LV= Cup semi-final: Leicester Tigers 22-30 Exeter Chiefs

Exeter winger Fetu'u Vainikolo
Tongan winger Fetu'u Vainikolo was one of 14 changes to the Exeter Chiefs team
LV= Cup
Leicester (16) 22
Tries: Rizzo Cons: Bell Drop Goal: Bell Pens: Bell 4
Exeter (20) 30
Tries: Taione, Vainikolo, Bateman Cons: Sweeney 3 Pens: Sweeney 3

LV= Cup holders Exeter will contest the final for the second year running after keeping their heads to beat Leicester in a tight semi-final at Welford Road.

After conceding an early try to prop Michele Rizzo, the Chiefs were never headed again after the second of their two first-half tries from Elvis Taione and Fetu'u Vainikolo.

Greg Bateman crossed for the Chiefs' third try five minutes from time.

That clinched a trip to meet Saracens at Franklin's Gardens next Sunday.

Northampton were denied the chance to stage the final on their own ground, as Exeter did at Sandy Park a year ago, when they went down 24-20 in the other semi-final on Saturday.

Exeter hoping to make history
Exeter's 15-8 win over Northampton in last season's final at Sandy Park was the first major trophy in the club's history, but no team has ever successfully defended the trophy.
Saracens have never previously made the final in the nine seasons of the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
Leicester are the only team to have won it, beating Ospreys 41-35 in the 2007 final and Northampton 26-14 three years ago.

Tigers fly-half Tommy Bell kicked four penalties, a conversion and a drop goal for an individual 17-point haul, almost matched by the 15 points from the boot of Chiefs captain Sweeney, who kicked all his side's three conversions, as well as as three penalties.

Having made 14 changes from the side which demolished London Welsh 74-19 last weekend, Exeter could not have got off to a much worse start against twice winners Leicester.

Loosehead Rizzo dived over after unstoppable 10-yard burst, following a big gallop up field from winger Miles Benjamin.

The conversion came from Bell, who had kept his place at fly-half after scoring the Tigers' winning try at Newcastle last Sunday.

Leicester v Exeter at Welford Road
Leicester are the only team to have twice won the Anglo-Welsh Cup in its nine-year history

But Exeter were soon level, courtesy of another member of the front row union, Chiefs hooker Taione, who somehow wriggled over in a pile-up under the posts, before Sweeney added the extras.

Bell's long-range penalty put Leicester back in front at 10-7 but, just a minute later, a loose pass down the line from Jack Whetton to fellow loose forward Laurence Pearce was intercepted by Chiefs winger Vainikolo who raced away to cross under the sticks.

Sweeney converted for a 14-10 lead, which had become 20-16 to the visitors by the break after Bell and Sweeney traded a brace of penalties each.

Sweeney's early second-half penalty earned another quick response from Bell, who landed a drop goal before kicking his second penalty to once again close the deficit to a point at 23-22.

But, despite having Max Bodilly sinbinned, Bateman came off the bench to finish the home side off five minutes from time, Sweeney's conversion crucially taking his side two scores clear.

Leicester: Scully; Smith, Catchpole, Loamanu, Benjamin; Bell, Mele; Rizzo, Thacker, Balmain, Thorn, De Chaves (capt), Whetton, Barbieri, Pearce.

Replacements: Briggs, Bristow, Mulipola, Price, Salvi, Garrison, Hepetema, Thompstone.

Exeter: Bodilly; Vainikolo, Hughes, Naqelevuki, James; Sweeney (capt), Thomas; Sturgess, Taione, Low, Lees, Sexton, White, Simmonds, Horstmann.

Replacements: Bateman, Rimmer, Brown, Holmes, Conlon, Lewis, Steenson, Hendrickson.

Sin Bin: Bodilly (61).

Attendance: 11,040.

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