Exeter Chiefs romped to an impressive 24-3 win against Wasps on Sunday
Olly Woodburn’s converted try gave the Chiefs a 7-3 lead at the break
Tries from Phill Dollman and Jack Nowell secured the victory after the restart
Exeter Chiefs are back in the driving seat to finish in second place after convincingly beating Wasps at Sandy Park on Sunday.
Rob Baxter’s side are now two points clear of Wasps in second as they look to secure a home semi-final.
Olly Woodburn’s try was the difference between the two sides at the break as Chiefs held a narrow 7-3 lead after the opening 40 despite being the dominant side. A single long-range penalty from Elliot Daly made up the visitors tally.
After the restart, Gareth Steenson recaptured the hosts seven-point lead with a penalty before converting Phil Dollman’s try to put clear daylight between the two sides. James Short then thought he’d put the game to bed soon after for Chiefs but had his score wiped off by the TMO.
England winger Jack Nowell though was on hand to end the contest with his first try for Exeter since December when he powered through a pair of defenders to dot down. Steenson then converted to complete the convincing 24-3 victory.
Wasps had lost their previous six trips to Sandy Park and were put under pressure by the hosts straight from the kick-off.
And although the visitors held out for 27 minutes, the Chiefs eventually took the lead through Woodburn, who dotted down his eighth try of the season in the corner after barging past Frank Halai.
Steenson, reliable as ever, then knocked over the touchline conversion to give Exeter a deserved seven-point lead.
Wasps though reduced the deficit before the break as Daly slotted a trademark long-range penalty, 7-3.
The Chiefs started the second half once again on top with Steenson reestablishing the hosts seven-point advantage with a three-pointer just four minutes after the restart.
Exeter’s Dollman then put clear water between the two sides as he capped his brilliant display by running in unopposed for the hosts second try just before the hour. Steenson then added the extras to make it a long way back for Wasps, 17-3.
Short then thought he’d put the game to bed but the winger and Wasps fullback Rob Miller had ‘simultaneously grounded’ the ball according to the television match official, much to the annoyance of the home faithful.
The Chiefs though did have their third try not long after when England winger Nowell broke through two defenders to place down. Steenson then added the extra two to pretty much end the game as a contest, 24-3.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Exeter Chiefs: Don Armand
Exeter: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Gareth Steenson (c), 9 Will Chudley, 8 Don Armand, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Carl Rimmer, 19 Damian Welch, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Sam Hill, 23 James Short
Wasps: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Siale Piutau, 11 Frank Halai, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 George Smith, 6 James Haskell (c), 5 Bradley Davies, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Carlo Festuccia 1 Matt Mullan
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Craig Hampson, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Rob Miller
Date: Sunday, May 1
Venue: Sandy Park
Kick-off: 13:00 BST (12:00 GMT)
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix, Ashley Rowden
TMO: Graham Hughes