Exeter cemented their place in the Aviva Premiership Rugby play-off spots with a convincing win over Wasps as Thomas Waldrom powered over for a hat-trick.
The Chiefs have made a flying start to the season and backed up last week’s win at Harlequins with this success at the Ricoh Arena.
They scored six tries in all and fought off a stirring Wasps fightback to move top of the table before Saracens’ clash with Newcastle on Sunday
Exeter showed their intent as early as the first minute, driving deep into Wasps territory and were awarded a penalty for offside with Gareth Steenson making no mistake in front of the posts.
With the wind playing havoc for both sides, Steenson’s superb controlled kick into touch, right into the Wasps corner saw Exeter score the first try of the game.
From the resulting short lineout, Exeter drove for the line with Waldrom bundling over for the try with Steenson’s conversion attempt missed.
Wasps were rewarded with a penalty of their own as Jimmy Gopperth reduced the deficit, but barely a minute later the home side shot themselves in the foot as Jack Nowell scored unchallenged in the corner.
England international teammates Henry Slade and Nowell combined to find a gap in the Wasps defence to increase their lead with Steenson adding the conversion.
In a pulsating game, Wasps responded again with a Gopperth penalty though it was the away side that was the more clinical.
In a mirror image of the game’s first try, Mitch Lees went over for Exeter for their third score with Steenson converting.
Wasps were now like a rabbit in the headlights as Exeter pushed for the bonus point before half-time.
Once again the powerful Chiefs forwards drove towards the whitewash from another lineout with Waldrom adding his second try of the game, though Steenson’s kick was wide.
The scoring wasn’t done for the half as Wasps gave themselves a lifeline going into the break when a kick-through towards the Exeter line was fumbled by Nowell with Frank Halai the recipient, reducing the deficit. Gopperth added the conversion on the whistle as Exeter went in 27- 13 in front at the break.
The home side responded straight away after the break when Ashley Johnson went over near the posts as a fired up Wasps clawed their way back to just seven points behind with Gopperth successful with the conversion.
Moments later it was all-square as Lorenzo Cittadini went over after a break by Sam Jones with Gopperth levelling with the conversion.
Waldrom added his third try of the game to stop the Wasps momentum, again driving over from a maul with Steenson putting his side seven points in front once again.
And it was Exeter that got the decisive try as Moray Low forced himself over at the end of a rolling maul with Steenson adding the conversion to seal the win.