Premiership: Exeter Chiefs 36-13 Harlequins

Thomas Waldrom
Waldrom has scored three tries in four Premiership games this season
Exeter Chiefs (19) 36
Tries: Waldrom, Yeandle, Slade Cons: Steenson 3 Pens: Steenson 3, Slade 2
Harlequins (6) 13
Tries: Tikoirotuma Con: Botica Pens: Botica 2

Exeter Chiefs earned their first home Premiership win since March with a clinical victory over Harlequins.

Thomas Waldrom grabbed Exeter's first try, with Gareth Steenson and Henry Slade kicking two penalties each as the hosts led 19-6 at the break.

Ben Botica booted Quins' only first-half points before Asaeli Tikoirotuma went over after the interval.

But Jack Yeandle and Slade tries, and a third Steenson penalty, ensured Exeter end their losing run at Sandy Park.

Botica kicked the first points of the game inside two minutes, punishing the Chiefs for straying offside.

Slade levelled by kicking the first of his 11 points of the afternoon, with fly-half Steenson putting the Chiefs ahead with the next penalty attempt.

Home comfort
Before beating Harlequins, Exeter had only won two of their last nine league games at home and seven out of 17 matches in all competitions in the last 12 months.
One of their few recent home wins was in the LV= Cup final against Northampton in March, securing the club's first major trophy in their 143-year history.

Former England number eight Waldrom then charged down a Botica kick and collected the ball to race over unchallenged for his third try of the season.

Botica and Slade traded kicks before Steenson again took over kicking duties to open a 13-point half-time lead.

Tikoirotuma looked to have come up with a response for Quins by putting Mike Brown over in the second half, but his pass was judged to be forward by the television match official.

The winger eventually went over himself, Botica shifting the ball to Tikoirotuma from a close-range lineout.

Botica added the extras, while Steenson kicked his third penalty before Slade missed an attempt of his own soon after.

Exeter were then reduced to 14 men when Jack Nowell was yellow carded after the TMO studied his collision with Brown under a high ball.

Despite being a man down, the Chiefs increased their lead with Phil Dollman getting on the end of a cross-field Steenson kick before cutting inside to put Yeandle over.

Tom James then evaded Quins defence and threw a long pass to put Slade in for Exeter's third try.

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter:

"It was fantastic to be chasing a try-scoring bonus point at the end.

"It was a big reward for the players and the hard work that they have been putting in.

"We haven't always felt that we have got the reward for the hard work at home when we have lost some of these close games."

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea:

"I am pretty emotional and furious because you just cannot play the game when you cough up the ball as easily and make as many basic errors as we did.

"We have to rectify it and, as I said a couple of weeks ago, you'll see the character of people.

"It is just not good enough and the season could slip away from us very quickly if we don't act quickly. You write your own script and you have to bounce back - that is what sport is about - having won two and lost two.

Exeter Chiefs: Dollman; Nowell, Slade, Hill, Jess; Steenson, Chudley; Moon, Yeandle (capt), Francis; Lees, Welch; Ewers, White, Waldrom.

Replacements: Taione, Rimmer, Low, Armand, Horstmann, Phibbs, Whitten, James.

Sin bin: Nowell (63mins).

Harlequins: Brown; Yarde, Sloan, Turner-Hall, Tikoirotuma; Botica, Care; Marler (capt), Ward, Sinckler; Matthews, Robson; Wallace, Robshaw, Easter.

Replacements: Gray, Lambert, Collier, Twomey, Trayfoot, Dickson, Grimoldby, Lindsay-Hague.

Referee: Andrew Small (RFU)

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