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Exeter Chiefs cruise to first place, Northampton Saints hammer London Irish

Henry Slade in action for Exeter Chiefs against Wasps

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Exeter Chiefs moved top of the Aviva Premiership in style as they hammered Wasps 31-17 on Sunday, with Ollie Woodburn and Henry Slade in fine form.


Woodburn got two of Exeter’s four tries in a blistering first-half display – going over inside five minutes only for Ashley Johnson to respond with a converted try that gave Wasps the lead.

Jimmy Gopperth’s boot made it 10-5, but Exeter – with the sensational Slade pulling the strings – swiftly rallied through Dave Dennis and Don Armand before, on the stroke of half time, Woodburn cantered through for his second.

With a 24-10 lead heading into the interval, Exeter did not let up after the break, Shaun Malton putting the result beyond all doubt prior to Josh Bassett’s consolation.

Exeter now lead the way with 16 points from their four matches, while Wasps’ place in the top four was taken by Northampton Saints, who secured a comfortable 40-25 victory over London Irish in Sunday’s other encounter.

In their first game at the Madjeski Stadium since returning to the top flight, Irish never looked likely to claim a result against a rampant Saints, who had a bonus point secured before the break thanks to Rob Horne’s double and further tries from Nic Groom and Mike Hayward.


Alex Lewington’s try made it 26-13 as Irish attempted to gain a foothold, only for George North to all-but wrap up the points for the visitors.

It represents a third victory in a row for Saints, who move up to third place, while Irish stay 11th.


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