Premiership: London Irish 18-14 Exeter Chiefs – Exiles score rare brace against Exeter

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James Stokes’ try just before half-time proved to be the game-deciding score
London Irish: (18) 18
Try: Cornish, Stokes The inconvenients: jackson Pens: Jackson 2
Exeter: (14) 14
Try: Woodburn, Schickerling The inconvenients: J. Simmonds 2

The London Irish came from behind to beat Exeter and register their first league double against the Chiefs in 11 years.

Exeter led 14-0 after 20 minutes thanks to tries from Olly Woodburn and prop Patrick Schickerling.

But Matt Cornish went over the top and James Stokes added a try on the stroke of half-time as the hosts started to take command and led at the break.

Irish had the better of the second half but couldn’t extend the lead as Paddy Jackson missed a late penalty.

The victory saw the Irish move past Exeter and take sixth place in the Premiership as the Chiefs, who have finished in the top two for the past six Premiership seasons, move further away from the play-off places.

Joe Simmonds’ excellent break allowed Woodburn to go under the posts a few phases later for a fifth-minute lead before a well-executed 50-22 from the Chiefs’ fly-half saw Exeter pressurize Irish and force a tap penalty that allowed Schickerling to score his first try for the club.

But Irish started to hit their straps as Cornish fought their way past Exeter’s line pressure and Jackson added two penalties.

Exeter had a chance for a third down shortly before the break but breached and the Exiles were able to relieve the pressure before coming back up the other end and scoring when Stokes got the end of a pass from Ben Loader to dive into the right corner.

The Irish also started the second half strongly and Exeter did well to keep the hosts away with an impressive defence.

The Exiles continued to turn the screw on the Exeter field after an hour as the Chiefs conceded a host of penalties close to their line, but the Irish failed to convert their territorial advantage.

Exeter had a big pressure period with 10 minutes left but struck inside the Irish 22 – and Jackson missed a penalty with the game’s final kick in a scoreless second half.

London Irish head coach Les Kiss told BBC Radio London:

“I think both teams really showed immense character, both teams had a lot of possession in that second half, but the defense was brilliant on both sides, both teams just couldn’t grab the balls. opportunities they tried to create.

“We also missed a few goals which didn’t help, but overall to lead 14-0 and then come back and do that, it’s a very good effort.

“It’s a testament to the mindset the guys are building in terms of how they approach their game. You’re 14-0 down, you can step into your shell, we’re learning what it’s like. takes to stick to the plan and support us and support what we can do.

“I thought both teams threw everything at each other and luckily we were ahead.”

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter told BBC Radio Devon:

“It seems unbelievable that no points were scored in the second half, especially against us considering the amount of territory we had to fight against.

“Mistakes happen too often and it breaks any continuity we have in the game and the lack of continuity kills us as a team.

“When you lose possession and defend, you’ll be under a little more penalty pressure because you’re defending, but we also found ourselves on the wrong side of the tackle area a little too often.

“Things went against us, and that’s the hardest thing, you have to fight to be on the other side of things and roll things up against the opposition and we weren’t able to do that. do today.”

London Irish: Stokes; Charger, Rona, Van Rensburg, Cinti; Jackson, Phipps; Goodrick-Clarke, Cornish, Hoskins, Simmons, Coleman, Rogerson (captain), Pearson, O’Brien.

Replacements: Willemse, Gigena, Van der Merwe, Munga, Cracknell, Martin Gonzalez, O’Sullivan, Rowe.

Outside: Hogg; Woodburn, Whitten, H Skinner, O’Flaherty; J Simmonds (captain), J Maunder; Kenny, Innard, Schickerling, Gray, S Skinner, Ewers, Kirsten, Armand.

Replacements: Yeandle, Keast, Iosefa-Scott, Jenkins, Grondona, S Maunder, O’Brien, Hodge.

Arbitrator: Matthew Carley (RFU).

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