Exeter add to London Irish's misery
PREMIERSHIP MATCH REPORT: Sam Simmonds scored a hat-trick of tries as Exeter Chiefs cruised to a comfortable 45-5 win over relegation-threatened London Irish at the Madejski Stadium.
Ben Moon scored early for the visitors before Simmonds ran in from almost 30 metres out for the Chiefs’ second and then added another before half-time.
The England back-row forward slid over for his third try soon after the break, before Joe Cokanasiga forced his way over to put some Irish points on the board.
But Exeter continued to assert their dominance as Mitch Lees and Jack Yeandle grabbed a try each and the Chiefs booked themselves a home semi-final.
The defending champions went ahead after just two minutes as Moon scored his first try of the season following some great work by the backs to set up the opportunity.
After 19 minutes, the away side had a second when Gareth Steenson made good use of quick ball to find Henry Slade, who found Simmonds with an exquisite pass, allowing the No.8 to race in and score.
Lachie Turner’s well-judged grubber kick set up an attacking opportunity for the Chiefs after half an hour and it was Simmonds who again touched down, after a strong driving maul from the forward.
Irish were relieved to hear the half-time whistle, but Exeter’s dominance continued after the break, with Simmonds using the greasy surface to slide over for his third try.
The home side did manage a score of their own when Cokanasiga muscled his way over in the corner, but Exeter then grabbed their fifth try through Lees.
Substitute Thomas Waldrom caused some havoc with a series of barnstorming runs as the Chiefs showed their significant strength in depth, but it was Yeandle who finished the scoring, with Jack Steenson sending his sixth conversion through the posts.
For London Irish:
Tries: Moon, Simmonds 3, Lees, Yeandle
Cons: Steenson 6
London Irish: 15 Tommy Bell, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Tom Fowlie, 12 Theo Brophy Clews, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 James Marshall, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Ofisa Treviranus, 7 Max Northcote-Green, 6 Josh McNally, 5 Sebastian De Chaves, 4 Franco van der Merwe (captain), 3 Ollie Hoskins, 2 David Paice, 1 Ben Franks
Replacements: 16 Dave Porecki, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Petrus Du Plessis, 19 Josh Basham, 20 Jake Schatz, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Fergus Mulchrone, 23 Aseli Tikoirotuma
Exeter: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Gareth Steenson (captain), 9 Nic White, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Don Armand, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Moray Low, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 Stuart Townsend, 22 Sam Hill, 23 Tom O’Flaherty
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Hamish Smales, Nigel Carrick
TMO: David Sainsbury