Premiership: Wasps 31-42 Exeter Chiefs as Henry Slade impresses
|Wasps (24) 31|
|Try: Daly, Bassett, Hughes, Robson Cons: Searle 3, Sopoaga Pen: Searle|
|Exeter (21) 42|
|Try: Cordero, S Simmonds 2, Slade 2, Armand Cons: Steenson 6|
Exeter picked up their second bonus-point win of the new Premiership season as they beat Wasps 42-31 in a thriller.
Elliot Daly and Josh Bassett twice put Wasps in front during a pulsating opening, but Santiago Cordero, Sam Simmonds and Henry Slade replied.
Nathan Hughes crossed just before the break to give Wasps a 24-21 half-time lead before Simmonds and Slade scored again to give the Chiefs the edge.
Dan Robson set up a thrilling finale but Don Armand sealed Exeter's victory.
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Armand's try, with the last play of the game, came at the end of a mammoth 22-phase move by the Chiefs which not only stifled Wasps' hopes of completing a stunning comeback but also robbed them of a losing bonus point.
That late blow was not the only one Dai Young's side suffered as they lost England flanker Brad Shields, who had been making his debut, early in the second half with an injury after a collision with Exeter scrum-half Stu Townsend.
He was later taken to hospital and confirmed to have broken a cheekbone.
England number eight Hughes also limped off during the second half, although New Zealand fly-half Lami Sopoaga did come off the bench to make his debut and scored his first points when he converted Robson's sniping score under the posts.
Wasps set the tone for a brilliant first half of flowing rugby when England's Daly, playing at full-back in a Premiership match for the first time since March 2013, brilliantly dummied his way past Ollie Devoto to race over.
Cordero scored in the corner as Exeter levelled but Wasps replied immediately when Bassett latched on to fly-half Billy Searle's grubber kick to touch down.
Chiefs replied again as Simmonds was driven over and took the lead when Slade cut through the Wasps defence, before Hughes capped a breathless first 40 minutes when he went over from close range.
Exeter, who thrashed Leicester in their opening game last weekend, seized the initiative after the break when Simmonds was again driven over and Slade raced clear for his second try after intercepting Searle's pass in midfield.
Robson's close-range score after impressive work by the Wasps pack earned the home side a bonus point and got them back to within four points, only for Exeter to wrap up victory at the death.
Wasps boss Dai Young:
"It was pretty clear that they were more ruthless than we were at the clinical moments, as we had a lot of opportunities but didn't take them.
"They had 60-40 possession in the first half but we couldn't cope with their driving line-out.
"Each time there was a player in front of the drive, which I thought the referee could have picked up on as they don't need any help to score.
"After last week's performance at Worcester, it was a step up for us today but we were up against quality opposition and they are a step ahead of us at this present time."
On Brad Shields' injury
"He's gone away to hospital to have it checked. It looked like a pretty nasty injury," he told BBC Radio 5 live.
Exeter director of rugby Ali Hepher:
"Since coming back from England's tour, Henry Slade has had a great attitude and looked busy.
"We held him back a bit by putting him on the bench last week but he kicked on from that with an excellent performance today.
"We have a bit of a luxury in that area as we still have Sam Hill to come back into contention.
"We set ourselves a target of five points, which we haven't achieved on our last few visits here but our driving line-out really functioned and we ground it out to get the result we wanted."
Wasps: Daly; Wade, De Jongh, Lovobalavu, Bassett; Searle, Robson; Harris, Taylor, Brookes, Launchbury (capt), Rowlands, Shields, Atkinson, Hughes.
Replacements: Cruse, Zhvania, Stuart, Gaskell, Johnson, Simpson, Sopoaga, Miller.
Exeter Chiefs: Dollman; Whitten, Slade, Devoto, Cordero; Steenson, Townsend; Hepburn, Yeandle (capt), Francis, Atkins, Skinner, Armand, Kvesic, S Simmonds.
Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Holmes, Williams, Salmon, Lonsdale, Maunder, J Simmonds, Cuthbert.
Referee: Christophe Ridley.