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Exeter into second with huge win

Exeter stormed into second place in the Aviva Premiership after scoring 10 tries in a 74-19 demolition of basement side London Welsh, whose relegation back to the Championship could be sealed on Sunday.

Fly-half Henry Slade notched 21 of Exeter's points with a try, five conversions and two penalties before being replaced just before the hour, while Thomas Waldrom (two), Will Chudley, Tom James, Jack Yeandle, Matt Jess and Ian Whittan also crossed for scores.

There were also two penalty tries in the Chiefs' total with replacement Gareth Steenson, who took over the kicking duties from Slade, slotting over the remainder of the points with four conversions.

Welsh actually took the lead with a fifth-minute try from Nathan Trevett and led 12-6 when Seb Stegmann touched down for a converted try in the 19th minute.

However, the visitors were then overrun and it was not until the 78th minute that they managed to make another mark on the scoreboard, with Stegmann collecting his second try.

Welsh's fate for next season could now be sealed late on Sunday afternoon, when a Newcastle win at home to Leicester would see the Exiles - who have lost all 17 matches this season - relegated with five games still to play.

While Exeter were unchanged from the side that beat Bath last time out, London Welsh made 10 changes as their injury list rose to 21 after seeing five more players pick up knocks in the defeat to London Irish.

Despite that, Welsh dominated the early play at Sandy Park and were rewarded with a try - only their 19th in the Premiership this season - when loosehead prop Trevett crossed from close range.

Exeter responded with two 25-metre Slade penalties - either side of a miss from the 21-year-old from much further out - that put the Devon side ahead for the first time at 6-5 with 16 minutes gone.

However, Welsh retook the lead when Tristan Roberts put a grubber kick through for wing Stegmann to dab down with Roberts converting.

That was as good as it got for the visitors, though, as the Chiefs started to wake from their early slumber.

They regained the lead when Chudley sold a dummy before cutting back inside through a big gap for his third try of the season, which was converted by Slade.

Exeter maintained the pressure with full-back Phil Dollman setting up right wing James to score out wide on the left.

Slade, with the wind at his back, added the conversion and he then reached 150 Premiership points when he slotted over the extras after hooker Yeandle was on hand to cross for the Chiefs' third try.

Exeter gained a try-scoring bonus point just before half-time when Chudley, having been caught just short of the line after a kick and chase, popped the ball up for wing Jess to dive over the line. Slade again added the two points to make it 34-12 at the break.

The second half was pretty much all one-way traffic, with Exeter scoring 40 points without reply before Welsh's late consolation.

Slade converted his own touchdown immediately after the restart before, a fter a brief lull in scoring, a catch and drive saw Waldrom powering over the line.

Slade was unable to convert on that occasion before being replaced by Steenson, who was soon in the action when he converted a penalty try that brought up Exeter's half-century of points.

Midway through the half outside centre Whitten, with a man in support, raced down the left touchline to cross for the Chiefs' eighth try, Steenson adding the conversion from out wide.

Chiefs second penalty try, again for a scrum infringement, and Steenson's conversion took them to their biggest Premiership winning margin, surpassing the 52-0 victory over London Welsh at the start of the season.

And there was still time for Waldrom, the Premiership's leading tryscorer, to claim his second touchdown of the afternoon before Stegmann crossed for the visitors two minutes from time.


From Belfast Telegraph