Premiership: Exeter Chiefs 37-7 London Irish
|Exeter (20) 37|
|Tries: Slade, Penalty try, Armand (2), Woodburn Con: Steenson 3 Pen: Steenson 2|
|London Irish (0) 7|
|Try: Lewington Con: Bell|
Champions Exeter eased to a bonus-point win over newly promoted London Irish to seal their first victory of the season.
Henry Slade went over early for Exeter, before the Chiefs forced a penalty try and Don Armand scored before the break, with Gareth Steenson getting a penalty.
The fly-half added a penalty after the break, as a dogged Irish side made it tough for Exeter to break through.
Alex Lewington got a try for Irish late on before Olly Woodburn and Armand got even later tries for a bonus point.
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Woodburn could have had two tries before half time, but was just held short in the left corner as Exeter dominated the opening period.
But to Irish's credit they did not capitulate, and were more than a match for Exeter in long periods of the second half.
After Steenson's second three-pointer Lewington got a deserved score for Irish towards the end of the game.
It could have had more points for Irish but for a stifling Exeter defence that time and time again failed to let last season's Championship winners through.
Woodburn's long-range interception try, and a score in the final seconds for Armand, added the gloss and a bonus point on Exeter's first competitive win since last season's Premiership final.
Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter:
"We had overall control of the match for long periods and it was very satisfying to pick up five points and concede only seven.
"We were a bit more composed today against a London Irish side who put in a big emotional performance last week in beating Harlequins at Twickenham.
"The second half got a bit frustrating as the game seemed to be petering out.
"We were disappointed to concede as we missed a great opportunity to get a nil on the scoreboard, but we had a great last seven minutes to score two tries and pick up the bonus."
London Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy told BBC Radio Berkshire:
"I thought we got taught a lesson by a very, very good team and Exeter showed today why they're the best team in the league.
"They played some outstanding rugby at times and we were on the back foot for the majority of the game. There's lots of lessons for us to learn from that.
"We had a little bit of ball, but we ended up making mistakes with it, but that's not to say we lost the game because of those mistakes, we lost because Exeter were a much better team than us.
"We knew before the game we had a lot of work to do and it's just confirmation so we'll roll up our sleeves and keep working hard."
Exeter: Dollman; Nowell, Slade, Whitten, Woodburn; Steenson, White; Moon, Yeandle (capt), Francis, Lees, J Hill, Dennis, Armand, S Simmonds.
Replacements: Taione, Rimmer, Williams, Skinner, Kvesic, Townsend, Bodilly, Turner.
London Irish: Bell; Lewington, Hearn, McLean, Ojo; Marshall, Steele; Hobbs-Awoyemi, Paice (capt), Du Plessis; van der Merwe, De Chaves; Coman, Cowan, Treviranus.
Replacements: Porecki, Reid, Franks, McNally, Gilsenan, McKibbin, Tonks, Tikoirotuma.