2nd Dec, 2021

RUGBY UNION - Wasps lose out in titanic battle with Exeter

WASPS suffered their first home defeat of the season after losing 23-27 to Exeter Chiefs in an enthralling back and forth contest at the Coventry Building Society Arena.


Tries from Henry Slade and Facundo Cordero gave Exeter the early advantage before Dan Frost and Thomas Young hit back for Wasps.


Those efforts coupled with 13 points from the boot of Jimmy Gopperth saw Wasps lead by eight points just before the hour mark.


However, Sam Simmonds and Jonny Hill both crossed in the remaining 20 minutes for the Chiefs to end Wasps perfect home record.


The result means Wasps slip to ninth in the Gallagher Premiership table with a game in-hand on most of the teams above them.


The two teams traded early penalties as Gopperth kicked Wasps into the lead before Slade levelled inside the opening 10 minutes.


Gopperth restored Wasps advantage with another penalty despite the hosts being down to 14-men after Josh Bassett was sin-binned for a high shot with his shoulder.


Exeter then scored the game’s first try on 20 minutes when Slade went over in the corner after some fine play from Dave Ewers and Jack Maunder.


The Chiefs struck again four minutes later when Cordero ran on the outside of Marcus Watson before breezing to the line with Slade adding the extras.


Lee Blackett’s men responded on 33 minutes when Frost powered his way over following a drive from a lineout with Gopperth’s conversion reducing Exeter’s lead to two points.


And Wasps completed the turnaround on the stroke of half-time when another drive from a lineout saw Young ground the ball with Gopperth’s kick handing the hosts a 20-15 lead at the break.


Exeter came out fighting in the second period but could not make their pressure count despite Frost being sent to the sin-bin in the 51st minute after an accumulation of penalties.


Once again Wasps kicked a penalty with 14-men on the field as Gopperth kept his cool to push Wasps into an eight-point lead.


However, the home side had their lead cut to a single point when Simmonds pounced out the back of the scrum to score on 60 minutes which was converted by Slade.


And Exeter scored the winning try on 67 minutes when the ball was worked to Hill on the right wing who shrugged off two Wasps defenders to touch down.


The home side were unable to break down a strong Exeter defence in the remaining 13 minutes and were forced to settle for a losing bonus point at the CBS Arena.


Wasps are next in action away at Saracens on Sunday, October 24th with kick-off at 3pm at the StoneX Stadium.


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