Chiefs return to winning ways against London Irish

After the gloom of Gloucester, it didn’t take long for Exeter Chiefs to rediscover their winning formula.

Undone on Week One of the season at Kingsholm, Week Two saw normal service resumed for Rob Baxter’s side as they swept aside the challenge of newly-promoted London Irish at Sandy Park.

Devon’s finest rediscovered their mojo in emphatic style, running in five tries, whilst producing an equally impressive defensive showing that limited the Exiles to just a solitary second half score through winger Alex Lewington.

In attack, the Chiefs were sharp enough. Centre Henry Slade set them on their way with the opening try, before a penalty try and a touchdown from man-of-the-match Don Armand gave them a 20-0 lead at the break.

And although Irish were much improved during the second period, the Chiefs put the seal on their display late on with converted tries for both Olly Woodburn and Armand again.

Having kicked off the season with defeat at Gloucester the previous week, it was an expectant crowd that welcomed the champions back on home soil for this encounter against the promoted Exiles.

Ahead of kick-off, Baxter recalled Tomas Francis, Mitch Lees and Dave Dennis to the home pack, while behind there was also a first start of the season for Exeter’s first-ever Lion, Jack Nowell, who was included on the right wing.

The Exiles, fresh from their opening day win against Harlequins in the second fixture of the London Double Header at Twickenham, were virtually unchanged with their sole change coming at centre where Italian international Luke McLean came into the side in place of Fergus Mulchrone.

Exeter Chiefs 37    London Irish 7

For the full match report, go to