Match Centre: Gallagher Premiership: Bristol 14-24 Exeter

Henry Slade kicked two conversions for Exeter Chiefs
Henry Slade kicked two conversions for Exeter Chiefs
©Steve Haag

Bristol Bears 14-24 Exeter Chiefs, Ashton Gate

Exeter Chiefs claimed the top position in the Gallagher Premiership as they edged out Bristol Bears 24-14 in the 10th round at Ashton Gate on Friday.

Exeter secured seventh win in front of close to 25,000 spectators as they went past Bath Rugby to take their tally to 33 points while Bristol are at seventh position.

The visitors opened their account in the 6th minute as they set a line out at the end of which Josh Iosefa-Scott dived from close range for the opening try and Henry Slade kicked the conversion to make it 0-7.

The scores were levelled in the 11th minute as Gabriel Oghre powered his way over Exeter's defence and Callum Sheedy followed with the conversion.

The start of the second quarter saw Olly Woodburn set a perfect offload for Ben Hammersley, who in turn set up Immanuel Feyi-Waboso for Exeter's second try but Slade's conversion drifted wide making it 7-12.

The home side responded back just at the stroke of half time as winger Noah Heward flew in the corner and Sheedy improved it as Pat Lam's completed the opening half with a 14-12 lead.

The start of the second half saw Stu Townsend dive from close range to put the Chiefs back in front but shortly he was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on. The Chiefs had a chance to extend the lead as they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts which they decided to go for the tap.

The Chiefs eventually found their way over in the 75th minute as replacement Jacques Vermeulen crashed over to secure the bonus point as they sealed a 10 point victory to move to the top of the table.

Team line up:

Bristol: Malins, Heward, Vakatawa, Janse van Rensburg, Lane, Sheedy, Randall; Lahiff, Oghre, Sinckler, Dun, Batley, Luatua (c), Thomas, Bradbury.

Reserves: Capon, Woolmore, Kloska, Caulfield, Owen, Marmion, Williams, Ravouvou.

Exeter: Hammersley, Feyi-Waboso, Slade, Devoto, Woodburn, Skinner, Townsend; Abuladze, Frost, Iosefa-Scott, Tuima, Jenkins (c), Roots, Vintcent, Fisilau.

Reserves: Norey, Hepburn, Street, Pearson, Vermeulen, Cairns, Hawkins, Wimbush.

Widely regarded as the most competitive rugby union league in the can only be the Gallagher Premiership.

The division is becoming more and more exciting as each year passes by so who will be lifting silverware at Twickenham in May?

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