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Exeter have just gone top of the Premiership

By Jack Davies
Exeter Chiefs’ Jonny Hill.

Exeter Chiefs climbed to the top of the Premiership table with a 31-17 victory over Harlequins at Sandy Park on Sunday.

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Defeat for Saracens at Gloucester on Friday left the door open for the defending champions and the Chiefs moved clear in the second half to shake off a determined Quins side.

James Chisholm and Tim Visser cancelled out tries from Lachlan Turner and Olly Woodburn respectively in a tight opening period, before Marcus Smith kicked the visitors into a three-point half-time lead.

But Quins, who had two tries ruled out by the TMO over the course of the match, could not find a response to Jonny Hill’s touchdown early in the second half and the lock crossed for his second to seal victory with 10 minutes remaining.

The bonus point win sends Exeter two points clear of Saracens at the summit, while Quins remain seventh.

Elsewhere, Leicester Tigers and Bath moved ahead of Gloucester into third and fourth respectively with wins against Sale Sharks and London Irish.

Leicester trailed Sale by two points at the interval before going on to claim a 35-27 victory, while Bath subjected basement club Irish to a seventh consecutive league defeat in a 22-18 triumph.

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Turlough 3 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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