Exeter Chiefs maintained their unbeaten Aviva Premiership home record, compounding Worcester Warriors’ misery on the road with a confident display in a 33-9 win at Sandy Park.
A first-half try from Gonzalo Camacho set the Chiefs on their way before late tries from Haydn Thomas and Chris Budgen secured the win in the final ten minutes.
Gareth Steenson added 16 points with the boot as Rob Baxter’s charges ended a run of three defeats on the bounce.
The defeat ended a run of three wins for the Warriors, leaving them still searching for their first win on the road in the league this season – restricted to just nine points from fly-half Andy Goode.
After hitting the bar with a second-minute penalty, Steenson made amends moments later with a deft chip down the line for Argentina wing Camacho – who capitalised on a Warriors mix-up to kick the ball on and touch down for the opening score.
Steenson added the extra points and then extended the lead to ten two minutes later with another penalty, finding the target from the left after another Warriors infringement at the breakdown.
The Warriors were struggling to make anything happen in possession and soon handed Steenson another kickable penalty for not binding – the 28-year-old making no mistake to stretch the lead to 13-0 after 15 minutes.
Worcester were struggling to even get into the Chiefs half and were soon a further three points behind – Steenson making no mistake with a 42-metre kick on 20 minutes.
All the momentum was with the home side as Worcester’s handling deserted them, with Camacho and Matt Jess looking dangerous on the wings.
Steenson then extended his personal tally to 14 – this time finding the target from the 15-metre line to make it 19-0 with ten minutes of the first half remaining.
Worcester finally began to find their feet as half-time drew nearer, looking threatening with a succession of mauls before a big Camacho tackle forced Goode to knock on just inside the 22.
They finished the half in the ascendancy but were unable to make anything happen despite pressure in Exeter’s 22 – settling for a Goode penalty with the last kick to make it 19-3 at the break.
Worcester looked the better side at the start of the second half, Goode adding his second penalty of the afternoon to make it 19-6.
But despite enjoying the more of the ball as the half progressed the Warriors were unable to turn possession into points in a scoreless 25 minutes.
With 11 minutes remaining Goode narrowed the gap to ten points – splitting the posts with his third penalty of the afternoon.
But any hopes of a Worcester fightback were ended by Haydn Thomas, the scrum-half sneaking over for his first try of the season from close range eight minutes from time, Steenson’s conversion making it 26-9.
Sam Betty was sinbinned in the closing stages to complete a forgettable afternoon for Worcester, before replacement Budgen ran in a try three minutes from time with replacement Ignacio Mieres converting to round off a confident victory in style for the Chiefs.