Match Centre: Wasps 23-27 Exeter Chiefs

Henry Slade contributed with 12 points
Henry Slade contributed with 12 points

Wasps 23-27 Exeter Chiefs, Coventry Building Society Arena

Exeter Chiefs registered their third successive win in the ongoing Gallagher Premiership as they edged out Wasps 27-23 in the fifth round at Coventry Building Society Arena on Saturday.

After starting the season with two consecutive defeats, Exeter now have moved to the third place with 15 points while Wasps are at seventh place with 11 points.

Jimmy Gopperth, who returned to the midfield slot started the proceedings with an early penalty goal in front of the posts in the fourth minute to take Wasps to a 3-0 lead but Exeter went on to level the scores in the 8th minute with skipper Henry Slade kicking a three-pointer of his own after the hosts were penalised for an offside.

Wasps were reduced to 14 players temporarily by the 11th minute after Josh Bassett was sin-binned by referee Wayne Barnes for a high tackle on Tom Hendrickson. Despite the setback, Wales went back into the lead with Gopperth kicking a three-pointer in the 18th minute making it 6-3.

The lead was short-lived as Facundo Cordero led the charge and eventually Slade dotted down in the 20th minute but the England international missed out on conversion as the scoreline became 6-8 at the end of the opening quarter.

Four minutes later, Exeter went on to claim their third try when Cordero went past Marcus Watson to dot down but this Slade improved to perfection as the scoreline became 6-15. Nevertheless, Wasps had the strongest finish to the break with Dan Frost and Thomas Young scoring back to back tries in a span of six minutes and Gopperth kicked both the conversions as the opening half ended with a 20-15 lead in favour of Lee Blackett's side.

Exeter stepped up pressure on Wasps early in the second half but a fumble from Luke Cowan-Dickie meant they could not transform it into points. The 51st minute saw Frost sin-binned for repeated infringement and Gopperth with a 58th minute with a penalty goal made it 23-15.

Rob Baxter's men clawed their way back into the game with Sam Simmonds picked from the base and powered his way over for his third try in just two games this season and with Slade kicking the conversion the scoreline became 23-22. Wasps eventually were unable to cope up with the pressure exerted by Exeter as Jonny Hill dived over with 13 minutes left in the game to complete a third consecutive win for the visitors.

Team line up:

Wasps: Watson; Kibirige, Le Bourgeois, Gopperth, Bassett; Umaga, Robson; Hislop, Frost, Toomaga-Allen, Fifita, Stooke, Shields, Young, T Willis.

Reserves: Harrison, Harris, Scholtz, Cardall, Carr, Hougaard, Simonds, Crossdale.

Exeter: Hogg; Nowell, Slade, Hendrickson, Cordero; H Skinner, Maunder; Hepburn; Cowan-Dickie, Williams, McCauley, Hill, Ewers, Capstick, S Simmonds.

Reserves: Yeandle, Keast, Nixon, Witty, Armand, Hidalgo-Clyne, J Simmonds, O'Flaherty.

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

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