Chiefs Exeter Chiefs hold off late Gloucester charge

Exeter Chiefs held off a late comeback to beat Gloucester 22-25 at Kingsholm in the Aviva Premiership on Friday evening.

With 20 minutes remaining Exeter were leading 12-25 before Gloucester scored 10 points through a Sione Kalamafoni converted try and a penalty from James Hook.

The result provisionally moved Exeter to the top of the Premiership standings
although it could be for one day as other teams could overtake them tomorrow.

The result is the Chiefs third win in their last four visits to Kingsholm.

Ben White’s try, 14 points from the boot of man-of-the-match Gareth Steenson,
and two Henry Slade penalties handed the Chiefs their second win of the season.

An Exeter win looked unlikely after Gloucester raced into a 12-3 lead thanks
to tries inside the first 12 minutes from Jonny May and prop Dan Murphy.

England man May brilliantly latched onto his own chip kick ahead to marginally
touchdown before Matt Jess could lay a hand on the ball before Gloucester went
further in front when a dynamic line-out catch and drive was finished off by
Murphy.

Exeter had been reduced to 14 men by that stage after winger Ian Whitten had
been judged, rather harshly, to have taken May out in the air when competing
for a high ball.

Four Steenson penalties, though, brought the visitors level and extended the
Irishman’s flawless kicking run this season to 14.

Steenson missed for the first time this season not long after, but White’s
try on 32 minutes, which came after a series of pick-and-goes near the Gloucester
line, continued their momentum.

Steenson converted to put the Chiefs 19-12 up.

Slade then knocked over a penalty from just inside the Cherry & Whites’
half to hand the Chiefs a 10-point lead at the interval.

Exeter thought they had scored a second try not long after the re-start but
Slade’s inside pass to Will Chudley, who had hacked on to score, was ruled to
be forward.

Matt Kvesic’s first appearance of the season was halted two minutes after he’d
entered the fray when he was yellow-carded for a dubious tip tackle on Thomas
Waldrom.

Slade knocked over another long-range kick from the resulting penalty to put
the Chiefs 13 points clear. To their credit, Gloucester came storming back and
try number three arrived when Sione Kalamafoni burrowed his way over from close
range.

James Hook added the extras and kicked a further penalty to reduce the arrears
to three points, but time was against Gloucester and Exeter held on to chalk
up another four league points.

Final Score Gloucester 22 (12) Exeter Chiefs 25 (22)

Scorers

Gloucester
Tries – May, Murphy, Kalamafoni
Pen – Hook
Con – Laidlaw, Hook
Drop –
Cards –

Exeter Chiefs
Tries – White
Pen – Steenson (5), Slade
Con – Steenson
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee
: Matthew Carley (16th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff and Andrew Pearce.
TMO: Geoff Warren.

Teams

Gloucester

Rob Cook; Charlie Sharples, Henry Purdy, Billy Twelvetrees (capt), Jonny May; James Hook, Greig Laidlaw; Dan Murphy, Richard Hibbard, Sila Puafisi; Tom Savage, Tom Palmer; Sione Kalamafoni, Ross Moriarty, Ben Morgan

Replacements: Aleki Lutui, Yann Thomas, John Afoa, Elliott Stooke, Matt Kvesic, Dan Robson, Mark Atkinson, Bill Meakes

Exeter Chiefs

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