Short hat-trick helps Chiefs draw level with Sarries
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: James Short scored a hat-trick as Exeter Chiefs scored seven tries in a 48-32 victory over Worcester Warriors at Sixways to move level on points with Saracens.
After an even first half ended 18-17, the Chiefs scored tries from Olly Woodburn, Short and Sam Simmonds while Alafoti Fa'osiliva was in the sin bin.
Bryce Heem pulled one back but Michele Campagnaro scored the Chiefs' sixth before Short sealed his hat-trick as they moved alongside Saracens into second in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table.
Jackson Willison got a bonus point try for the Warriors in the final minute.
Warriors' Josh Adams got the first try of the match after good breaks from Francois Hougaard and Heem with Ryan Mills adding the conversion with just five minutes played.
Gareth Steenson brought the Chiefs level when he converted his own score just three minutes later following impressive carries from Short and Campagnaro.
Mills then put the Warriors 10-7 ahead with a long-range penalty and the hosts extended their lead after another break from Heem.
The wing got Worcester deep inside the Chiefs' 22 and eventually the ball was shipped wide to Humphreys who dotted down for a 15-7 lead.
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Mills missed the conversion and the Chiefs made him pay when Short charged over the tryline for his first try with Steenson adding the extras.
The two flyhalves, Mills and Steenson, scored a further penalty each as the first half drew to a close with the Warriors 18-17 ahead at the break.
Warriors' Alafoti Fa'osiliva was shown a yellow card after just four minutes of the second half and Exeter took full advantage as Woodburn found space to dot down after a Chiefs' driving maul.
And the Chiefs' one-man advantage saw them secure a try bonus point with 48 minutes on the clock after Simmonds broke into the 22 and Short found a gap to cross the whitewash.
With Steenson replaced by Ian Whitten, Slade added the extras and Chiefs' were 29-18 ahead with half an hour still to play.
Simmonds was then part of an Exeter driving maul which drove over the line and with Slade's conversion the Chiefs were 36-18 ahead.
The Warriors responded with a converted try from Heem but Campagnaro collected an offload from Slade for the Chiefs' sixth try of the afternoon and the visitors led 43-25.
Short had his hat-trick with just seven minutes remaining as he latched onto a super pass from Slade though the England international missed the conversion.
But the Warriors earned a point for their efforts in the final minute as Willison scored their fourth of the afternoon which Ryan Lamb successfully converted.
For Worcester Warriors:
Tries: Adams, Humphreys, Heem, Willison
Cons: Mills 2, Lamb
Pens: Mills 2
For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries: Steenson, Short 3, Woodburn, Simmonds, Campagnaro
Cons: Steenson 2, Slade 3
Yellow card: Alafoti Fa'osiliva (Worcester Warriors, 44)
Worcester Warriors: 15 Josh Adams, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Jackson Willison, 11 Perry Humphreys, 10 Ryan Mills, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Alafoti Fa'osiliva, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Chris Vui, 5 Will Spencer, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan (captain), 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Ryan Bower.
Replacements: 16 Joe Taufete'e, 17 Val Rapava Ruskin, 18 Biyi Alo, 19 Tevita Cavubati , 20 Sam Lewis, 21 Luke Baldwin, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Ben Howard.
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Henry Slade, 11 James Short, 10 Gareth Steenson (captain), 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Don Armand, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Shaun Malton, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 Stuart Townsend, 22 Ian Whitten, 23 Lachie Turner.
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Dean Richards, Paul Burton
TMO: Rowan Kitt