Premiership: Exeter Chiefs 19-22 London Irish - Exiles end losing streak

Curtis Rona scores for London Irish
Curtis Rona's length-of-the-field try in first-half stoppage time altered the course of the game
Gallagher Premiership
Exeter Chiefs (12) 19
Tries: Witty, Devoto, Hendrickson Cons: Skinner 2
London Irish (15) 22
Tries: Cornish, Rona, Creevy Cons: Jackson 2 Pen: Jackson

London Irish beat an under-strength Exeter side in a see-saw contest for their first win over the Chiefs in more than five years.

The lead swung five times in the first half as Will Witty and Ollie Devoto's scores for the hosts were interspersed by Matt Cornish and Curtis Rona tries.

Tom Hendrickson's 50th-minute try put the hosts ahead again only for Agustin Creevy to restore the Irish advantage.

Irish held Exeter short of their line in the final moments to seal victory.

The win for the Exiles ended a nine-match losing streak and was their first over Exeter since a 28-26 victory in Reading on 11 January 2015.

Exeter, who have already secured top spot in the Premiership, featured just three players who were involved in the squad that beat Toulouse in Saturday's European Champions Cup semi-final.

Irish had the bulk of the possession and territory in the opening quarter of the game but had little to show for it as Paddy Jackson missed two penalties while Ollie Hassell-Collins had a pass intercepted with an overlap developing.

Jackson eventually got Irish on the scoreboard with his third penalty attempt before Exeter struck with their first foray into Irish territory as Witty was forced over after multiple phases on the Irish line.

Phil Dollman
Long-serving full-back Phil Dollman played what was likely to be his final game at Sandy Park after more than 11 years with Exeter

Cornish replied soon after from close range after Ben Loader's excellent 30-metre run saw him swerve past three defenders to set up field position, but Exeter were again ruthless in the Irish 22 as Devoto showed excellent strength to force his way over.

The hosts were aiming for more points in the final moments of the half, but Harvey Skinner's pass was intercepted by Rona just outside his own 22 and the Australia centre raced the length of the field to score for Irish - a moment that proved critical as the second half unfolded.

Hendrickson's try 10 minutes after the break was almost identical to Rona's as he picked off a loose pass from Cornish to run three quarters of the field and score in a bitty second period that saw Exeter lose young number eight Aaron Hinkley with what looked to be a nasty knee injury.

With six minutes to go, Irish went in front for the fourth and final time as Argentina hooker Creevy found himself at the bottom of a maul after a five-metre line-out to secure a deserved victory.

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter told BBC Radio Devon:

"We're a little disappointed, a little frustrated, I think we can play better.

"It's a much-changed side, that team hasn't had a lot of time together, and in a short week with us having the Toulouse game at the weekend.

"But having said that I thought we were good enough and had enough there to win, we just didn't complete things that we normally would as an Exeter Chiefs team, that's the only disappointment I've got."

London Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney:

"I am really happy to have got a result. We didn't spend as long in our own half as we have done in other matches, which means the opposition didn't score as much and that gave us a chance towards the end.

"That is why I am glad in that they want to win and that is something you cannot coach, that attitude. That is why I am glad they have got a return for it.

"There is so much to do. If we played well, imagine how much more we can do. I believe there is more there - a lot more."

Exeter: Dollman; Cordero, Hendrickson, Devoto, Woodburn; Skinner, Townsend; Keast, Innard, Street, Witty, Price, Capstick, Armand (capt), Hinkley.

Replacements: Taione, Kenny, Petch, Dennis, Wright, Maunder, Walsh, Baldwin.

London Irish: Homer; Loader, Rona, Cokanasiga, Hassell-Collins; Jackson, Meehan; Elrington, Cornish, Hoskins, Nott, de Chaves, Rogerson (capt), Donnell, Tuisue.

Replacements: Creevy, Goodrick-Clarke, Chawata ma, Munga, Cooke, Phipps, Brophy Clews, Stokes.