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Exeter 18-15 Saracens: Hosts edge Premiership grudge match

Exeter 18-15 Saracens: Hosts edge Premiership grudge match as tries from Tom O’Flaherty and Luke Cowan-Dickie see them beat bitter rivals

  • Tom O’Flaherty scored the opening strive earlier than half-time to place Exeter 8-6 forward
  • Luke Cowan-Dickie scored their second strive by way of a driving maul after the interval
  • It was the primary time the 2 heavyweights had clashed for the reason that 2019-20 season 

While Exeter have been toasting victory with their followers within the Wigwam bar, Saracens sat in a sobering circle of fact within the altering room.

The likes of Billy and Mako Vunipola stood and apologised to their team-mates for churlish backchat that value their aspect the sport.

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At one level within the first half, Billy was marched again 20 metres for arguing with referee Luke Pearce. Alex Goode, Max Malins and Alex Tompkins have been reprimanded like faculty youngsters, whereas Mako was ticked off for calling the opposition ‘little bitches’. 

Luke Cowan Dickie (second right) scored the decisive try as Exeter Chiefs beat Saracens

Luke Cowan Dickie (second proper) scored the decisive strive as Exeter Chiefs beat Saracens

Alex Lozowski kicked Saracens into an early lead with a penalty at Sandy Gate on Saturday

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Alex Lozowski kicked Saracens into an early lead with a penalty at Sandy Gate on Saturday

LINE-UPS 

Exeter: Hogg; Nowell, Slade, Whitten, O’Flaherty; J Simmonds, J Maunder; Hepburn, Cowan-Dickie, Iosefa-Scott, Gray, Hill, Ewers, Armand, S Simmonds.

Replacements: Yeandle, Kenny, Nixon, Capstick, Kiresten, S Maunder, H Skinner, Hendrickson.

Saracens: Malins; Lewington, Lozowski, Tompkins, Daly; Goode (co-capt), Davies; M Vunipola, Lewis, Koch, Itoje, Isiekwe, Wray (co-capt), Earl, B Vunipola .

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Replacements: Pifeleti, Mawi, Clarey, Swinson, McFarland, Christie, van Zyl, Morris.

These two heavyweights had not met for the reason that 2019-20 season however, on Saturday’s proof, it stays one of many tetchiest rivalries round. Tries from Tom O’Flaherty and Luke Cowan-Dickie proved decisive as Saracens have been left on the naughty step.

‘We were let down today by inaccuracy and ill-discipline,’ stated Saracens coach Mark McCall. ‘We were marched back three times, which is not good enough. It’s not simply irritating, it’s extremely expensive.

‘It cost us points and it cost us decisions later because you’re on the fallacious aspect of the referee and stuff you deserve you don’t get.

Maro Itoje was over the ball a few instances on the midway line and we bought nothing, which might be due to how we’d behaved earlier. One or two of the gamers, who I gained’t title, have already apologised to their team-mates.’

Exeter’s Sam Simmonds had a strive contentiously dominated out and whereas Alex Lozowski and Joe Simmonds exchanged early penalties, it took 40 minutes to search out the breakthrough strive.

Joe Simmonds hoisted a pinpoint crossfield kick to O’Flaherty, who leaped above Alex Davies to attain down the left wing. 

Exeter soon replied through Sam Simmonds (centre) but his try was disallowed for an offside

Exeter quickly replied by Sam Simmonds (centre) however his strive was disallowed for an offside

The first half was a bruising encounter with the forwards dominating the contact area

The first half was a bruising encounter with the forwards dominating the contact space

Tom O'Flaherty (left) scored the game's opening try just before half-time to put Exeter in front

Tom O’Flaherty (left) scored the sport’s opening strive simply earlier than half-time to place Exeter in entrance

Following one other Lozowski penalty, Cowan-Dickie sheared off the again of a lineout to attain beneath a pile of our bodies on his first look since October.

‘Simmonds kicked Exeter to a nine-point lead after Itoje was penalised for hands in the ruck, Lozowski struck back to leave the scoreboard teetering at 18-15 and Exeter coach Rob Baxter watched on nervously as his team clung on.

‘Both went hammer and tongs,’ he stated. ‘It felt like proper Premiership rugby. Both teams were probably a little bit afraid to lose it but were desperate to win.’

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