Exeter Chiefs earned themselves a hard-fought bonus-point victory over their tough opponents in Dai Young’s impressive Wasps team (review below):
Exeter had a hill to climb after wasps took a 24-21 lead into half time but fought back for the eventual triumph through second half tries from Sam Simmonds, Henry Slade and a last gasp try from Don Armand as well has the ever-steady boot of Gareth Steenson.
Wasps put on a strong first half display with tries from Elliot Daly, Josh Bassett and Nathan Hughes along with the extras being added by Billy Searle showing that this match between two of England’s top teams was going to be one for the fans to enjoy. In the dying minutes it looked like wasps still had a chance to add another twist to the tale but after a gruelling 22 phases the chiefs, through Armand, manged to secure the win on top of denying wasps a losing bonus point.
But not all the headlines were focused on the brilliant try scoring, Brad Shields of England was making his much-anticipated debut for wasps but unfortunately was unable to finish the match. This was due to a second half injured earnt from a collision with Chief’s number 9 Stu Townsend. After a check-up from the hospital it was announced to have broken his cheekbone. Shields was not the only injury for wasps with England’s Nathan Hughes being forced off, luckily with a less serious injury. Wasps had another debutant come on to the field in form of Kiwi standoff Lami Sopoaga who managed to get his name on the score card through his conversion of Dan Robson’s second half try.
The first half was Wasps showing that they can still play with fast flowing rugby, but the second half saw Exeter return to the form they held last week against Leicester. Wasps didn’t shrink from the challenge but eventually the pressure was too much, and Exeter took control of the game and continued to probe the wavering wasps defence.
With two back-to-back wins for the Chiefs and their form continuing they could be early favourites to have a very successful season. Wasps on the other hand showed their potential but suffering two large injuries could affect them in the coming games so the next game against Leicester Tigers is important and far from easy after the performance Leicester put in today.
Written by Matthew Morrison – 10/09/18