Sports Team reporter Freddie Turner was on the touchline at Duckes Meadow on Wednesday afternoon, witnessing a comprehensive victory for Exeter’s rugby men’s seconds.
An impressive performance all round performance meant EURFC’s 2s cruised past their UWE adversaries with a romping 39-10 win at Duckes Meadow, avenging their narrow away defeat earlier in the season and further moving them up the BUCS Premier South B table.
On a soggy pitch which was not conducive to running rugby it was evident that it would be a compact and physical affair with forwards dominant. Indeed, the first phases began the war of attrition with either side trading blows, with physical carries and dynamic rucking at the breakdown.
Exeter were unable to convert an early penalty chance with fly half George Kimmins pulling it wide. Instead UWE were the first on the scoreboard after a fumble at the back of an Exeter scrum left their winger with a gap to run through and score in the corner.
Exeter hit straight back with a rampaging run from no.8 George Skirlaw winning a penalty, allowing Kimble to reduce the arrears to just the two points. The game remained even with either side putting together phases of sustained pressure but being unable to convert chances.
That was until a missed tackle out wide allowed UWE through Exeter’s defence all too easily. Quick ball retention near the line then led UWE’s centre in for UWE’s second try of the game, making the score 10-3.
Exeter needed a response and this came with a cheap penalty with Kimmins duly converted. This was followed by a magnificent team try which put Exeter into the lead. Prop Rich Sinel picked up the ball deep in his own half and showed great skill to find a gap and put winger Luke Treharne into a gap. Treharne drew his defender before passing to flanker Doug Ebanks, who skilfully beat the last defender and romped home under the posts.
Exeter were now beginning to play the majority of the rugby and looked dangerous with ball in hand. A big carry from blindside Cameron Crozier broke the gainline and gave Exeter quick ball, where Sinel was once again able to show his dynamism by handing off the defender before offloading to the rapid second row Richard Adeniyi-Jones to score another well worked try.
Exeter were rampant, dominating up front which was creating space in dangerous areas. Another break followed after a great offload from centre Dante O’Rielly which gave Ebanks another chance to showcase his pace. His final pass was deemed to have been deliberately knocked on by UWE’s defender, resulting in him being given a yellow card.
Exeter tried to make this before half time but suffered from white line fever with the forwards going for glory and being stopped just short of the line. The half ended with Exeter having a deserved 18-10 lead.
The second half began slowly with Exeter unable to make the most of their numerical advantage. However, Exeter gradually reclaimed control and were rewarded with an important try. A solid foundation from the consistent scrum, set up a backs move which gave full back Ali Chisholm a gap which he made the most of, showing great pace to finish expertly in the corner, which Kimble brilliantly converted.
Exeter now had a 25-10 and appeared to have the game won. They began to play with increased confidence, with breaks from wingers Treharne and Chris Crane entertaining the spectators. Consistent attacking pressure eventually resulted in a fourth try as Ebanks again showed his physicality beating a tackle and scoring his second of the game.
There was still time for a fifth as the impressive O’Reilly pounced on a loose pass to intercept and run the length of the pitch. The game finished with the scoreline a resounding 39-10, which was no more than Exeter deserved over the course of the game.
Ultimately greater physicality upfront led to a control of the breakdown and collisions which gave momentum throughout the game. Exeter will be hoping that they can continue this form next week away at Cardiff and continue to march up the table.bookmark me