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Last minute Chiefs winner in West Country derby

Match Report: Exeter Chiefs 25-24 Gloucester

Exeter Chiefs hosted west-country rivals Gloucester at a blustery Sandy Park in the sixth round of the 2023/24 Premiership campaign. 

It’s been quite a positive start to the season for Exeter Chiefs, winning four out of four matches at Sandy Park this season, and they continue their winning streak at home, which goes back to October 2022.

After a lacklustre and tedious first half, Exeter scored a last-minute penalty to win the match and keep their unbeaten home streak going.

Following last weekend’s loss at Leicester, it was important for Exeter to bounce back into the play-off places. An early yellow card for Gloucester gave the Chiefs an advantage of an extra player; they couldn’t capitalise on their early chances. 

However, the extra man for Exeter eventually helped them secure the early lead, courtesy of scrum-half Tom Cairn, who dived over. 

The first half has been very stop-start with interventions, and it seemed like both teams couldn’t find their rhythm early on. From the disruptions, the Chiefs picked up a yellow card; Gloucester used this to find a hole in Exeter’s defence and burst through to level the score.

Exeter found their tempo before the break, and the home supporters were tumultuous. Skipper Dafydd Jenkins doubled the Chiefs’ lead following a vast manoeuvre from centre Henry Slade, who set the try up. The halftime score was Exeter 12, Gloucester 7.

The second half started rather slowly, with neither side creating much in the early stages. After some lacklustre phases, Gloucester scored their second try of the match to level the scorings once again.

Ill-discipline was creeping into Exeter’s game, affecting their defensive play. This opened gaps, meaning Gloucester took the lead for the first time with 15 minutes remaining. The away side scored again- this time from a lucky break; the Chiefs were on the back foot going into the final minutes of this contest. 

But Exeter didn’t give up. They responded almost instantly with a try by Exeter’s Stuart Townsend, who dived over Gloucester players to put just two points in it with two minutes left on the clock.

The Chiefs continued to build up the phases, and Gloucester gave away a penalty on their 10-metre line. But Henry Slade, from around 45 metres, converted the penalty to win it for Exeter Chiefs with the last kick of the game.

The full-time score was Exeter 25, Gloucester 24. 

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