Premiership: Exeter Chiefs 5-6 Worcester Warriors


Former England full-back Chris Pennell’s two kicks steered Worcester to a famous win
Aviva Premiership
Exeter (0) 5
Try: Lees
Worcester (6) 6
Pen: Pennell 2

Worcester Warriors recorded their first ever win at Sandy Park, grinding out a one-point victory over champions Exeter Chiefs with a superb defensive display.

Chris Pennell slotted two penalties to put Warriors 6-0 up at the break and might have edged them further ahead but missed a third attempt after half-time.

Chiefs finally registered a score when Mitch Lees grounded the ball after a driving maul proved too strong.

But Gareth Steenson posted a rare missed conversion and Warriors hung on.

It was a low-scoring game but both absorbing and bruising in the contact as both teams sought to recover from Premiership defeats before the European and Anglo-Welsh competition break.

Exeter’s home form has been the cornerstone of their Premiership success, having not lost at home in the league since October 2016, but without their England contingent they struggled to open up the dogged visitors.

Worcester were sharp in line-speed and aggressive at the ruck, swarming to cut off time and space, and even when Chiefs twice made searing line-breaks through Thomas Waldrom and Olly Woodburn the Warriors did enough to shut down the attack.

Warriors scrum-half Francois Hougaard had a fine game sniping from scrum-half, taking the ball to the line and keeping the visitors ticking over from the base of the ruck.

Despite the loss Chiefs remain top of the Premiership, although Saracens can go level with a bonus-point win, while Worcester stay second bottom but extend the gap between them and London Irish at the foot of the table.

Exeter: Turner; Cordero, Whitten, Hill, Woodburn; Steenson (capt), White; Moon, Cowan-Dickie, Holmes, Lees, Hill, Ewers, Armand, Waldrom.

Replacements: Malton, Low, Street, Salmon, Kvesic, Chudley, J Simmonds, Devoto.

Worcester: Pennell; Heem, Willison, Mills, Hammond; Shillcock, Hougaard; Waller, Singleton, Schonert, O’Callaghan (capt), Barry, Faosiliva, Lewis, Van Velze.

Replacements: Haupt, Bower, Milasinovich, Bresler, Williams, Cox, Baldwin, Howe.

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