Henry Slade injury puts dampener on Exeter's win over Wasps
Exeter's win over Wasps was marred by an injury to Henry Slade who could face an extended spell on the sidelines with a suspected broken leg.
The England youngster was forced off with 15 minutes remaining in the 41-27 win at the Ricoh Arena, and coach Rob Baxter revealed after the game that it was a serious injury.
A broken leg would rule him out of England's Six Nations plans under new coach Eddie Jones and is a major blow to league leaders Exeter, who temporarily took top spot ahead of Saracens' clash with Newcastle on Sunday.
"He is in a cast and the initial prognosis is that it looks likely to be a broken leg," said Baxter. "Obviously until we get him back to Exeter and get the X-rays done, we won't know for sure what the damage is, but we're pretty confident there is something nasty there.
"The performance was very good, you know I'll be honest, credit to Wasps, I was surprised how well they fought back into it.
"Because I think the truth is, and I've seen it before with our lads, Wasps have had some big emotional performances in the last few weeks and they are draining and they do take it out of you and sometimes it's hard to hit the field with that same intensity.
"Our challenge was to get out on the pitch and try and put a bit of pressure on Wasps with our line speed and defensively put pressure on their scoreboard and see if they had been drained by those two previous games."
Thomas Waldrom scored a hat-trick as Exeter ran in six tries in all, with Wasps seeing their four-game winning streak ended.
"When people keep on saying nice things about you, it tends to kick you where it hurts and today was a real leveller and brought us back down to earth," said director of rugby Dai Young.
"We were beaten by a very good Exeter team that looked to be quite honestly better than us in all departments, sometimes you just have to put your hand up and say that.
"We were hugely disappointing in the driving at the lineout and that is something we pride ourselves on, I don't think we've had a lineout try scored against us all season and today Exeter made it look easy.
"You've got to give them credit but in saying that we have to be better than we were today and as you say it tends to happen when people start saying nice things about you and you have to be careful not to believe it."