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Match Report: Harlequins 29 Exeter Chiefs 15

05 Nov 2016
Match Report: Harlequins 29 Exeter Chiefs 15

Nick Evans kicked 14 points as Harlequins kicked off their Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign with a hard-fought 29-15 win over Exeter Chiefs.

Despite the final margin of victory, it was a tight affair for much of the game, with late tries from Charlie Walker and Luc Jones proving to be the difference.

The home side had made the better start, with Aaron Morris crossing after an early Evans penalty, but Exeter responded through James Short to trail 11-5 at half-time.

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They actually led by a point, 15-14, with an hour gone, but Elvis Taione went from hero to villain as he was sin-binned minutes after scoring a try.

In his absence Harlequins capitalised, with Walker and then Jones going over, and from there Exeter could not come back.

Harlequins had opened the scoring with six minutes gone after they were awarded a penalty from 25 metres out, which Evans slotted.

Mat Luamanu was shown an early yellow card for a crunching tackle on Will Hooley, which forced the fly-half off.

The game came to life on 15 minutes when Walker showed wonderful pace as he broke down the left with a blistering run from his own half.

The winger found Morris with a clever pass inside and the full-back sprinted clear to score the first try of the game, although Evans failed to convert.

Exeter had their first try minutes later when Short skipped through several tackles as he weaved his way down the left to cross the line.

Harlequins finished the half strongly with a penalty from Evans making it a six-point advantage at the break.

Evans knocked over his third penalty of the game straight after the restart, but a Simmonds penalty for Exeter cancelled it out a minute later.

And Chiefs were in front on 53 minutes, as Taione bundled over the line moments after coming off the bench and Simmonds duly converted.

However the lead didn’t last long with Taione shown a yellow card for repeated infringements and Evans slotting the resulting penalty.

Walker extended the advantage when a strong build up saw him burst through after some extended pressure.

The home side used the momentum to their advantage and, spurred on by an inspired crowd at Twickenham Stoop, scored their second try of the half when Jones was fastest to a loose ball in the 22, crossing under the posts for Evans to seal the win.

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