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Debutant Chiefs ease to win over Wasps

06 Nov 2010
Debutant Chiefs ease to win over Wasps

Argentina fly-half Ignacio Mieres kicked 19 points on his first appearance for Exeter to help secure a well-deserved victory over Wasps in the their first match in the LV= Cup.

He kicked five penalties and converted tries from centre Sireli Naqelevuki and left wing Matt Jess, while Wasps' points came through a penalty in each half from their young outside centre Elliot Daly.

It was clear where this competition came in Exeter's list of priorities before kick-off with head coach Rob Baxter completely changing his starting line-up from the one that secured their first win on the road in Aviva Premiership Rugby last week at Saracens.

Director of rugby Tony Hanks made seven changes from the side that secured a 17-8 victory at Leeds for Wasps' first ever visit to Sandy Park with back rower Andy Powell hoping to earn a recall to the Wales squad to face South Africa next weekend in Cardiff.

The match was played in autumn sunshine and the Chiefs applied the early pressure, pinning the visitors into their own half. Mieres put the home side into the lead after seven minutes with a 40-metre penalty on his senior Chiefs debut.

Wasps fly-half Mark Van Gisbergen missed the opportunity to level the scores three minutes later when his 22-metre kick from the left sailed past the right upright. But when the visitors had a second attempt a couple of minutes later, up stepped 18-year-old schoolboy Elliott Daly to take the kick from 40 metres and he neatly slotted it between the uprights on his senior debut.

Mieres, kicking into the sun, was off target minutes later with a penalty and a drop goal attempt but it was the Chiefs who scored the first try of the game starting from a lineout 30 metres out. The Chiefs drove on and then when the ball was released centre Sereli Naqelevuki, who was due to join up with the Fiji squad after the game, who brushed aside a couple of tackles to touchdown with Mieres adding the extras.

Wasps' troubles continued when they were reduced to 14 men when Scottish referee Neil Paterson showed a yellow card to blindside flanker Will Matthews as the Chiefs again pinned back the visitors deep in their own half. Exeter looked to capitalise on the extra man as Mieres kicked across field where Fijian full-back Josh Matavesi knocked-on when going for the ball under the challenge of Wasps' Samoan wing David Lemi.

No sooner had they been restored to full strength, then Wasps were back down to 14 men as lock Marty Veale was sent to the sin-bin for an apparent punch on the stroke of half time as the Chiefs led 10-3. The Chiefs then created a try from deep in their own half. Matavesi kicked into the Wasps 22 and wing Jess chased the ball down and beat off the last defender to it before going over the line.

Mieres added the conversion and a penalty from out wide but Daly landed a second penalty, also from out wide, only for Mieres to kick a third penalty, leaving Wasps requiring to score three times in the final quarter to steal the game.

Mieres, who did have a couple of problems with his line kicking with the ball going out on the full, landed his fourth penalty. Powell then became the third Wasps player to spend time in the sin-bin with one minute left to play. After missing for the second time in the game, Mieres landed his fifth penalty on the stroke of full-time to leave Baxter with a headache over his team selection for Friday night's game away to Cardiff.

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