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Match Reaction: Wasps 31-42 Exeter Chiefs

Match Reaction: Wasps 31-42 Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs laid down a marker as they ran in six tries to see off Wasps 42-31 in a thrilling encounter at the Ricoh Arena.

The Chiefs are now ten points from a possible ten in the league, with Sam Simmonds and Henry Slade both helping themselves to doubles in this ten-try classic.

And they will certainly take a lot of confidence after now beating both Leicester Tigers and Wasps, for whom Elliot Daly had scored for a perfect start before Exeter fought back.

MAN OF THE MATCH – Henry Slade

There were so many contenders up front and in in the backs but in the end it was Henry Slade who made the difference with two very different scores. The first came as he spotted a forward in front of him in the line and raced around him and over for Exeter’s second try of the day. In the second half he added another when he picked off Billy Searle and raced 60 metres despite Christian Wade and Daly tracing him down.


So much happened after Daly’s opener that it’s easy to forget how good a finish it was. The ball did not initially go to hand off the back of a ruck but as the Exeter defence rushed up, Daly spotted his chance. A brilliant step on Ollie Devoto left the Chiefs centre grasping at thin air and he raced under the posts for the first of ten tries.


The game was won in the early stages of the second half as Exeter turned a narrow deficit into a two-score lead. Key to that was Slade’s second try, and he underlined how deceptively quick he is with a long-range score.


Wasps director of rugby Dai Young: “At critical moments in the game we had opportunities and didn’t quite take them. I thought they were far more ruthless than us. They get five-metre lineouts and they score, when we get five-metre lineouts, we make a mess of it.

“That’s where they are a little bit in front of us at this moment in time. It was certainly a step up from us from last weekend.”

Exeter Chiefs head coach Ali Hepher: “It is a perfect start in terms of points scored but we don’t really look at that, we look at performance.

“Last week, the performance level was very high and the challenge this week was are we going to turn up with the same attitude or will we use it as a comfort blanket and chill out this week. The pleasing thing is that our attitude was right, we were in the right frame of mind to scrap and fight for everything.”


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