Exeter seal top position with 34-19 win over Sale Sharks

Nic White scored a try for Exeter Chiefs.
Nic White scored a try for Exeter Chiefs.

Exeter Chiefs 34-19 Sale Sharks, Sandy Park

Exeter Chiefs secured the top spot in the ongoing season of Aviva Premiership as they completed a 34-19 win over Sale Sharks at Sandy Park on Saturday.

They now have 80 points from 21 games while Sale Sharks are at the seventh place with 54 points and now will be hoping to qualify for the Champions Cup next season with one more game to go in the season.

Joe Simmonds got Exeter off the mark with a fifth minute penalty goal but winger Byron McGuigan put Sale Sharks into the lead with his ninth minute try that was followed by a conversion from AJ MacGinty.

Australians Nic White and Lachie Turner gave control to Exeter with back to back tries in the 22nd and 25th minutes and a double conversion from Simmonds took the scoreline to 17-7 before Andrei Ostrikov crossed over in the 35th minute to pull things back a bit and reduced the gap to three points heading into the break.

Exeter Chiefs upped the ante further with Jack Yeandle dotting down six minutes into the second half and a conversion from Simmonds restored the 10-point lead for Rob Baxter's men. Sale suffered a setback when Faf de Klerk was disallowed a try as he failed to control the ball when he grounded but McGuigan with his second in the 67th minute kept them in the hunt with the gap reduced to five points.

Any chances of Sale winning the game was put off when Greg Holmes dotted down in the 78th minute and Gareth Steenson slotted a penalty and a conversion on either side to complete a 34-19 win for the Sandy Park outfit and also a top of the table finish.

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