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Chiefs know the task at hand

Exeter will go in to next Saturday's final LV= Cup Pool game at Worcester knowing exactly what they need to do if they are to progress further in the competition.

The Chiefs over-turned a 10-8 half time deficit at Sandy Park to beat Ospreys 36-22 in a match that saw both sides taking a try-scoring bonus point but leaving the Welsh side rooted at the foot of their Pool.

With Leicester losing at Harlequins, Exeter need maximum points from next weekend's trip to Worcester to achieve their goal of staying in the competition.

"There was only two points in it at half time so it was really important, as we are learning with some of the young guys, that we don't panic," said Exeter Chiefs' forwards coach Rob Hunter.

"We obviously had some opportunities to score in the first half which we didn't take. Sometimes that can spread concern and worry through the team because Ospreys had the ability to score on the break quite well.

"That can sew a seed of doubt and put the pressure on. But you have to look at it being just two points; do we need to do anything different? No, we just need to finish off our opportunities.

"I was a little frustrated that we squandered some of those first half opportunities because we have probably left a couple of tries on the pitch. I was fairly sure that we could work ourselves in to a position to score again.

"It is more us getting the hardness to bang in those opportunities when they come. It looks like the results elsewhere have gone well for us but Worcester will be strong at home especially as everyone wants to bounce back in to the Premiership in good shape.

"We will be going to Sixways looking to win as the competition is still very much alive for us."

There were three tries scored in a nine minute spell in the opening 40 minutes with Ospreys touchdowns from Dafydd Howells and Morgan Allen with Exeter replying through England U20 hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie.

There was again four tries in a nine minute burst at the start of the second half with a second for England U20 Cowan-Dickie and one from James Scaysbrook, both converted by Sweeney for a 22-10 lead.

But the Ospreys came back with touchdowns from Matthew Jenkins, converted by Matthew Morgan, and Tom Grabham to level the scores. But tries from James Phillips and Don Armand, both converted by Sweeney, secured the win for Exeter.

The defeat ends any hopes that Ospreys have of reaching the last four, with Bath going through to the semis from Pool Three, leaving the Welshmen with nothing to play for when they host Sale on Friday night.

Ospreys' backs coach Gruff Rees said: "We had been confident all week in terms of getting a win but in the opening 10 minutes of the second half Exeter were pretty ruthless really with their two quick scores putting us on the back foot.

"We are disappointed the way those tries came about and credit to Exeter in that respect but we have to be happy with the way that we kept positive and bounced back from that because we have been trying to open up our game to a certain degree.

"Some of the tries that we scored are proof of that but frustrated again that we have come here and come second on the scoreboard. In previous games I felt that we have been out-muscled and not shown much.

"Today, perhaps, we didn't win the physical battle but we have actually shown some rugby.

"Results have gone against us in this competition but for us it is about using it as a springboard for young players to play in a way that we want to take our game forward.

"The pleasing thing is that we have scored some good tries, and bombed a few others as well.

"We want to be positive about the experience that this competition provides ahead of our net block of RaboDirect PRO 12 league games."


From Belfast Telegraph