In a largely controversial move, Gloucester Rugby Club has terminated the contracts of 13 players. Critics said that this was an attempt at reducing costs for the club and making it more profitable to prevent relegation from England’s top tier as their financial situation is precarious with only one home game left in the season.
The “rugby premiership table” is a list of the teams that are currently in the premier league. The table will show how many points each team has, and what their current position is.
Will Witty (right) scored Exeter’s game-winning second try against Gloucester.
|13 Gloucester (13)|
|Singleton Con: Hastings Pens: Hastings 2 is a good place to start.|
|16 Exeter (6)|
|Tries: Hepburn, Witty Pens: Skinner, Skinner, Skinner, Skinner, Skinner, Skinner, Skinner, Skinner, Skin|
Exeter rallied in the second half and held off a late Gloucester charge to win 16-13 at Kingsholm.
Two Harvey Skinner penalties gave the Chiefs an early six-point advantage.
With a try from a driving maul, Gloucester hooker Jack Singleton pulled his team back into the game, and two Adam Hastings penalties made it 13-6.
Soon after halftime, Alec Hepburn pulled Exeter within two points before Will Witty scrambled over for the game-winning goal with 12 minutes remaining.
Gloucester entered the game on the strength of a four-game winning streak. However, they were the architects of their own demise for the opening ten minutes, surrendering four penalties.
Skinner hit two goals to put the visitors up 6-0, and he had a chance for a third from within his own half but missed by a few meters.
That seemed to be Gloucester’s wake-up call, as Billy Twelvetrees produced a break and grabbed a penalty, which Hastings kicked to touch.
So far this season, Gloucester’s driving maul has proven successful, and that was the case once again. Gloucester set up a maul at the third time of asking from a line-out and were rewarded with a Singleton try, his second of the season, which Hastings converted to put Gloucester 7-6 up.
For the next 40 minutes, Gloucester successfully held Exeter inside their own half.
Scrum-half Ben Meehan came close to crossing the line after catching a Louis Rees-Zammit dart down the nearside touchline, but Exeter were flagged for offside, and Hastings put Gloucester ahead.
Shortly after, the Scotsman, who had been on the bench for the previous two games, kicked his second penalty to make the score 13-6.
When Exeter did penetrate inside Gloucester’s half and burst with the ball in hand, both Jack Nowell and Jack Maunder were forced into touch in the nearside corner by a tenacious Gloucester defense.
Exeter made seven changes from the team that had lost to London Irish the week before, and it was Hepburn, who had been reintroduced at prop, who hauled the Chiefs back within two points.
Gloucester gave up a penalty in midfield, Stuart Hogg broke free down the left flank, and Hepburn ultimately crossed from close range.
Skinner, who replaced Joe Simmonds at fly-half, missed the conversion and the opportunity to put Exeter back in front. With two more missed penalties, he left another six points on the field.
However, Rees-Zammit knocked on to give Exeter a scrum on Gloucester’s five-meter line after Chiefs full-back Hogg launched an innocuous-looking kick down the ground.
After a series of pick-and-go phases, second row Witty crossed to put them ahead and seal their fourth victory of the season.
George Skivington, Gloucester’s head coach, told Radio Gloucestershire:
“In the first half, I felt we were extremely well. We were clinical, I thought, and we had things under control.
“We anticipated they’d fight back in the second half; we weren’t going to win by a landslide.” But the players worked really hard; I felt the defense was exceptional, and Dom’s (Waldouck, defense coach) effort was as excellent as it has been in recent weeks.
“I can’t say I blame them for working so hard, but we need to be a little more clinical.”
“There were periods when we were close to scoring on a number of occasions, which sometimes go your way and sometimes don’t. But I simply felt there were a few clumsy times, perhaps due to a little bit of pressure, when we knew we needed to execute a few parts to get control of the game, and we didn’t quite manage to do so.”
Rob Baxter, Exeter’s director of rugby, told Radio Devon:
“I don’t want to pull the game apart and attempt to make the ideal rugby game out there.”
“Today wasn’t about that.” It was all about mobility, energy, and battle, as well as remaining in the game and competing till the finish, which we accomplished.
“You have a chance to win if you do those things, and we seized it today.”
Gloucester: Woodward; Rees-Zammit, Harris, Twelvetrees, Carreras; Hastings, Meehan; Rapava-Ruskin, Singleton, Balmain, Clarke, Davidson, Ackermann, Ludlow (capt), Morgan; Rapava-Ruskin, Singleton, Balmain, Clarke, Davidson, Ackermann, Ludlow (capt), Morgan; Rapava-Ruskin, Singleton, Balmain, Clark
Socino, Elrington, Gotovtsev, Thomas, Clement, Chapman, Evans, and Moyle are the replacements.
Exeter: Hogg; Nowell, Hendrickson, Devoto, Cordero; H Skinner, Maunder; Hepburn, Yeandle (capt), Williams, Witty, Lonsdale, S Skinner, Armand, Capstick; Hepburn, Yeandle (capt), Williams, Witty, Lonsdale, S Skinner, Armand, Capstick; Hepburn, Yeandle (capt), Williams, Witty, Lonsdale, S Skin
Burrows, Moon, Iosefa-Scott, Tshiunza, Tuima, Hidaglo-Clyne, J Simmonds, Whitten are the replacements.
Christophe Ridley is the official referee (RFU).
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