Dean Mumm’s late try proved the difference as the Exeter Chiefs edged a topsy-turvy encounter at Sixways to emerge 24-18 victors against the Worcester Warriors.
The Australian international barrelled over with only three minutes remaining to put Rob Baxter’s side back in front after it looked like they had thrown their lead away.
First-half tries from Luke Arscott and Gareth Steenson had put the Chiefs on course for their first back-to-back away victories in the Aviva Premiership since last April.
But the boot of Andy Goode and tries from Matt Kvesic and Josh Drauniniu brought the hosts right back into it as they moved 18-17 ahead on the hour mark.
A sterling defensive effort in the final ten minutes with Josh Matavesi in the sin bin looked like it might deny the Chiefs but eventually the pressure told and Mumm went over for the win.
The game had started at breakneck speed, as early as the second minute Goode put the Warriors in the lead with a penalty from bang in front after the Chiefs infringed at the breakdown.
But the Chiefs response was immediate, a rolling maul from a lineout ending with Luke Arscott burrowing over right under the posts, Steenson making no mistake with the extras to make it 7-3.
Moments later David Lemi looked like he had crossed for the Warriors’ first try of the match, after Goode’s clever dink to the corner had unlocked the Chiefs’ defence.
But the referee decided Lemi had knocked on in the process of grounding the ball and instead gave Exeter the feed at the scrum.
However Jack Nowell looked to run the ball from deep and was pinged for playing on the ground leaving Goode another simple penalty for 6-7.
The frantic start to the first half showed no sign of abating and it was the visitors who struck next on 17 minutes.
Scrum-half Haydn Thomas broke through a gap in the Warriors line before offloading to Steenson who went over under the posts, adding the conversion for 14-6.
Goode’s long-range penalty drifted wide before half time as the Warriors fought to reduce the deficit but Steenson’s penalty after the interval put the Chiefs well clear at 17-6.
But the Warriors much-needed response was immediate, Matavesi joining a Warriors rolling maul from a lineout and helping to push Kvesic over, Goode missing the conversion from the touchline.
The Warriors were on the up now and full-back Chris Pennell went streaking clear and it looked for a moment like he was about to put Lemi in for a try but the Chiefs’ scramble defence came to their rescue.
But the Warriors pressure was continuous, Goode turning down a shot at goal to kick to the corner after his fine break had pushed them deep into Chiefs territory.
And after Baxter’s side had quelled the initial thrust of the lineout Drauniniu snuck over in the corner, Goode’s tricky conversion putting the hosts back in front at 18-17 on the hour.
In the closing stages the Chiefs pushed and probed in search of the decisive score and finally found it in the 77th minute as Mumm blasted over from close range after a series of pick and go drives from the Chiefs forwards.