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Exeter return to winning ways with convincing victory over in-form Gloucester

By PA
Exeter Chiefs (PA)

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Exeter bounced back after three successive defeats with a convincing 24-15 Gallagher Premiership win over in-form Gloucester at Sandy Park.

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Gloucester had claimed 24 points from their previous six Premiership matches but their limitations were exposed by a fired-up Chiefs side, who were the better team in all facets of the game.

Jack Innard, Patrick Schickerling, Olly Woodburn and Tom O’Flaherty scored Exeter’s tries with Joe Simmonds adding two conversions.

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Gloucester’s tries came from Freddie Clarke, Santiago Carreras and Charlie Chapman – the last two coming in the final 15 minutes when Exeter had a man in the sin-bin.

The hosts should have taken an early lead but with the line at his mercy, Don Armand fumbled a well-judged cross-field kick from Simmonds.

Minutes later, Simmonds launched another kick but this one was ill-directed and Gloucester were able to counter-attack in style with Ollie Thorley tearing past a couple of defenders to take his side into the opposition 22.

From there the visitors moved the ball wide before a well-timed pass from Kyle Moyle sent Clarke over for the opening try.

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That score came against the run of play as the Chiefs dominated the opening quarter.

An elusive run from O’Flaherty was the catalyst for the Exeter forwards to bombard the Gloucester line. Kicks at goal were spurned as the hosts sought a try but despite the concession of a number of penalties, Gloucester kept their line intact to lead 5-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Gloucester then suffered an injury blow when Lloyd Evans had to be helped off with a leg injury to be replaced by Adam Hastings.

Almost immediately they suffered a further setback when Exeter hooker Innard finished off a driving line-out to bring the scores level at the interval.

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Exeter would have been the happier as they turned round with the wind now in their favour after having had 78 per cent of the possession in the first half.

Eight minutes after the restart, Gloucester centre Billy Twelvetrees was yellow-carded for persistent team infringements and the Chiefs quickly capitalised as Schickerling drove over from close range.

The visitors changed four players in quick succession to try and reverse their fortunes but it made no difference as Exeter scored a third try when Woodburn had all the time in the world to collect a cross-field kick from Simmonds.

Twelvetrees returned from the sin-bin in time to see the home side score their bonus-point try when a clean break from Jack Maunder provided O’Flaherty with a simple run-in.

Exeter second row Dafydd Jenkins was then yellow-carded which allowed Gloucester to respond with two tries in quick succession from Carreras and Chapman, which gave the visitors a flattering final scoreline.

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