Premier leaders Exeter fight against hard-fought 26-15 victory against Gloucester after kicking heroic deeds of Captain Gareth Steenson
- Gareth Steenson kicked 16 points in the Exeter Chiefs victory over Gloucester
- The veteran fly-half added extras to two attempts and also struck four penalties
- Exeter has expanded its lead over Northampton during the Premiership summit
Exeter captain Gareth Steenson kicked 16 points to lead the Chiefs to a hard-fought 26-15 win over Gloucester over Kingsholm.
In difficult circumstances, kicking the veteran fly-half was exemplary as he added the extras to attempts by Jacques Vermeulen and Stuart Hogg, as well as the deployment of four penalties.
The result is that Exeter extends their lead at the top of the Gallagher Premiership to five points above Northampton.
Exeter Captain Gareth Steenson kicked 16 points in the Chiefs’ win over Gloucester
Gloucester reacted with late attempts by Jake Polledri and Louis Rees-Zammit, but it was not enough to prevent the fourth-placed hosts from suffering a sixth defeat of the campaign.
Exeter started strong and took a 10-minute lead when they refused a kickable penalty in favor of an offensive line-out and were rewarded when Vermeulen forced his way.
Steenson repented, but Chiefs closed the restart to allow the hosts their first period of pressure. It was persistent and Gloucester should have taken something away from it, but they failed to kick a simple penalty in favor of a scrum, and the opportunity was lost when the home team was shuffled back.
The result is that Exeter extends their lead at the top of the Gallagher Premiership to five points
Gloucester received a blow when they lost scrum-half Joe Simpson due to injuries, but they overcame the score after 25 minutes when Billy Twelvetrees knocked a penalty over.
The Cherry and Whites continued to have better results in the second quarter with two excellent long touch finders from Danny Cipriani who held Chiefs in their own half, but Gloucester couldn’t make much progress against a determined defense, leaving them 7-3 behind.
Exeter had the advantage of the wind in the second half and seven minutes in, they extended their lead when Steenson kicked a 40-meter penalty.
Gloucester showed late spirit with both Jake Polledri and Louis Rees-Zammit breaking through
And in the time of the next 12 minutes, the 35-year-old was on goal with three more penalties from the same range as Exeter turned the screw in the third quarter.
Trailing 19-3 and looking to roll back their fortune, Gloucester made four changes to their pack in one go, but it didn’t help because Exeter sealed the win with the best move of the game.
Hogg started it from his own half with an elusive point before Scotland’s full-back was ready to race the last 15 meters to score after a competent interpassing created the opportunity.
Steenson continued his perfect kick by converting, but Gloucester showed ghost in the last 15 minutes and was rewarded with attempts by substitute flanker Polledri and Rees-Zammit wing.