Michele Campagnaro was the three-try hero as Exeter Chiefs enjoyed a rampant first half at Sandy Park, recording a comprehensive 52-5 victory over Wasps in round three of the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
Campagnaro opened the scoring with just minutes on the clock, before further tries from Mitch Lees, Sam Simmonds, Stu Townsend and a second from the Italian saw the hosts go into the break 28 points ahead, with a Will Rowlands score the only points on the board from Wasps.
And the second half followed in much the same manner, Lees and Campagnaro adding one more apiece with Lachie Turner also scoring late, despite late pressure from the battling visitors to slow down their jubilant hosts.
FT – Exeter Chiefs 52 Wasps 5 pic.twitter.com/XvPyQfeAqJ
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) January 28, 2017
The Chiefs drew first blood with only three minutes played when Campagnaro was released by Turner to go over the line, with Joe Simmonds adding the conversion.
Wasps responded immediately however through Rowlands, who dotted down after claiming a high ball following clever play from Brendan Macken and Koree Britton.
But it wasn’t long until the hosts extended their advantage, this time Lees with the honours as he crossed the whitewash following fine play from the Chiefs forwards, before Simmonds made no mistake from the tee.
Campagnaro got his second score of the game shortly after the restart, intercepting at halfway before going under the posts as Simmonds made it three conversions from three, and it wasn’t long before the fly-half added a fourth when his brother went over following a stunning solo effort from 25 metres out.
HT: At the break Wasps have fought valiantly and looked dangerous in attack but trail 33-5. pic.twitter.com/A2zvtF7EWl
— Wasps (@WaspsRugby) January 28, 2017
And there was enough time for a fifth Chiefs try before the interval, Townsend tapping a quick penalty from the scrum before crossing over from close range, with a final missed conversion from Simmonds the only blot in an otherwise stunning first period from the hosts.
They picked up where they left off five minutes after the break when Lees bagged his second try of the game at the base of the posts following a Campagnaro break, before Simmonds got back to scoring ways from the tee.
Wasps enjoyed a spell of good pressure as they looked to narrow the deficit, but it was soon advantage Chiefs once more as Campagnaro sealed his hat-trick, crossing over in the corner before going down under the posts as Simmonds added the two points.
Despite their hefty deficit, the visitors showed battling spirit throughout the second half, dominating large spells of possession without producing the final product.
But the Chiefs wrapped up proceedings with just a minute left to play when Will Hooley sent a cross-field kick into the arms of Turner to dot down.
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) January 28, 2017