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Rugby News

Chiefs 'so clinical' in their work on opening day

Head coach Matt O’Connor admitted that Exeter Chiefs “will make you pay” if they are given opportunities following a 40-6 defeat for Leicester Tigers at Sandy Park on Saturday.

In the opening round of the Gallagher Premiership season, Tigers led in the opening quarter of Saturday’s game, but the Chiefs scored two tries to lead 14-6 at half-time and then collected four more scores in the final 20 minutes to bag maximum points.

“They looked after the ball better than we did, they played in the right areas and they executed on them,” said O’Connor.

“Exeter were very good. I thought they took their chances, as they do, they are very clinical and, when they got field position, they make you pay.

“We didn’t get a lot of dominance at set-piece and they defended very well in the middle of the field.”

With eight points separating the teams at half-time, O’Connor and his team looked for a way back into the game after the break but the Chiefs scored twice in five minutes just after the hour mark and two more in the last four minutes of the Round 1 encounter.

“The last 20 minutes were disappointing, we have up a lot of points at the back-end of the game,” O’Connor said.

“We thought we were a bit light in the amount of minutes some of the forwards had got under their belts and then we had to work a lot in defence in the opening 25 minutes, and that took its toll in the end. They were very good at taking their chances. We didn’t get field position to put them under any pressure.”

Tigers return to action in Round 2 with a home game against Newcastle Falcons this Saturday. Kick-off is at 3.00pm and match tickets are available now.