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Gloucester and Exeter set the pace after second A League victories

Gloucester and Exeter set the pace after second A League victories

Gloucester United and Exeter Braves continued their flying starts to the Premiership Rugby A League season with convincing victories over Bath United and Bristol United respectively.

The young Cherry & Whites sparkled at Kingsholm, running over six tries in a 36-26 victory to secure back-to-back bonus-point victories.

The hosts used their powerful driving maul to full effect as David Halaifonua crashed over for the opening try.

But it was scrum-half Charlie Chapman who changed the game at 12-12 when he went from his own half with a chip and chase before producing a fine pick-up and sprint over the whitewash to help take the game beyond Bath.

Two quick tries from Joe Mullis and a dot down by replacement wing Alex Ducker consolidated the home side’s advantage before Bath snatched a late consolation try.

Meanwhile, the Braves built upon their opening hard-fought victory over Harlequins with a comfortable 28-19 success at Sandy Park over Bristol.

Ricky Pellow’s side burst into a 21-0 half-time lead courtesy of Moray Low, Tom O’Flaherty and a penalty try.

United battled back in the second half but scrum-half Will Chudley chased down the ball after Jack Wallace’s clearance was charged down to seal the Braves’ second victory in the space of a week.

Elsewhere defending A League champions Northampton Wanderers came from behind against Leicester Tigers A to secure their second league victory of the campaign.

A try from Harry Mahoney helped the visitors into a half-time lead but a brace from Jamal Ford-Robinson and three more tries from Francois Van Wyk, Tom Stephenson and Juan Pablo Estelles ensured there would be no slip ups from the Franklin’s Gardens outfit.

Monday night sees the rest of the teams fire into action as Sale Jets take on Wasps at Heywood Road, with London Irish looking to avenge their defeat to Gloucester when they face Harlequins at Hazelwood.

What they said:

Richard Whiffin, Gloucester’s head of academy, said:

“I think once the conditions get like they do it becomes a tight game, a narrow game, and off the back of that I thought the forwards had an outstanding performance.

“We dominated the drive, which gave us a platform to play off, but the pleasing thing for me was we still had ambition to play when it was on.

“I think it’s important as a young player that you get exposure to a number of different ways of playing the game and I think we saw that in the performance.”

Exeter Braves skills coach Ricky Pellow said:

“Full credit to the guys for fronting up in both games, it’s given us a great start to the A League and put us in a really good position to kick on.

“This win, plus the Chiefs beating Irish beforehand, it’s two great results for us to take into the Worcester game on Friday.

“The boys fronted up, it was a big, physical battle at times out there, but they did well and we’ve got the result we wanted.”

Full results:

Exeter Braves 28-19 Bristol United
Northampton Wanderers 38-10 Leicester Tigers A
Gloucester United 36-26 Bath United

September 11:
Sale Jets v Wasps
London Irish v Harlequins

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