Premiership: Worcester Warriors 15-30 Exeter Chiefs

By Nathan MiddletonBBC Sport
James Short
Exeter winger James Short has five tries in his last 10 Premiership games
Worcester Warriors (12) 15
Pens: Heathcote 5
Exeter Chiefs (12) 30
Tries: Short, Whitten, Waldrom, Armand Cons: Steenson 2 Pens: Steenson 2

Exeter battled to a bonus-point win at Worcester to keep up the pressure on Premiership leaders Saracens.

The visitors crossed early on when a flowing move found winger James Short, who then hit an excellent line to allow Ian Whitten to score.

Tom Heathcote's four penalties kept Warriors in touch though and the match was well set at 12-12 at the break.

Heatcote added another penalty but tries from Thomas Waldrom and Don Armand secured the Chiefs' victory.

Relive Sunday's Premiership action

Fresh from securing a European Champions Cup quarter-final place, Rob Baxter's side made the perfect start when Short crossed for his eighth try of the season as the Chiefs spun the ball out to the left wing.

Short was involved in a line-out move for their second score when he broke through to find Will Chudley, who in turn fed Ian Whitten to stroll in.

In difficult conditions underfoot, Scotland fly-half Heathcote's penalties kept Worcester in touch throughout the game, as he slotted five from six.

But the Chiefs, the Premiership's leading try scorers with 34 in 10 games, added two second-half scores when Waldrom crossed at the back of a driving maul.

Armand then handed off two out wide to stretch Warriors' run to 11 straight defeats in all competitions, going into next Sunday's trip to Premiership relegation rivals London Irish, four points below them.

Worcester director of rugby Dean Ryan:

"To be fair, they just saw things a little bit faster than us. Our general structure was about the same pace as theirs, but they had two or three players who could step things up and hurt us.

"We are pretty happy with the level we are playing at. We look like we are enjoying our rugby. The whole season is not defined next weekend.

"London Irish are at home and the pressure is on them. We've talked about how well we've played against Leicester, Exeter and Harlequins. We have to see if we can do something against a side who are not necessarily performing at those levels and see where we are."

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter:

"If you don't get a lot of things right against Worcester, they stay in the fight. They don't just go away.

"When we got tempo and accuracy into the game, we looked good, but I think we weren't then prepared to work hard enough to get things done that then allow you to score tries and build periods of pressure.

"In the second half, things didn't go to hand for them and their mistakes counted against them, and we were able to capitalise and gain some momentum."

Worcester Warriors: Pennell; Heem, Olivier, Mills, Vuna; Heathcote, Baldwin; Leleimalefaga, Annett, Schonert, O'Callaghan, Cavubati, Dowson, Mama, van Velze (capt).

Replacements: Sowrey, Bower, Johnston, Sanderson, Cox, Mulchrone, Symons, Hammond.

Exeter Chiefs: Dollman; Woodburn, Campanaro, Whitten, Short; Steenson, Chudley; Hepburn, Yeandle (capt), Francis, Hill, Parling, Armand, Salvi, Waldrom.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Moon, Brown, Atkins, Horstmann, Lewis, Hooley, Hill.

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