Exeter Chiefs suffered their fifth Premiership loss of the season
|Gloucester (14) 34|
|Tries: Walker 2, Chapman, penalty kick Disadvantage: Barton 3 Pencils: Barton 2|
|Exeter Chiefs (15) 18th|
|Tries: Hodge, Armand With: Skinner Pencils: Skinner 2|
Hooker Henry Walker scored two tries when Gloucester battled Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs with a bonus points win.
Walker crossed twice in the first half, but Chiefs led 15-14 at break through Josh Hodge’s good solo attempt and Don Armand’s hand-to-hand combat.
The Cherry and Whites took the lead back through Charlie Chapman’s attempt in the 53rd minute and controlled the game thereafter.
A penalty attempt gave them the bonus point against an inexperienced Exeter XV.
Both teams made a number of changes. Chiefs boss Rob Baxter gave four players their first Premiership starts when he decided to rest many of his stars for the European Cup game against Lyon next week.
Meanwhile, Gloucester welcomed the English wing of Jonny May and Wales, Louis Rees-Zammit, back from serving the Six Nations.
Walker was the beneficiary of a strong driver who scored the opening attempt after three minutes, with the fly half George Barton adding the extras.
But the Chiefs hit back immediately with a striking first Premiership attempt for full-back Hodge, who broke through the smallest gaps in midfield before kicking his opponent Santiago Carreras aside to score down.
Harvey Skinner then gave Exeter the lead with a simple penalty before also gaining the numerical advantage when Billy Twelvetrees was sentenced to sin for a high tackle against Hodge.
Skinner converted Armand’s attempt to give Exeter a 15-7 lead, but the Cherry and Whites broke the assembled Chiefs’ momentum with a pushover attempt that gave Walker his second goal.
Lewis Ludlow was then attacked five yards short and returning English winger May was brought into contact as he stretched to score. The Chiefs kept Gloucester away to give them a 15-14 point lead into the break.
The hosts were housed in the Chiefs half early in the second half and eventually put the pressure on when the scrum half substitute Chapman shot over from the glitch to bring the hosts forward on the scoreboard.
The penalties for the visitors increased and Barton took the opportunity to place Gloucester just before the hour 24-15 from the tee.
Skinner’s 73rd-minute penalty brought the Chiefs back within striking distance 24:18, but the hosts stretched clear again as the late penalty attempted to score maximum points.
George Skivington, Gloucester head coach, told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:
“I’m very happy, especially with the last game there where I got the bonus point. I think it showed real courage and was really clinical.
“They’re a seriously well-oiled machine, they have a really good squad and they don’t make a lot of mistakes. If you let them into the game, they take your risks and they’re hard to break.
“I think it’s the kind of game that we had a couple of times close to just to miss a last-minute penalty. It’s a good performance, but we still have a long way to go. We are still there. ” Build and we can be much more clinical. ”
Exeter Director of Rugby Rob Baxter:
“I told the players that they probably let me down a bit with the performance in the first half. To see that we are eliminated in the second half, I know we are better.”
“It’s a little frustrating. Yes, I get the scenario, yes, I made changes, but like I said to the well-made players, you worked hard but we didn’t win a rugby game.”
“The reality is that we are double champions and our standards have to be very high if we are to keep that place in the game. Every game is about how you move forward and how you move forward. I think there is nothing.” wrong to be disappointed. “
Gloucester: Carreras; Rees-Zammit, Twelvetrees, Atkinson, May; Barton, Heinz; Rapava-Ruskin, Walker, Balmain, Slater, Alemanno, Reid, Ludlow (Capt.), Ackermann.
Replacement: Socino, Seville, Ford-Robinson, Clarke, Morgan, Clement, Chapman, Sharples.
Exeter Chiefs: Hodge; Woodburn, John, Baldwin, Cordero; Skinner, Hidalgo-Clyne; Kenny, Yeandle (Capt), Street, Lonsdale, Price, Armand, Capstick, Tuima.
Replacement: Taione, Southworth, Petch, Witzig, Wrigh, Townsend, Relton, Kurz.
Referee: Luke Pearce
Yellow cards: Twelve Trees (Gloucester), Petch (Exeter)