we are a good side and can compete with anybody. I try not to get carried away when a game comes down to one or two moments because there is no value in that.
"I am a little frustrated with some elements of his our game but we probably needed a game like Leicester to expose them a bit. We didn't exit particularly well a couple of times and that gifted Leicester some points."
Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill:
"It is a good win on the road and you take it as that. We won't get too excited about the result; we will take some positives but there are a lot of things where we need to be better.
"Any win is a good win because I think sides will get beat here (at Exeter) that will be in and around us. I thought that Exeter played pretty well, I thought we could have played better but both sides had players missing.
"Freddie Burns is working really hard and I would like him to make every decision perfect rather than cock up occasionally.
"He has worked very hard at training; is trying to use the right options and the right times - sometimes he will get it right, sometimes he won't - but I was happy with him today. He kicks his goals and got us into some field positions."
Exeter Chiefs: Botha; Whitten, Slade, Hill, Jess; Steenson, Thomas; Rimmer, Yeandle, Francis; Lees, Caldwell, Ewers, White, Waldrom
Replacements: Chudley for Thomas (56), Moon for Lees (56), Horstmann for White (72). Not Used: Taione, Low, Welch, Sweeney, Arnott.
Sin bin: Ewers (74 mins)
Leicester Tigers: Tait; Morris, M Tuilagi, Allen, Goneva; Burns, B Youngs; Mulipola, T Youngs, Balmain; Kitchener, Parling; Gibson, Salvi, Barbieri.
Replacements: Mele for B. Youngs (72), Ghiraldini for T. Youngs (69), De Chaves for Kitchener (68), Crane for Barbieri (56), O. Williams for Burns. Not Used: Brugnara, Pasquali, Smith.
Sin bin: Goneva (5 mins)
Referee: JP Doyle (RFU)