Exeter Chiefs Finally Back With A Bang
Exeter began their AVIVA title defence on a rather dismal note after suffering a humiliating defeat against Johann Ackerman’s Gloucester side during the opening match of the season at Kingsholm. To make matters even worse, the loss meant that Exeter would fall a single result short of smashing Leicester’s 17-game unbeaten premiership record set in 1999.
However, the weekend saw the defending champions bounce back into action, having secured a comfortable 37-7 victory of London Irish.
Irish captain David Paice said that this team would be viewing the loss for what it was worth – a learning curve. Paice said that his side knew that it would be tough playing the defending champions, but that they were taught a couple of lessons nonetheless. He seemed confident that his side would take what they could from the game, and come back stronger.
Defence The Key To Exeter’s Success
Defence, more than anything, was the key to Exeter’s success on the weekend. This is the opinion of Exeter’s Aussie scrumhalf, Nic White. He was quoted as saying that whilst Exeter were certainly very much on the attack against Irish, he believed it to be the strong focus on defence that ultimately sealed the deal.
The 37-7 trump was the ideal comeback from having lost to Gloucester in the opening match, as defending champions. A win that was any more marginal would probably not have gone quite such a long way in soothing the sting. For Nic White it was the perfect home debut, and the hope is that Exeter can continue to build an effective title defence as the upcoming match against the Worcester Warriors on Friday, draws near.
Exeter started the match against Irish with a bang, and despite heavy rains threatening to hamper the flow of the game the hosts remained dominant. The first half saw a struggling London Irish side failing to climb the points ladder at all, and the second half wasn’t much more of an improvement to boot.
Winger Alex Lewington was the man responsible for a single second-half score, but the battle raged on for London Irish as they struggled to even make it into the opposition’s half, let alone do anything of import in their limited time on the other side of the line.
With just five minutes remaining on the clock, Exeter scored a final touchdown after having driven a bonus point home.
There is a lot to be said for finishing strong – especially in a premiership where every point matters.
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