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Exeter experience proves decisive as they beat Cardiff Blues in Anglo-Welsh Cup

Published 13/11/2016

Michele Campagnaro was among the tryscorers in Exeter's defeat of Cardiff Blues.
Michele Campagnaro was among the tryscorers in Exeter's defeat of Cardiff Blues.

Cardiff Blues' Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign got off to a miserable start with a 10-try thrashing at Sandy Park, as the Welsh youngsters could not compete with far more experienced opponents.

The visitors began brightly by scoring a quick 10 points but were then overrun by the pace and power of the home side, going down 62-25.

Michele Campagnaro, Tom Hendrickson, Damian Welch, Sam Simmonds, Stuart Townsend, Tom Johnson, Tom Lawday, Jack Innard and Shaun Malton scored Exeter's tries and there was also a penalty try award - with Joe Simmonds converting six.

Rhun Williams scored two tries for the Blues, with James Sheekey and James Beal getting one apiece. Jarrod Evans converted one and adding a penalty.

Exeter made a careless start to concede a penalty in their own 22, which allowed Evans to give his side a second minute lead.

It soon got worse for the Chiefs as poor defence allowed Sheekey to race through a gap for the opening try, with an Evans conversion giving Blues a 10-0 lead with less than four minutes on the clock.

The frenetic start continued when Malton powered over to put the hosts on the scoreboard before their forward dominance was rewarded with a penalty try away when Blues dragged down a line-out.

Blues hooker Kirby Myhill was yellow carded and Exeter took immediate advantage by scoring a superb third try.

Having broken out of defence from inside their own 22, splendid interpassing resulted in Campagnaro crossing to give Exeter a 21-10 lead at the end of a hectic first quarter.

Myhill returned from the sin-bin but it did not stop Exeter scoring their bonus point try when Welch collected a well-judged kick ahead from Will Chudley to score.

Cardiff suffered a further setback when Aled Summerhill became their second player to leave the field with an injury following fly-half Evans, who was taken to hospital with a facial problem.

With the last movement of the half, Sam Simmonds finished off another flowing movement to give Exeter a formidable 31-10 half-time lead.

The hosts withdrew Chudley and Phil Dollman at the interval but four minutes after the restart Chiefs extended their lead when Campagnaro made two vital contributions in creating a try for fellow centre Hendrickson.

Cardiff responded with their second when Beal won the race to collect a skilful kick from Harri Millard before replacement Townsend's try took Exeter past 40.

Williams scored two tries for the visitors in quick succession before Exeter replaced the impressive Campagnaro and two others to give more junior players an opportunity.

In the final quarter, Johnson, Lawday and Innard all scored tries to hammer home the superiority of the Chiefs as Blues' replacement Rhodri Davies was yellow carded for a deliberate knock-on.

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