Burns boots Gloucester to close Exeter victory

New England fly half Freddie Burns kicked Gloucester to a close 18-16 Aviva Premiership victory over Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm on Saturday.

Burns kicked six penalties for Gloucester while visiting hooker Simon Alcott
scored the only try of a cracking clash, but the highly-rated England prospect
Burns punished the Chiefs as Gloucester came from behind to win by two points.

Exeter fly-half Gareth Steenson converted Alcott’s try and added three penalties
of his own but it was not enough.

Exeter arrived at Kingsholm buoyed by two excellent victories in the Premiership
over the last month in claiming the scalps of both London Irish and Wasps that
put them in a healthy mid-table position before kick-off.

The heat was on both sides as Gloucester were one place above the Chiefs in
fifth and one point better off at the start, having beaten Sale Sharks last
week.

The sell-out crowd were not disappointed either as both teams got to grips with
each other at a frantic pace right from the start.

Burns struck first with a 30-metre attempt before Steenson landed a booming
35-metre effort from the left touchline and then put the Chiefs into a 6-3 lead
with an easy 15-metre shot after an infringement by the Cherry and Whites.

Exeter had the most territory in the opening half-hour as their front five,
lead by props Brett Sturgess and the huge tight-head Hoani Tui, thumped into
the Gloucester midfield as scrum-half Haydn Thomas scampered the ball away at
the breakdowns.

Gloucester found their way back into the match as the interval approached and
nearly got the first try of the match when full-back Rob Cook played a delicate
chip-and-chase over the head of the Exeter defence and, after pressure on the
visitor’s line, scrum-half Jimmy Cowan was held-up over the line.

Referee Llyr Ap Geraint Roberts brought play back for a Gloucester penalty which
Burns booted to level the scores as tempers flared in the last seconds of the
half, leading to a lecture for both captains.

It may not have been the high-scoring Premiership fiesta of last season at Kingsholm
where the Cherry and Whites came home 37-23 but it was intense and engaging.

Burns put Gloucester six points ahead with two penalties after the teams resumed,
much to the disgust of furious Chiefs coach Rob Baxter.

Exeter would not lay down, though, and, after Steenson landed a third penalty
of the match, the Chiefs put pressure on the home side which eventually told
as the Gloucester defence was breached as Alcott picked up a ball from a ruck
and just got over the line to touch the ball down.

Steenson converted but he lead was cut soon afterwards to a single point as
Burns landed his fifth penalty to set up a thrilling finale.

And fatally, Exeter went over the top of a ruck with seven minutes left, leaving
Burns to boot his final penalty to put the Cherry and Whites back in front and
see them to victory.

Final Score Gloucester 18 (6) Exeter Chiefs 16 (6)


Scorers


Gloucester
Penalties: Burns 6


Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Alcott
Penalties: Steenson 3
Conversions: Steenson


Match Officials
Referee:
Llyr ApGeraint Roberts (8th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix, Robin Goodliffe.


Teams


Gloucester


Rob Cook; Charlie Sharples, Mike Tindall, Billy Twelvetrees, Shane Monahan; Freddie Burns, Jimmy Cowan; Nick Wood, Darren Dawidiuk, Shaun Knight; Tom Savage, Jim Hamilton (capt); Sione Kalamafoni, Akapusi Qera, Ben Morgan


Replacements:Huia Edmonds, Dan Murphy, Dario Chistolini, Will James, Matt

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