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Pellow: Success is reward for fans

Assistant coach Ricky Pellow says Exeter will take a "massive step in the right direction" if they can retain the LV= Cup after knocking out Leicester.

The holders defeated Leicester 30-22 in the second semi-final to book a place in next Sunday's final against Saracens at Franklin's Gardens, home of Northampton who they beat in last year's final.

The win at Welford Road, only their second, keeps alive Exeter's treble hopes as they are second in the Aviva Premiership and face Newcastle in the European Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

Pellow, Exeter's skills coach, said: "If you had said we would be fighting on three fronts we would have had to pinch ourselves.

"It shows how our recruitment has gone. We have got a squad that can compete on three fronts.

"This is reward for our supporters. We have got a lot of fans who support us away from home, and if we can bring another cup back to the club next Sunday it will be a massive step in the right direction."

Having had to fight hard to overcome Leicester, Pellow is expecting another physical match against Saracens in the final.

"Any team that plays Saracens knows what they bring.They are a territory-based side. We know it's going to be physical, like it was today," he said.

Exeter, who had full-back Max Bodilly sin-binned in the 62nd minute, outscored Leicester three tries to one, their scores coming from Elvis Taione, Fetu'u Vainikolo and substitute Greg Bateman,who clinched victory five minutes from time.

Fly-half Ceri Sweeney kicked 15 points, while opposite number Tommy Bell booted 17, with Michele Rizzo scoring the Tigers' only try.

Leicester, who trailed 20-16 at half-time, got to within a point before Bateman killed them off.

Pellow said: "I wouldn't say I was worried when there was one point in it, but it could have swung either way. Leicester were on our line for phase after phase but we defended our hearts out.

"We made some key substitutions and our defence, and getting the platform from the scrum, kicked us on from that one-point advantage."

Leicester backs coach Geordan Murphy felt his side had not been clinical enough.

He said: "We were probably a bit naive. We made eight line breaks and scored only one try. We left some points out there.

"At times we could have turned the screw but we let the pressure off them with our mistakes.

"Tommy Bell missed touch with 25 minutes to go - a penalty then would have put us one point behind. But the guys stuck at it and you can't have excuses at this level, the guys know how to play the game.

"I think at times we suffered from white line fever."


From Belfast Telegraph