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Match Report: Gloucester Rugby 20 Exeter Chiefs 34

06 May 2017
Match Report: Gloucester Rugby 20 Exeter Chiefs 34

Exeter Chiefs came from behind to beat Gloucester Rugby and secure a home semi-final against Saracens, but they had to work hard to get the win.

Tries from Lewis Ludlow and Jonny May gave the hosts a slender half-time lead, but Gareth Steenson’s boot and an Ian Whitten score kept the Chiefs in touch.

And the visitors proved too strong in the second period, with Ben Moon, James Short and Will Chudley all crossing to give Rob Baxter’s side the win, despite May crossing for his second after Short’s try.

The win meant Exeter finish second in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table behind Wasps and set up a semi-final clash with Saracens, but they did not have it all their own way at Kingsholm.

Gloucester flew out of the blocks and took an early lead through Ludlow, who combined with May down the left before crossing. Greig Laidlaw added the extras.

Steenson’s penalty had the visitors on the board, before Laidlaw added three points of his own to restore the hosts’ six-point advantage.

And the lead was stretched when the impressive May intercepted Steenson’s pass for an unconverted breakaway try down the left channel.

However, the visitors hit back five minutes before half-time, Whitten danced through the Gloucester backline to dot down, and Steenson did the honours to pull it back to 15-13.

Despite heavy Gloucester pressure in the final moments of the half, the scores stayed at two points difference.

David Humphreys’ side started the second half in the same way they did the first – much faster than the Chiefs.

And May thought he had extended the Cherry & Whites’ advantage minutes into the second period when he dotted down in the corner, but the play was brought back for a knock-on.

But after weathering a brief Gloucester storm, it was the Chiefs that dealt a huge double blow as Moon and Short crossed in quick succession to put Baxter’s side in control.

Steenson was impressive all afternoon with the boot, and made both conversions to make it 15-27.

May crossed for his second after smart work by Billy Twelvetrees shortly after to give the hosts hope of dragging the match back the way of the Cherry & Whites.

However, replacement Chudley forced his way over with 10 minutes to go as Exeter turned the screw, Steenson again making no mistake from the kick, as Exeter held on for victory.

Tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final is on 27 May at Twickenham are now on sale. If you want to have an unforgettable day out at club rugby’s best Cup Final then click here for tickets.

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