Chiefs fail to tame fearsome Tigers
Gareth Steenson rescued a losing bonus point for Exeter Chiefs as the defending Aviva Premiership champions suffered a second bout of travel sickness at the hands of Leicester Tigers at Welford Road.
With the clock up and the visitors staring at a pointless afternoon in the East Midlands, the ever-reliable Irishman was able to dispatch a crucial penalty to at least salvage something from a tough day at the office for Rob Baxter’s side.
For the Tigers, though, it was a third successive top flight victory and saw them move up to fifth in the standings, four points adrift of next best Chiefs, whose other points came courtesy of a penalty try and another Steenson penalty in the first half.
Leicester’s latest victory was assured through tries from wingers Nick Malouf and Jonny May, while England international George Ford weighed in with the remainder of the points, including a sublime first half drop-goal.
The Chiefs arrived in the East Midlands looking to build on their recent run of form, which had seen them collect maximum reward in their last three fixtures. Victories over London Irish, Worcester Warriors and Wasps had put Baxter’s side top of the pile heading into round five and they were looking to continue that with a fast start against the Tigers.
However, ahead of kick-off, Baxter was forced into a late change when England and British Lions winger Jack Nowell was ruled out of the action due to a dead leg. His absence meant Lachie Turner was switched to the left wing with Phil Dollman promoted to full-back having initially been pencilled into start the game on the bench.
The Tigers too were forced into change with England international Ellis Genge pulling up in the warm-up, so former Chiefs player Greg Bateman got the nod for kick-off, while Chris Baumann and Kyle Traynor were added to the bench after Logo Mulipola was also ruled out.
Tigers 20 Chiefs 13
For the full match report go to: https://www.exeterchiefs.co.uk/news/tigers-20-chiefs-13