Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Chiefs' Defence Shuts Sarries Out

Chiefs' Defence Shuts Sarries Out

Henry Slade of Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Chiefs delivered a colossal defensive performance to beat Saracens 14-7 in Round 7 of the Gallagher Premiership at Sandy Park on Sunday.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

The match was billed as the game of the season so far, with both coaches naming the strongest teams available to them.

The hosts were looking to reclaim top spot after being usurped following Northampton’s win the day before, while the defending champions continued their fight back from the brink after their huge points deduction.

After scoring first, Exeter’s excellent exit plays continually thwarted Saracens’ many try-scoring opportunities in the first half. Their lineout defence, in particular, was immense, with Joe Simmonds’ astonishing hit on a tryline-bound Jamie George on the stroke of half-time a standout.

The second-forty went much the same way as the first with only a Penalty Try to show for Saracens’ efforts. Another try for Exeter earlier on had effectively sealed a famous win for them.

Much like he did when both outfits met in the previous Final in June, Nic White opened the scoring early on after capitalising on some loose Saracens passing in the midfield.

Owen Farrell missed a penalty attempt soon thereafter but was then awarded one himself after copping a high hit from Jack Nowell. The England pivot kicked to the corner, resulting in a yellow card for Harry Williams after the 28-year-old tighthead illegally collapsed the ensuing maul.

Crucially though, the ever-shrewd Nowell managed to gain a turnover penalty from Sarries’ next attempt, allowing his side to exit once more in what turned out to be a massive moment in the contest.

Farrell missed a second attempt at goal, before Simmonds’ last-ditch defence on George at the back of yet another Saracens lineout drive maintained the Chiefs’ slim 7-0 advantage at the break.

Jacques Vermeulen scored from close-range after half-time as Exeter continued to knock their opponents back at every opportunity.

Tensions boiled over with five minutes to play as an enormous brawl resulted in Williams being sent off for dissent from the touchline.

Saracens were eventually rewarded for their continued efforts with a Penalty Try, but by then it was too late to push for a winner.

Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets.

Scorers

Exeter – 
Tries: White, Vermeulen
Cons: Simmonds
Yellow card: Williams

Saracens – 
Tries: Penalty Try

Teams

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Nic White, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Dave Dennis (c), 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Alec Hepburn
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Don Armand, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Sam Hill

Saracens: 15 Max Malins, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jackson Wray, 6 Nick Isiekwe, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Titi Lamositele, 19 George Kruis, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Nick Tompkins

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