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London Welsh 15 Exeter Chiefs 42

11 Nov 2012
London Welsh 15 Exeter Chiefs 42

Nic Sestaret and Jack Nowell grabbed two tries apiece as Exeter Chiefs eased to a comfortable bonus point LV= Cup victory over London Welsh.

Despite trailing 9-8 at half-time the Chiefs came into their own in the second half, scoring five tries with Welsh adding just six points, to secure their first away victory of the season. 

Will Carrick-Smith crossed in the first half but Welsh led thanks to the boot of Gordon Ross – who kicked all the points for the home side.

The game appeared to be heading for a grandstand finish but Mark Foster’s try opened the floodgates, with Nowell crossing either side of Sestaret’s double as Welsh’s gameplan fell apart.

Exeter had rung the changes from their Aviva Premiership victory over Worcester but it was Welsh who took the first score.

Ross, who replaced Gavin Henson at fly-half for Welsh, slotted a simple penalty on six minutes after Chiefs were penalised for playing the ball on the floor.

Exeter responded by almost crossing for the opening try of the game as Dave Ewers powering over from close range – but on referral upstairs it was deemed he had failed to get the ball down.

But play was brought back to an earlier infringement under the posts by Neil Briggs, giving Henry Slade a simple kick to level proceedings on 10 minutes.

Just seven minutes later Chiefs nearly crossed again, Myles Dorrian releasing Mark Foster in the corner – only to be denied by some superb coverage work by Nick Scott and Tom Arscott.

At the other end Ross put Welsh back in front on 25 minutes, splitting the posts from 25 metres out after Justin Blanchet was penalised at a scrum.

But the Chiefs got the perfect response immediately – Carrick-Smith going over after quick work through the phases from the visiting side.

It was a scintillating Foster break which took the visitors to the brink of the whitewash and, after the ball was recycled through several phases, a looping pass from captain Junior Poluleuligaga gave lock Carrick Smith a simple touch down in the corner.

But Slade dragged the conversion wide of the mark, leaving the score 8-6 to Chiefs on the half-hour mark.

And with two minutes to go before the break Ross put Welsh back in front with a penalty after try-scorer Carrick-Smith was penalised for handling on the floor.

The lock nearly made amends immediately at the other end, coming within a whisker of claiming a second try of the half, only to be bundled into touch agonisingly short – leaving the score 9-8 to Welsh at half-time.

Welsh stayed in front for just two minutes after the restart, Slade shaking off his earlier miss with a successful penalty.

And just six minutes later the Chiefs crossed for their second of the match, the influential Foster grabbing a much-deserved try after impressing on the wing throughout.

A clever show-and-go from replacement Sam Hill created an opening in the Welsh backline, and his pass released Foster to run unopposed down the wing to score, Slade converting to make it 18-9.

But Welsh soon cut the gap back down to three points – Ross slotting another penalty from the left wing and another in front of the posts in quick succession before the hour mark.

But Chiefs scored again decisively on 63 minutes, full-back Nowell going over in the corner for the third try of the game.

After some patient build-up play in the Welsh 22, quick hands from Dorrian and Sestaret releasing Nowell to touch down, Slade missing the tricky conversion.

And they scored again two minutes later, Sestaret sneaking across the whitewash from the back of a ruck to secure the bonus point for Exeter, Slade converting.

The Frenchman crossed again almost immediately as Welsh’s backline crumbled, receiving a Poluleuligaga pass and skipping away from a tackle to score in the corner.

After Slade dragged the conversion wide Exeter led 35-15.

And, not to be outdone by his team-mate, Nowell found a gap and raced away with four minutes to spare to secure an emphatic 42-15 victory.  

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