Visitors win 26-15 at Kingsholm to extend the lead at the top of the table to five points
By PA Average
Last update: 02/14/20 11:01 pm
Captain Gareth Steenson kicked 16 points to lead Exeter Chiefs to a tough 26-15 victory over Gloucester at Kingsholm in the Gallagher Premier League clash on Friday.
In difficult conditions, veteran's kicks of half the fly were exemplary, as he added the extras to the attempts of Jacques Vermeulen and Stuart Hogg, as well as the four penalties.
The result causes Exeter to extend his lead at the top of the Gallagher Premier to five points over Northampton.
Gloucester responded with late attempts by Jake Polledri and Louis Rees-Zammit, but it was not enough to prevent the fourth place hosts from suffering a sixth defeat of the campaign.
Exeter started hard and took a 10-minute lead when they rejected a kickable penalty in favor of an attack line and were rewarded when Vermeulen broke through.
Steenson was converted but the Chiefs spoiled the restart to allow the hosts their first period of pressure. He was held and Gloucester should have taken something from him, but they refused to launch a direct penalty in favor of a scrum, and the opportunity was lost when the pack deflected backwards.
Gloucester suffered a blow when they lost half of scrum Joe Simpson due to an injury, but they overcame him to reach the scoreboard in the 25th minute when Billy Twelvetrees knocked down a penalty.
Cherry trees and whites continued to have the best of the second quarter with two magnificent and long Danny Cipriani touch detectors keeping the Chiefs locked in their own half, but Gloucester was able to advance little against a determined defense, so they lost 7-3 in the interval
Exeter had the advantage of the wind in the second half and seven minutes later, they extended their advantage when Steenson threw a 40-meter penalty.
And in the space of the next 12 minutes, the 35-year-old was on target with three more penalties from a similar range when Exeter turned the screw in the third quarter.
With a record of 19-3 and looking to reverse his fortunes, Gloucester made four changes to his pack in one fell swoop, but it was in vain as Exeter sealed the victory with the best play of the game.
Hogg started from his own half with an elusive race before the side of Scotland was available to run the last 15 meters to score after the skillful intermediate pass had created the opportunity.
Steenson kept his perfect kick when converting, but Gloucester showed spirit in the last 15 minutes and was rewarded with attempts by replacement flank Polledri and Rees-Zammit wing.