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Thomas Waldrom helps Exeter continue unbeaten home run with try double

Exeter Chiefs boosted their Aviva Premiership title challenge by taking their unbeaten home run past the one-year mark with a 19-10 victory over Gloucester.

Thomas Waldrom scored two tries in the opening nine minutes to help the Chiefs gain revenge over Gloucester, who were the last victors at Sandy Park.

Waldrom's double also saw the number eight return to the top of the Premiership try-scoring charts and gave new England boss Eddie Jones another timely nudge ahead of his first RBS 6 Nations.

Since losing 26-25 to the Cherry and Whites on January 3 last year - the Chiefs' 100th game in the Premiership - Exeter have won 14 matches in all competitions at home.

And Rob Baxter's men were never going to let that record slip after recording their seventh win from their opening nine Premiership games.

For travel-sick Gloucester, who went into the clash five games unbeaten in all competitions, it is now just one away win from their last 10 league fixtures.

But the visitors only had themselves to blame for an error-strewn first half which the Chiefs took full advantage of.

Gloucester's decision to play into the wind in the first period came back to haunt them as Exeter flew out of the traps and their early pressure was rewarded with the first try after six minutes.

James Hook's clearance was charged down by Julian Salvi and Waldrom had the easy task of dribbling the ball forward and touching down with no Gloucester player in sight.

Gareth Steenson added the extras and it was not long before the Chiefs struck again.

After winning a line-out, the home side mounted a 13-man maul which was too powerful for Gloucester to repel and Waldrom bulldozed over for his second try in the space of four minutes.

Steenson tried to use the wind to convert, but the ball whistled inches past the sticks.

It was all too easy for the title-chasing Chiefs and they ruthlessly punished yet another Gloucester mistake on 25 minutes.

Rob Cook allowed Steenson's dinked kick to slip from his grasp midway in his own 22 and Olly Woodburn pounced to pile on the visitors' misery.

Steenson slotted the conversion as the Chiefs opened up a seemingly irresistible 19-0 cushion at the interval.

Gloucester finally got their act together after the interval and a penalty from Greig Laidlaw handed them their first points.

But their comeback hopes stalled when an ambitious Hook penalty from a metre inside his own half sailed wide of the posts.

The second half quickly descended into a scrappy affair with a series of scrums affecting the flow of the match.

Gloucester grabbed a consolation try on 72 minutes as Cook shifted the ball out to Charlie Sharples wide on the right and he scampered over.

Billy Burns knocked over the conversion to reduce the deficit to nine points but there was to be no grandstand finish as the Chiefs saw the game out.


From Belfast Telegraph