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Unbeaten start to season ends at Exeter

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Leicester Tigers suffered a first defeat of the Aviva Premiership season, going down 19-6 to Exeter Chiefs in Round 4 at Sandy Park on Saturday.

Fly-half Gareth Steenson scored all of the Chiefs points, including a try after just six minutes, with Tigers having to resist some sustained pressure in the first half while also having a score by Adam Thompstone ruled out by the Television Match Official.
 
A penalty from Owen Williams provided the only points of the second period until the closing five minutes when Steenson added two more kicks to his tally and Tigers were unable to turn possession into any real breakthrough.
 
Tigers were led out by Tom Youngs, captain for the first time, with younger brother Ben making his first appearance of the season after returning from the World Cup with an ankle injury. Dom Barrow and Telusa Veainu started for the first time in Tigers colours and Jordan Crane returned to the starting line-up for the first time this season.

Chiefs, who included former Tigers back-rowers Julian Salvi and Thomas Waldrom in their 23, made a late change with prop Ben Moon ruled out and Alec Hepburn stepping up from the bench. Carl Rimmer was added to the bench.
 
After a minute’s silence for Remembrance Sunday, Owen Williams got the game under way and new signing Telusa Veainu was immediately prominent from full-back, making a mazy 40-metre run to get Tigers into Chiefs territory.
 
But it was the hosts who broke through first, being repelled twice at lineouts before Steenson spotted a gap as the Tigers defence was stretched close in and had just enough reach to dot down on the right. He added the extras too for a seven-point lead with six minutes gone.
 
Veainu showed good footwork and pace again as Tigers looked for a response but, just as they looked to build some pressure, an opportunity was missed when a penalty from halfway faded beyond the left-hand corner flag and Chiefs escaped with put-in at the resulting scrum.
 
The scrum also yielded a penalty, which Slade hammered into the right-hand corner, only for Tigers to snaffle and clear.
 
Approaching the 20-minute mark, Tigers gained their first real foothold in Chiefs territory, with Veainu attacking the line and Tom Croft taking on three defenders on the right. Though safe and patient in possession, Tigers could not break the Chiefs defence.
 
Referee Greg Garner spoke to skipper Tom Youngs and prop Fraser Balmain after penalising the Tigers scrum again near halfway and, when the lineout brought another whistle, Steenson turned down the three-pointer to prod into the left-hand corner once more.
 
This time Chiefs set up a drive before putting Luke Cowan-Dickie in on the left but Croft and Thompstone combined to force the hooker into touch just short of the tryline.
 
Thompstone thought he had made a decisive intervention at the other end moments later when he supported a perfectly-timed break by Ben Youngs and beat two defenders on the right to dot down. But, after first awarding it, the referee conferred with the TMO and eventually said the ball had not been grounded.
 
Tigers came back again, though, with a purposeful run by Matt Smith but Chiefs stood up again in defence and were eventually rewarded with a penalty to clear the pressure.
 
Steenson pushed the lead up to 10-0 with a penalty from 25 metres with Tigers caught offside as Waldrom entered the fray as a replacement for Dave Ewers.
 
Owen Williams provided an instant reply with a penalty from 35 metres as Tigers finally got on the scoreboard just 40 seconds short of half-time, but Chiefs fly-half Steenson ended the opening half with another kick to restore the 10-point lead.
 
Tigers came out for the second half with Mike Fitzgerald replacing Croft in the pack as both sides looked to get the ball in hand and attack from deep.
 
Crane twice took play up for Tigers, the first time showing neat hands to put Lachlan McCaffrey  through a gap and then chasing a chip from Williams as Tigers looked for the breakthrough.
 
Peter Betham replaced Seremaia Bai at centre, Smith moving to inside centre, and the Australian had to be quick to cover a chip in behind from Slade with Matt Jess looking for space on the right.
 
Williams turned down a kick at goal when Tigers were given a penalty on the right, but the forwards were unable to secure possession and Chiefs cleared up towards halfway.
 
It was proving difficult, though, for the home side to completely clear their lines, with Tigers quickly taking ball back up to their 22.
 
Williams slotted the first points of the second half with 63 minutes gone, after Chiefs had been blown for offside. But McCaffrey was then penalised as he looked to turn over ball after a tackle on Jack Nowell, and Slade was just off-target with the kick from the right.
 
The Tigers defence then stood firm when the pressure came on from the Chiefs, but they couldn’t quite complete the clearance from their own territory and when they were penalised at a defensive scrum, Steenson kicked to stretch the lead to 10 points for a third time.
 
Chiefs thought they had claimed a second try from Nowell but, after a long conversation with the TMO, referee Garner said no, then yellow-carded Riccardo Brugnara after checking foul play at the previous breakdown. Steenson made no mistake with the kick and the home crowd started their celebrations with less than three minutes remaining,
 
 

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

EXE 13-3 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

EXE 19-6 LEI

Attendance

10,103

Referee

Greg Garner

Match Stats

Exeter Chiefs
Leicester Tigers
Possession
45%
55%
Territory
45%
55%
Penalties Conceded
10
11
Yellow Cards
0
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
129/163 79%
108/149 72%
Scrums Won
7/7 100%
3/5 60%
Lineouts Won
14/14 0%
9/9 0%

Player Stats

Exeter Chiefs
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Telusa Veainu
14
13
12Seremaia Bai
11
102P
9Ben Youngs
1Fraser Balmain
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole
4
5Sebastian De Chaves
6
7Lachlan McCaffrey
8
16Harry Thacker
17Riccardo Brugnara
18Tiziano Pasquali
19
20Laurence Pearce
21Jono Kitto
22Peter Betham
23
Exeter Chiefs
Exeter Chiefs
19

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
6

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Seremaia Bai
12
Seremaia Bai
11
10
Fraser Balmain
1
Fraser Balmain
4
Sebastian De Chaves
5
Sebastian De Chaves
Lachlan McCaffrey
7
Lachlan McCaffrey
8

Subs

Riccardo Brugnara
17
Riccardo Brugnara
Tiziano Pasquali
18
Tiziano Pasquali
Laurence Pearce
20
Laurence Pearce
Jono Kitto
21
Jono Kitto
Peter Betham
22
Peter Betham

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
14
Jack Nowell
13
Henry Slade
12
Ian Whitten
11
James Short
10
9
Will Chudley
1
Alec Hepburn
2
Luke Cowan-Dickie
3
Tomas Francis
4
Mitch Lees
5
Damian Welch
6
Dave Ewers
7
Julian Salvi
8
Don Armand

Subs

16
Jack Yeandle
17
Carl Rimmer
18
19
Ollie Atkins
20
Thomas Waldrom
21
22
Sam Hill
23
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
2
Exeter Chiefs
Exeter ChiefsEXE22150758536122471408674
4
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2214085094753455486365
Form Guide
Form
WWWLL
Last Match
Lost to Bristol Bears 7-20
Past Meeting
Won 35-13
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WDWDD
Last Match
Draw with Bayonne null-null
Past Meeting
Lost 13-35

Matchday Live

Exeter Chiefs19
Exeter Chiefs
Leicester Tigers6
Leicester Tigers
Full Time