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Chiefs edge past Wasps

Exeter Chiefs bounced back to winning ways at Sandy Park as they overcame London Wasps 30-26 to send the visitors to their ninth successive defeat in all competitions.

The Devon side, who suffered their largest Aviva Premiership defeat at Northampton Saints last time out, went inside at the break with a 16-12 lead after wing Tom James crossed for the only try of the opening 40 minutes.

Fly-half Gareth Steenson converted and added three penalties while Andy Goode replied with four penalties of his own for Wasps.

The Chiefs scored two further tries in the second half through flanker James Scaysbrook and a second from James, converted by Steenson.

But Wasps kept battling with tries from wing Christian Wade and flanker Ashley Johnson both converted by Goode.

England Under-20 international Sam Hill made his Premiership debut for Exeter as the solitary change so Ian Whitten moved to the right wing to replace Matt Jess who was on bench duty.

Centre Chris Bell returned to lead Wasps, with Josh Bassett replacing England wing Tom Varndell, who is facing surgery having ruptured his biceps in training, while Ashley Johnson returned to the back row.

Exeter conceded two penalties at the breakdown in the opening 90 seconds and the visitors kicked the first - just inside their own half - to touch but Goode stepped up to slot the second between the posts from 30 metres.

After another two penalties in the next five minutes for the same offense, referee Martin Fox warned Chiefs' new skipper Dean Mumm about the persistent infringement, and Goode again found his target.

The Chiefs reduced the arrears after 12 minutes when Steenson landed a 30-metre kick.

That sparked life into the Exeter play as they tested the Wasps defence before James breached the line and Steenson converted.

Goode missed his next penalty attempt - from just inside the Chiefs half and in front of the posts - after Mumm was penalised for tugging Wasps' full-back Andrea Masi.

But Goode made no mistake minutes later when Exeter stood up at the scrum.

Steenson made it three from three kicks with his second penalty on the half-hour mark followed by a third five minutes later when Wasps were reduced to 14 men after Johnson was yellow carded for a high tackle on scrum-half Haydn Thomas.

The visitors sought to reduce the arrears before the break as Goode lined-up his fifth attempt from close to the right touchline, but it was the Chiefs who had a 16-12 lead as the players headed towards the dressing rooms.

Ten minutes after the restart, full-back Phil Dollman chipped ahead and an error by Wade allowed Thomas to pick up and feed flanker Scaysbrook who barged his way over the line for the Chiefs' second try, which Steenson converted.

A tap penalty from Thomas was fed across the field to James, who skirted round the first defenders into space before racing the 50 metres to the line for his second touchdown, which Steenson converted at the start of the final quarter.

Wasps were quickly back up the other end and wing Wade found a gap in the Chiefs defence to run round and touchdown behind the posts for the visitors' first try, which Goode converted to reduce the arrears to 11 points.

The visitors continued to test the Chiefs defence in the closing minutes and a driving maul saw Johnson get the touchdown, converted by Goode, to secure a losing bonus point for Wasps with a couple of minutes left to play.

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