Match Centre: Gallagher Premiership: Exeter Chiefs 25-24 Gloucester

Henry Slade kicked two penalties and conversions apiece
Henry Slade kicked two penalties and conversions apiece

Exeter Chiefs 25-24 Gloucester Rugby, Sandy Park

Henry Slade kicked the decisive penalty goal in the closing stage as Exeter Chiefs edged out Gloucester 25-24 in the sixth round of the Gallagher Premiership at Sandy Park on Sunday.

This is fourth win for Exeter in six matches as they moved to third place in the table while Gloucester now have suffered four straight defeats as they slip to the eighth position.

Gloucester suffered an early setback as Jack Clement was sin-binned in the opening minute for a high tackle on Rusi Tuima, who made an impact eight minutes later as he dived to the short side for the score. Henry Slade kicked the conversion from the tee to help Exeter race to a 7-0 lead.

Just as Clement returned from sin-bin, Exeter lost Tuima to yellow card in the 22nd minute for a head knock on George McGuigan and with the numerical advantage on their side, Gloucester managed to level the scores with Micky Young feeding Clement for his side's opening try and George Barton improved.

Exeter had a 12-7 lead leading to the break as Joe Hawkins and Slade combined to send Dafydd Jenkins over the line but Slade missed out on the conversion.

Both the teams were desperate for a breakthrough in the second half but it did not come until the 56th minute when Santiago Carreras put Ollie Thorley through the gap to dot down. Barton missed out on the conversion as the scores continued to remain levelled at 12-12 before Slade's penalty in the 61st minute help Exeter take a slender lead of three points.

The momentum once again shifted towards the Cherry and Whites as Louis Rees-Zammit was fed in the corner as he touched down and shortly Seb Atkinson dived in the corner to make it 15-24. Just as Gloucester looked to arrest their losing streak, Stu Townsend on his return from injury crossed over while Slade followed with a conversion and a penalty goal to help Exeter complete a one-point victory.

Team line up:

Exeter Chiefs: Wyatt; Feyi-Waboso, Slade, Hawkins, Hammersley; Skinner, Cairns; Sio, Yeandle, Painter; Tuima, Jenkins (capt), Roots, Vermeulen, Davis.

Reserves: Frost, Abuladze, Iosefa-Scott, Pearson, Vintcent, Townsend, Haydon-Wood, Woodburn.

Gloucester: Carreras; Rees-Zammit, Harris, S Atkinson, Thorley; Barton, Young; Vivas, McGuigan, Balmain; Clarke, Alemanno, Tuisue, Ludlow (capt), Clement.

Reserves: Socino, Elrington, Gotovtsev, Clark, Thomas, Varney, M Atkinson, Hillman-Cooper.

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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