Exeter too strong for Gloucester
Captain Dean Mumm led by example as Exeter Chiefs beat Gloucester 29-12 in their biggest-ever Premiership win at Kingsholm.
Captain Dean Mumm led by example as Exeter Chiefs recorded their biggest-ever Premiership score at Kingsholm to run out 29-12 winners against Gloucester on Sunday.
Despite suffering an opening day home loss to Sale Sharks, spirits were high at Kingsholm following back-to-back wins in rounds three and four.
However, despite Martyn Thomas grabbing his first-ever Premiership try, Gloucester found themselves 13-5 behind at half-time thanks to a Ben White score and the boot of Gareth Steenson.
And although Jonny May came off the bench to score a try after the restart, Mumm helped himself to a third Premiership try of the season and Steenson kept the scoreboard ticking over to make it nothing more than mere consolation for the Cherry and Whites.
The game was just three minutes old when visitors Exeter had the first opportunity to get points on the score board as Steenson lined up a penalty.
However the Chiefs fullback, who entered the game as the Premiership's most accurate kicker with a 90 percent success rate so far this term, sent his effort wide for a rare miss.
And there was another surprise in store as Steenson missed another three-pointer on 10 minutes, this time his effort coming back off the crossbar.
However, Gloucester were giving away penalty after penalty and on 19 minutes it was a case of third time lucky for Steenson as he finally kicked Exeter into the lead.
But no sooner had the Chiefs got their noses in front did they find themselves trailing as the penalty seemed to breath life into Gloucester who scored straight from the restart.
Freddie Burns' kick was knocked down by Mike Tindall and collected by Cherry and Whites captain Tom Savage, Gloucester moved the ball infield and Billy Twelvetrees superbly offloaded to Thomas who raced away to score.
Burns was wayward with his conversion attempt but Steenson's woes from the tee continued as he was wide with another penalty on 23 minutes.
However another Gloucester infringement didn't go unpunished just before the half hour mark as Steenson found his range to kick Exeter back in front.
And on 32 minutes the visitors' pressure was rewarded as White bundled his way over from the back of a ruck - television match official (TMO) Rowan Kitt confirming the flank did indeed ground the ball - Steenson adding the extras.
Moments later, Chiefs captain Mumm thought he had been sent away for a try but with the try-line in his sights, he was caught by the covering Tindall.
But the Chiefs were on the front foot and they thought they had a second try on 37 minutes only for the TMO to rule that prop Hoani Tui had grounded the ball short of the try-line thanks to some desperate defending from Twelvetrees and Sione Kalamafoni.
The Chiefs went into half-time 13-5 ahead but just three minutes after the restart, Steenson extended that lead by three points after Tindall was pinged for an off-the-ball challenge.
Burns had the chance to reduce the deficit with a penalty of his own after Tui was penalised at a scrum, but the flyhalf's effort sailed wide.
And on 64 minutes captain Mumm effectively put the game to bed as he barged his way over for a try despite Twelvetrees' best efforts, Steenson converting.
However Gloucester came straight back and replacement May, who had been on the pitch a matter of minutes, was sent clean through by Burns as the home side looked for a late rally.
But it wasn't to be as Steenson added two penalties in the final five minutes to secure a well-deserved win at Kingsholm.
Tries: Thomas, May
For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries: White, Mumm
Cons: Steenson 2
Pens: Steenson 5
Gloucester: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 James Simpson-Daniel, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Ben Morgan 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 James Hudson, 4 Tom Savage (captain), 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Yann Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Jonny May, 23 Akapusi Qera.
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Matt Jess, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Tom James, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Dave Ewers, 7 Ben White, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm (captain), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Carl Rimmer, 19 Don Armand, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Fetu'u Vainikolo.
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Roy Maybank and Ashley Rowden
TMO: Rowan Kitt