Saracens extend lead with Exeter victory

Maro Itoje charges down Will Chudley's clearance kick

Saracens extended their lead at the top of the Aviva Premiership by beating Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.

Exeter scored all of their 11 points in the first half but Saracens kept them scoreless in the second half whilst taking the lead on the scoreboard.

The loss for Exeter Chiefs is the first at their Sandy Park home in over 13 months.

Exeter scored the game’s first try after 12 minutes through James Short, before having a second wrongfully ruled out five minutes later.

After sealing the 14-11 win, the Londoners extended their lead at the top of the Premiership table to five points ahead of the Chiefs.

Gareth Steenson took Exeter in to an early lead, opening the scoring from the tee after just three minutes.

With 13 minutes on the clock, ex-Sarries winger Short picked off a Charlie Hodgson pass inside his own 22, before turning on the afterburners to score from 80 metres out. Steenson missed the conversion in the swirling wind.

Shortly after, the Chiefs went over for a second time but referee Tom Foley had controversially already stopped the play for an alleged knock-on by Olly Woodburn.

Steenson extended the home side’s lead to 11 points on the half-hour mark, as he returned to form from the tee having missed his last attempt.

A try from Samuela Vunisa meant Sarries wouldn’t go in to half time scoreless, after the Italian flanker came from the back of a driving maul to dive for the whitewash, and the TMO ruled that the ball was grounded.

Hodgson’s first attempt at the posts was pulled wide. Hodgson then narrowed the lead to three points after converting successfully from the tee in the second half, before bringing his side level with an easy penalty from in front of the posts.

With four minutes left on the clock, Hodgson chose to go for goal from distance after Exeter were ruled offside, and the English fly-half slotted his longest penalty of the season to seal the victory.

Final Score Exeter Chiefs 11 (11) Saracens 14 (5)


Exeter Chiefs
Tries – Short
Pen – Steenson 2
Con –
Drop –

Tries – Vunisa
Pen – Hodgson 3
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee :Tom Foley (13th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Jonathan Healy & Paul Dix.
TMO: David Grashoff.


Exeter Chiefs

15 Phil Dollman , 14 Olly Woodburn , 13 Ian Whitten , 12 Sam Hill , 11 James Short , 10 Gareth Steenson , 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi , 6 Don Armand , 5 Geoff Parling , 4 Ollie Atkins , 3 Moray Low , 2 Jack Yeandle (capt), 1 Ben Moon

Replacements : 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie , 17 Alec Hepburn , 18 Harry Williams , 19 Lewis Stevenson , 20 Kai Horstmann , 21 Dave Lewis , 22 Will Hooley , 23 Max Bodilly.


15 Ben Ransom , 14 Mike Ellery , 13 Nick Tomkins , 12 Brad Barritt (c) , 11 Chris Wyles , 10 Charlie Hodgson , 9 Richard Wigglesworth , 8 Samu Vunisa , 7 Kelly Brown , 6 Jackson Wray , 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Hayden Smith, 3 Petrus Du Plessis , 2 Schalk Brits ,1 Richard Barrington

Replacements :16 Jared Saunders , 17 Rhys Gill , 18 Titi Lamositele , 19 Maro Itoje , 20 Jacques Burger , 21 Ben Spencer , 22 Nils Mordt , 23 Nathan Earle ,

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