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Match Report: Exeter Chiefs 30 Leicester Tigers 6

31 Dec 2017
Match Report: Exeter Chiefs 30 Leicester Tigers 6

Gareth Steenson capped his 150th Aviva Premiership Rugby appearance with points aplenty from the boot as Exeter Chiefs went ten points clear with an emphatic victory over Leicester Tigers.

Chiefs edged the lead at the break following a low-scoring half but Sandy Park was soon rocking as the hosts turned on the style in the second period, Don Armand bagging the first try after an excellent spell of possession.

Tigers struggled to match their opponents’ prowess as Henry Slade, Jonny Hill and Jack Yeandle added further scores, Steenson instrumental with seven points as the visitors fell to their sixth consecutive defeat – their worst run since 1965.

A scrappy start saw Chiefs suffer an early blow as Luke Cowan-Dickie limped off, but their sustained pressure was rewarded when Slade kicked over after Tigers failed to release the ball.

Handling errors plagued both sides but Lachie Turner soon turned on the style for the Chiefs, zig-zagging through the Leicester defence before the attack ended inside the visitors’ 22, and Tigers were quickly back on level terms as George Ford scored from the tee.

It wasn’t long before the Chiefs were back ahead, Steenson defying the windy conditions at Sandy Park to knock over a scrum penalty and give the hosts the lead at the break.

The second half had barely begun when Ford restored parity once more with his second kick of the day, but Chiefs asserted their dominance to score the first try of the day.

Moving through the phases, Sam Hill and Slade impressed as they pushed their opponents back, Armand eventually bundled over under the posts by Dave Ewers with Steenson adding the extras.

Fire roared in the bellies of the Tigers players as the action switched from end-to-end, but poor judgement from Jonny May saw the ball pop up for Slade who stepped on the gas to run in from 35m to give his side some breathing space.

Moments later Rob Baxter’s men had another try disallowed following a knock-on but that did little to stop the Chiefs’ flow, and there was no doubt when they did get their third score – Hill with the honours as he reached over in the corner after a stunning home march to the line.

And Yeandle secured the bonus point with the final play of the game, touching down after fine work from the Exeter maul.