Exeter 34-23 Wasps: Chiefs edge into first Premiership final after overcoming Wasps
Exeter are into the Premiership final for the first time after beating Wasps 34-23 on Saturday
A penalty try and score from Ian Whitten gave the Chiefs a 20-14 lead at half-time
Dave Ewer’s try and another penalty score after the break was enough to secure the win
Saracens and Exeter Chiefs will battle it out for the Aviva Premiership trophy on 28 May
Exeter Chiefs have reached the Aviva Premiership final for the first time after edging past Wasps in front of a sellout crowd at Sandy Park on Saturday.
There were three lead changes in a helterskelter first half as Ian Whitten crossed for Exeter and Carlo Festuccia and Dan Robson touched down for Wasps.
Festuccia’s yellow card late in the first half left Wasps short-handed at the start of the second, and it was Dave Ewers’ try in the 47th minute which turned the tide decisively in Exeter’s favour. A penalty try as time expired sealed victory.
Two Gareth Steenson penalties gave Exeter an early lead but it was Wasps who scored the first try of the match in the 16th minute. A driving maul helped pushed Wasps towards the line with Carlo Festuccia the man on hand to touch down.
Jimmy Gopperth landed a tricky conversion attempt in the driving rain to take the lead for his side with the score 6-7. This lead not last long as Exeter scored their first try.
Ian Whitten showed wonderful strength in charging towards the Wasps defence and could not be held by George Smith before sliding over the line for a good score.
Once again, SteensonÂ’s kicking was accurate to stretch his side’s lead to six points. Wasps scored their second try in the 31st minute, Robson snuck through the Chiefs defence to score well. Gopperth converted, making the score 13-14.
The first half drew to a close with Chiefs being awarded a penalty try in the 39th minute. Referee Greg Garner deemed the visitors to have been holding up play illegally on the try-line. Carlo Festuccia was sent to the sin-bin as a result and Steenson kicked the simple conversion from under the posts to make the half-time score 20-14.
Wasps would not lie down easily though and Gopperth slotted a penalty kick in the 45th minute, cutting the deficit to 3. With Festuccia still in the bin, the hosts took advantage.
Dave Ewers barged over the whitewash in the 46th minute for a vital score. Steenson added the extras from the tee, taking the score to 27-17.
Two penalties from Gopperth cut the gap to just four points with 13 minutes remaining. Exeter held strong though and made sure of victory in the 80th minute by earning a penalty try. Steenson scored the conversion, making the final score 34-23.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Exeter Chiefs: Dave Ewers
Exeter Chiefs: 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 Tomas Francis, 19 Ollie Atkins, 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 Dan Robson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 George Smith, 6 James Haskell (c), 5 Bradley Davies, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley , 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Matt Mullan
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Sam Jones, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Rob Miller
Date: Saturday, May 21
Venue: Sandy Park
Kick-off: 15:15 BST (14:15 GMT)
Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant Referees: Tom Foley, Ross Campbell
TMO: Stuart Terheege