Radio Exe Match Report: Exeter Chiefs 57 – 19 Scarlets
Exeter Chiefs entertained the Sandy Park crowd as they scored nine tries in their Anglo-Welsh friendly against Scarlets at Sandy Park this afternoon.
Chiefs made certain everyone in the ground recognised they were here to play within the opening couple of minutes. Richard Capstick, having waited a long few months to be ready for his return from a neck injury, ran the ball directly into and through contact in the midfield as a statement of intent.
There were a couple of early injury worries for the visitors as Sam O’Connor left the field in the second minutes to be followed in the fifth minute by his captain Scott Williams – both players headed for the blood bin.
Rather fitting that captain of the day, Max Norey, was the first man across the whitewash. A scrum penalty allowed Chiefs to put the ball into the corner and the Exeter pack make quick work of surging their maul over for the score.
Iwan Jenkins thought he was in for the Chiefs’ second score a minute later as he read a Scarlets pass well on the 10m to intercept and run in the ball. However, a tackle on the line from Efan Jones had the referee deeming the ball held-up.
The second Chiefs try did come, and it was for the debut man, Will Rigg. A strong scrummages on the five metre allowed Stu Townsend to give the short feed to Rigg to power his way through the tackle and over the line. Josh Hodge then secured the conversion.
Scarlets got their name on the board before the first quarter came to an end. Working the tight phases within a couple of metres range of the Chiefs line, hooker Lewis Morgan too the ball for the scoring carry. Charlie Titcombe converting it for the full points.
Hodge topped up the Chiefs lead form the restart. Carving a lovely line through the Scarlets defence, he found a gap on halfway. Jinking his way around a remaining defender, the Chiefs replacements about the warm-up in the dead ball area had to retreat quickly to give the pacey full-back room to run in the score. He then converted the try himself.
The bonus point came just a minute later, and it was a brace for Rigg. A lovely linebreak from Arthur Relton put the Chiefs in space. Rigg took the pass, breaking with Townsend in support. Trading passes to lure in the Scarlets defenders, the new signing took the final pass for the solo run-in from the edge of the 22. Hodge once more converted the score.
Scarlets had some flare play of their own as lovely footwork from Jac Davies released Ryan Conbeer on the wing. Townsend and Hodge tracked back across pitch but only get fingertips to their man before he was across the line for the try.
Half-time: Chiefs 26 – 12 Scarlets
The second half began with Exeter the first men on the board once again. In a mirror image of his first half try, albeit at the other end of the field, it was Norey in the hooker position squirrelling across for the try.
Scarlets had another of their own as 50 minutes played ticked by. Lovely feet from Davies fooled Hallam Chapman and Relton on the wide edge, giving the Welsh fullback space and time to feed his captain Williams to run in the score. Titcombe added the conversion.
As the hour mark hit, Norey was in for his hattrick securing try. Pealing off the back of the driving maul in a couple of metres range of the line, the hooker nipped down the blindside for the try.
Fresh legs proved profitable for the Chiefs. Jacques Vermeulen bulldozed his way into contact and with a gap opening at ruck, Will Becconsall fed Lewis Pearson to canter into it and crash down at the left of the posts. With Hodge off the field, Jenkins took over kicking duties to secure the conversion.
The Chiefs replacements weren’t done for the day. Coming on to the field with the assured nature only a veteran could possess, Jack Yeandle stamped his name onto the scoresheet not just once, but twice before the day was over. Jenkins slotted the conversion for one and youngster Louie Sinclair, fresh from the bench, slotted the other.
And so, the day ended with the Chiefs breaching the 50 points marker and the crowd entertained by nine Chiefs tries alongside some lovely floating play from the Welsh visitors.
Full-time: Chiefs 57 – 19 Scarlets
Chiefs: J Hodge (Hammersley 60’); A Relton (Gentry 60’), Z Wimbush (Ribbons 45’), W Rigg, O Woodburn; I Jenkins (Sinclair 68’), S Townsend (Becconsall 57’); D Southworth (Keast 45’), M Norey (Yeandle 60’), E Painter (Iosefa-Scott 40’, Street 68’), R Tuima (Pearson 52’), J Dunne, M Postlethwaite (O’Connor 52’), R Capstick, H Chapman (Vermeulen 57’).
Unused replacements: Schickerling, Gulley, Snow, Skinner, Devoto, McCaig
Tries: Norey 3, Rigg 2, Hodge, Pearson, Yeandle 2 Conversions: Hodge 3, Jenkins 2, Sinclair
Scarlets: J Davies; T Lewis, G McDonald, S Williams, R Conbeer; C Titcombe, E Jones; S O’Connor, L Morgan, J Jones, M Jones, J Price, O Davies, L Giannini, C Tuipulotu.
Replacements: Liney, Hughes, O’Connor, Shenton, Plessis, Leatherbarrow, Williams, James, Abraham, Thomas, Badham
Tries: Morgan, Conbeer, S Williams Conversions: Titcombe 2
Referee: Harry Walbaum