Anglo-Welsh Cup: Exeter Chiefs 24-7 Harlequins

Sam Simmonds
Sam Simmonds scored the Chiefs' final try to seal the success
Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-final
Exeter (14) 24
Tries: Turner, Bodilly, Salvi, S Simmonds Cons: J Simmonds 2
Harlequins (0) 7
Try: Waters Con: Lang

Exeter Chiefs booked a third straight Anglo-Welsh Cup final place and will face Leicester Tigers after a hard-earned victory against Harlequins.

First-half Lachlan Turner and Max Bodilly tries gave Chiefs the platform after both sides had scores ruled out.

Julian Salvi's pick-and-go score and Sam Simmonds' close-range try capped the win for the Chiefs who had a Turner effort chalked off by the TMO.

Calum Waters' try at the death for Quins was a mere consolation.

Exeter's win means they will go to Twickenham Stoop next Sunday, the home of Quins, for the final against the Tigers.

Rob Baxter picked up Exeter's first silverware when his side won the Anglo-Welsh Cup against Northampton in 2014, and from this display the competition still has significance for the Devon club.

Injuries forced Quins into late changes with Charlie Mulchrone missing out and Marland Yarde dropping to the bench, but it did not seem to affect them early on as they initially rucked well.

After an open start, broken-field tries from Turner and Bodilly put the Chiefs in control and they dominated the set-piece to keep Quins at arms' length.

Quins had a go after the break but continued to run aground on the Chiefs defensive line and Salvi's score was a hammer blow.

Simmonds' drive off a line-out sparked early celebrations around Sandy Park that Waters' late touchdown did nothing to dampen.

Exeter assistant coach Ricky Pellow: "We came it at half-time a bit frustrated as we missed a couple of chances to be further ahead but it was really pleasing to then put a stranglehold on them before pulling away in the final quarter.

"They are a side who like to play with ball in hand and they kept coming at us in attack but our defence forced them into a lot of errors. To get to the final is a massive moment as success breeds success and there is a feel good factor around the club.

"We'll use the same sort of format for next week as we did today but if strong sides are fielded against us, then it makes everyone raise the game and we can thrive on this."

Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston: ""At times we've had around 30 players unavailable and this group of players have been constantly on the go for the past six to eight weeks.

"They've done unbelievably well but this gruelling period isn't what was intended for them and taking Luc Jones as an example; he was forced into playing today with Danny Care, Karl Dickson and Charlie Mulchrone all unavailable.

"The right team won the game as they had a slight edge in the set piece and controlled the field position better. We needed parity from the referee, if we were to win down here. I'm not complaining about it but we didn't get a single penalty for the first 30 minutes and I thought the TMO was wrong to rule out our early try as I believe it wasn't a knock on as it hit our player's knee."

Exeter: Turner; Jess, Devoto, S Hill, Bodilly; J Simmonds, Townsend; Moon, Malton, Williams, Atkins, Welch, White, Salvi (capt), S Simmonds.

Replacements: Taione, Keast, Low, J Hill, Johnson, Thomas, Hooley, Hendrickson.

Harlequins: Chisholm; Walker, Marchant, Hopper, Alofa; Jackson, Jones; Lambert, Gray, A Jones, Merrick, Matthews, Naoupu, Ward (capt), Luamanu.

Replacements: Buchanan, Evans, Shields, South, Hodson, Waters, Lang, Yarde.

Referee: Daniel Jones (Wales)

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