Exeter Chiefs struggled to reproduce the form that saw them hammer London Welsh a week ago but they did enough to battle past the Ospreys 23-13.
First-half tries from Will Carrick-Smith and Myles Dorrian helped the Chiefs overcome a slow start and despite a below-par display against a young Ospreys side, they hung on for the win.
The Chiefs had made the perfect start to the game with a penalty after just two minutes from Henry Slade as they looked to kick on from last week’s impressive display away at the Kassam Stadium.
But rather than maintain the momentum of that success the Chiefs struggled to string the phases together and it was the Ospreys who took the lead from a scrappy passage of play.
After Exeter had stolen a lineout they then lost the ball and it was Morgan Allen, who scored the vital try to beat Gloucester a week ago, who went over again for the game’s first try.
Youngster Sam Davies converted to stretch the lead to 7-3 after ten minutes with neither side looking confident with ball in hand.
Slade could have brought his side back to within a point but missed a kickable penalty with 15 minutes remaining in the half as the Welsh side maintained their lead.
However the home side didn’t have to wait long to move in front, with Carrick-Smith making it two tries in as many weeks when he showed his power to crash over after some good work from the Exeter pack. Slade converted to make it 10-7.
Davies added a penalty for the Ospreys to draw them level but with two minutes remaining in the half Dorrian finished off a flowing move with Dave Ewers, impressive all night, instrumental in the build-up. Slade’s conversion made it 17-10 at half-time.
The Ospreys made the quicker start to the second half and Davies added another penalty to bring the visitors back to within four points.
From there Exeter showed their experience to grind out the win, Slade slotting two more penalties but neither side was able to find their best form.
The Ospreys did have the chance to pick up a losing bonus point with a late penalty but Matthew Morgan’s effort drifted wide as they left Sandy Park empty-handed.
With the result in the bag Exeter move top of their LV= Cup group, just ahead of Harlequins, both sides having picked up two wins from their opening two games.