31 - 29HT -

Sandy Park
Sat 19 Mar 22

Highlights & Report | Exeter Chiefs 31-29 Worcester Warriors

Warriors stayed on course for a place in the semi-finals of the Premiership Rugby Cup despite slipping to a narrow defeat at Sandy Park.

Warriors returned home with two points, which was enough to take them ahead of Gloucester at the top of Pool One, but it could easily have been all five.

Warriors were ten points clear when Isaac Miller was driven over for the bonus point try after 56 minutes but Exeter crossed twice in the final 13 minutes to snatch the win.

Qualification for the semis – with a good chance of a home tie – now rests on the final match against Bath at The Rec on Wednesday October 30.

With a matchday squad that included 15 current or recent Academy players, a trialist and two players on loan from Championship clubs, Warriors played a full part in an entertaining an open game but it was Exeter’s clinical finishing close to the line that proved decisive.

A hat-trick of tries from hooker Max Norey, with his third clinching victory four minutes from time, and other close range efforts from Cory Teague and Danny Southworth came from forward pressure while Warriors offered greater attacking threats behind the scrum.

Tom Howe, who led Warriors out on his 50th appearance, celebrated the landmark with a try, Alex Hearle followed up his hat-trick in the Gallagher Premiership win over Exeter last week with another try and Chudley, captain for the day against his former club, also nipped in before half-time.

Chudley was a wise head in an inexperienced side and made an important call seven minutes into the second-half when he asked Jamie Shillcock to kick for goal rather than touch, a penalty that helped Warriors secure the losing bonus point.

Kicking was difficult in a strong swirling wind but Shillcock judged it well and Chudley also used it judiciously with some testing box kicks.

Warriors went behind to an early try from Teague, who crossed from a typical Exeter pick-and-go move, but Hearle supplied an excellent finish to a lovely break from Seb Atkinson which, with Shillcock’s conversion, drew Warriors level again.

Norey then went in from a tap penalty but Howe crossed on the overlap to score in the corner for his 29th try although he did not appear for the second half because of a tight hamstring.

Chudley’s try, after his opposite number Stu Townsend fumbled a kick ahead, and Shillcock’s conversion gave Warriors the lead for the first time but Exeter levelled again before the break when Norey went over from a lineout drive.

Shillcock’s penalty and the try from Miller, who came on as a back-row replacement, appeared to have set Warriors on course for victory.

With James Scott and Justin Clegg successfully disrupting Exeter’s lineout, the Chiefs struggled to work themselves into attacking position but, when they did, they retained possession and worked Southworth then Norey over for the tries that ended Warriors’ unbeaten run in the competition.

Warriors | 15 Morgan Bunting, 14 Alex Hearle, 13 Oli Morris, 12 Seb Atkinson, 11 Tom Howe (Wynn 41), 10 Jamie Shillcock, 9 Will Chudley (C), 1 Kai Owen (Holsey 53), 2 Beck Cutting, 3 Jay Tyack, 4 James Scott, 5 Justin Clegg, 6 Caleb Montgomery, 7 Jack Forsythe, 8 Lekima Ravuvu (Miller 48).

Replacements | 16 Joe Richardson, 17 Lewis Holsey, 18 Ben Murphy, 19 Cheick Kone, 20 Isaac Miller, 21 Ollie Wynn, 22 Tom Miles, 23 Iestyn Galton.

5m | Teague try 5-0
6m | Walsh con 7-0
16m | Hearle try 7-5
17m | Shillcock con 7-7
20m | Norey try 12-7
21m | Walsh con 14-7
25m | Howe try 14-12
29m | Chudley try 14-17
30m | Shillcock con 14-19
38m | Norey try 19-19
47m | Shillcock pen 19-22
56m | Miller try 19-27
57m | Shillcock con 19-29
67m | Southworth try 24-29
68m | Walsh con 26-29
76m | Norey try 31-29

Competition: Premiership Rugby Cup
Venue: Sandy Park
Game Type:
Fixture Round:
No. Name T C D P
8 Sam Prior
7 Lewis Pearson
6 Santiago Grondona
5 Cory Teague
4 Will Witty
3 Josh Iosefa-Scott 1T
2 Max Norey 3T
15 Dan John
14 Arthur Relton
13 Sean O'Brien
12 Tom Hitchcock
11 Facundo Cordero
10 Jack Walsh 3C
9 Stu Townsend
1 Billy Keast
16 Jordon Poole
17 James Kenny
18 Marcus Street
19 Sam Leworthy
20 Danny Southworth 1T
21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne
22 Iwan Jenkins
23 Frankie Nowell
No. Name T C D P
8 Lekima Ravuvu
7 Jack Forsythe
6 Caleb Montgomery
5 Justin Clegg
4 James Scott
3 Jay Tyack
2 Beck Cutting
15 Morgan Bunting
14 Alex Hearle 1T
13 Oli Morris
12 Sebastien Atkinson
11 Tom Howe 1T
10 James Shillcock 3C 1P
9 Will Chudley 1T
1 Kai Owen
16 Joseph Richardson
17 Lewis Holsey
18 Benjamin Murphy
19 Cheick Kone
20 Isaac Miller 1T
21 Oliver Wynn
22 Tom Miles
23 Iestyn Galton