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Match Reaction: Exeter Chiefs 50 Worcester Warriors 12


Exeter backs coach Ali Hepher praised the bouncebackability of his Chiefs after they responded to last week’s defeat against table-topping Saracens by hammering Worcester Warriors in Aviva Premiership Rugby at Sandy Park.

The Chiefs scored an impressive eight tries as they racked up a half century of points in a 50-12 win against Dean Ryan’s Worcester. 

Thomas Waldrom and Olly Woodburn both scored hat-tricks for Chiefs with James Short and Ollie Atkins picking up a try apiece. Henry Slade converted three of the scores and Gareth Steenson two.

Worcester responded with tries from Cooper Vuna and Andy Symons, with Tom Heathcote kicking a conversion.

But the Chiefs were dominant throughout to stay second in the table and put themselves in pole position for a home semi-final – much to Hepher's delight.

"It was all about getting us back on track after a disappointing result last week. We had a review of our performance against the Saracens and we weren't a million miles away,” he said.

"We had to get our attack back in order and we looked dangerous for large parts of the game.

"We were disappointed to give away a couple of soft tries just before the interval but we came out firing after half-time and it was important to get that try in the first minute of the second half.

"Thomas Waldrom carries so well, he's the figurehead for us and you can't question his desire to score tries.

"Jack Nowell goes roaming as we give him that licence to do so. Switching to full back, because of the injury to Phil Dollman made no difference to his game.

"He looked fresher than most of our players as he had a two week break during the Six Nations whilst the others have been playing non-stop."

Worcester Director of Rugby, Ryan, was far from impressed with his side’s performance.  

Although he stopped short of criticising his Warriors who came into the clash on the back of a four-match win streak in the league.  

"We are running on empty and we showed we are not at their level," he admitted.

"We were never thinking we were a top of the league side but it was a stark reminder for us.

"They did a lot of damage to us in that opening quarter. It wasn't reflected on the scoreboard but their physicality and the pace that they played at made it very difficult for us, especially as we picked up yellow cards.

"The depth of our squad wasn't up to the challenge and we need to keep improving. We need a week's rest as we don't want our season to drift away."

Exeter Chiefs: Dollman (Short 5); Nowell, Slade, Whitten, Woodburn; Steenson (M Campagnaro 60), Chudley (D Lewis 73); Moon (A Hepburn 54), Cowan-Dickie (Yeandle 54), Low (Williams 54); Atkins (Armand 66), Welch (Lees 51); Armand (Horstmann 60), Salvi, Waldrom
Worcester Warriors: Pennell (Baldwin 75); Heem, Olivier (Grove 64), Symons (Grove 39-40), Vuna; Heathcote (Lamb 54), Hougaard; Rapava Ruskin (Lelimalefaga 60), Annett (Bregvadze 45), Johnston (Milasinovich 51); O’Callaghan, Barry (Sanderson 67); Kirwan, Betty (Milasinovich 18-28, Annett 47-56), Van Velze (Cox 52)
Tries: Waldrom 3, Short, Woodburn 3, Atkins
Conversions: Steenson 2, Slade 3
Tries: Vuna, Symons
Conversion: Heathcote
Referee: T Foley
Attendance: 11,168

Watch England's finest at the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final at Twickenham on 28 May from only £30 for adults & £15 for children. Click here for tickets


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