Premiership: Gloucester 22-25 Exeter Chiefs

Gareth Steenson
Gareth Steenson kicked 17 of Exeter's 25 points
Aviva Premiership
Gloucester (12) 22
Tries: May, Murphy, Kalamafoni
Cons: Laidlaw, Hook Pens: Hook
Exeter (25) 25
Tries: White
Cons: Steenson Pens: Steenson 5, Slade

Exeter survived a spirited second-half Gloucester comeback to record their second Premiership win of the season.

After Gareth Steenson kicked an early penalty for Exeter, tries from Jonny May and Dan Murphy put the hosts ahead.

But the Chiefs roared back and Steenson kicked three more penalties and added the conversion from Ben White's try.

Henry Slade kicked a penalty as Exeter led 25-12 at half-time, while Sione Kalamafoni's try and a conversion and penalty from James Hook proved in vain.

Steenson's angled penalty gave the visitors the lead, but they were soon down to 14 men when Iain Whitten was sin-binned for a challenge on Charlie Sharples.

Steenson accuracy
Steenson had kicked 14 out of 14 penalties this season but lost his 100% record against Gloucester, although he still managed an impressive five out of six at Kingsholm.

Gloucester made the extra man count as May chased his own kick to go over but Greig Laidlaw missed the conversion, although he was spot on when Murphy touched the ball down after a speedy maul.

Steenson levelled the scores for Exeter with three successive penalties and he then kicked the extras when the visitors then went in front with a well-worked try, as Thomas Waldrom, David Ewers and Will Chudley combined to set up White.

Slade's long-distance penalty increased Exeter's lead to 10 points at the break.

The Chiefs had a try disallowed for a forward pass shortly after the restart, before Gloucester had Matt Kvesic harshly yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle on Waldrom and Steenson's fifth penalty put his side 25-12 ahead.

Kalamafoni's try, converted by Hook, gave the home side hope and a losing bonus point. Hook's penalty brought Gloucester to within three points, but Exeter hung on for victory and moved to the top of the early-season table.

Gloucester rugby director David Humphreys told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:

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Humphreys on Gloucester v Exeter

"It's been a bit of a consistent theme over the course of the last three games, each time we've come in at half-time we've left ourselves a huge amount to do.

"I don't think anybody, after the last couple of weeks, can question the commitment or character or work rate, but we just need a little bit of accuracy.

"We've got to look at why we're conceding so many penalties, if you give away that many penalties in your own half, it's going to be difficult to get any sort of result and so it proved.

"I don't think the scrum or the line-out functioned particularly well in the first half, and with the way that we're trying to play, we've got to build around set-pieces. That's got to be the foundation of the style of play that we're trying to bring in"

Exeter boss Rob Baxter:

"It felt like the momentum was going a little bit at the end, but in some ways it was a nice test for us to fight for it, and we regained the momentum in the last few minutes.

"It is another great lesson for us. If you work that hard to get that kind of commanding lead, you can make it a lot easier for yourselves than we did today.

"Some of it is decision-making, some of it is a little bit of composure. We are really comfortable with how we can make ourselves a good attacking side, a good defensive side and play with fluidity."

Line-ups

Gloucester: Cook, Sharples, Purdy, Twelvetrees, May, Hook, Laidlaw, Murphy, Hibbard, Puafisi, Savage, Palmer, Kalamafoni, Moriarty, B Morgan.

Replacements: Lutui, Y Thomas, Afoa, Stooke, Kvesic, Robson, Atkinson, Meakes.

Exeter: Botha, Whitten, Slade, Hill, Jess, Steenson, Thomas, Moon, Yeandle, Francis, Lees, Welch, Ewers, White, Waldrom.

Replacements: Taione, Rimmer, Low, Caldwell, Horstmann, Chudley, Dollman, Nowell.

Sin Bin: Whitten (6), Kvesic (48).

Attendance: 13,463

Referee: Matthew Carley (RFU)

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