Leicester Tigers 13-35 Exeter Chiefs: Defending champions maintain perfect Premiership start

Jack Yeandle scores a try for Exeter
Hooker Jack Yeandle scored the opening try on his 150th Premiership appearance for the Chiefs
Gallagher Premiership
Leicester Tigers (13) 13
Try: Green Pens: Henry 2 Con: Henry
Exeter Chiefs (7) 35
Tries: Yeandle, Kirsten, Whitten, S Simmonds, Devoto Cons: J Simmonds 4, Walsh

Exeter Chiefs maintained their perfect start to the new Premiership season but were made to work hard by a determined Leicester Tigers at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

The home side were resolute in defence and led at the break thanks to Calum Green's try.

But the defending champions, who scored the opening try through prop Jack Yeandle, dominated all over the pitch.

They sealed victory with tries in the second half from Jannes Kirsten, Ian Whitten, Sam Simmonds and Ollie Devoto.

After dominating the first 30 minutes, Exeter scored the opening try when Yeandle went over from his own quick tap on his 150th Premiership appearance for the Chiefs.

But the home side were rugged in defence and kept in the game with two Zack Henry penalties, and led at the break with Green's try after a drive from a line-out.

Exeter continued to dominate territory in the second half with Devoto held up on the line after the Chiefs turned down a series of kickable penalties.

The visitors finally breached the Tigers line when Kirsten went over under a pile of bodies and they sealed their bonus point with scores from Whitten and Simmonds, the Premiership's top try scorer grabbing his sixth touchdown of the season.

Devoto added the gloss with an interception try, running free from the halfway line in the final few minutes.

Exeter have now amassed 108 points in their three Premiership wins over Harlequins, Bath and now Leicester, scoring 16 tries.

Yet they have conceded just 19 points, 12 of which have been penalties - and Leicester lock Green's score is the only try they have shipped in six halves of rugby.

That takes the European Champions Cup winners nicely into the start of their defence of the competition, in which they host Glasgow Warriors next Sunday.

Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick:

"Unfortunately we made mistakes and gave into some of that pressure. At 21-13 down, we had the opportunity to score to make it 21-20 but we didn't.

"You won't get many chances against Exeter. They are a very good side and we were not able to execute that opportunity.

"From there, they put us under pressure. This is an experience for us to learn from but all the players across the board did some very good things.

"We need to be better than we were so we don't concede that many penalties. The way Exeter play, they put you under pressure and I am disappointed."

Exeter forwards coach Rob Hunter:

"We got there in the end. We got into a bit of an arm wrestle in the first half, which we definitely did not want to do.

"We talked about that before the game but we shook ourselves down at half-time and had a few frank conversations.

"We got back out there and got on with it. And to get 15 league points from the first three games is fantastic. We're really pleased with how it's started.

"We are all hugely excited about Europe next week, so it is a nice position to be in. But it is a little bit frustrating compared to last season. That may seem bizarre but we have got high standards."

Leicester: Steward; Porter, Taute, Scott, Simmons; Henry, Wigglesworth; Leatigaga, T Youngs (capt), Cole, Wells, Green, Liebenberg, Brink, Wiese

Replacements: Clare, Bower, Heyes, Enever, Reffell, Taufua, White, Díaz Bonilla

Sin-bin: Simmons (59)

Exeter: Cordero; Whitten, Hendrickson, Devoto, O'Flaherty; J Simmonds, Townsend; Moon, Yeandle (capt), Williams, Witty, Armand, Ewers, Kirsten, S Simmonds

Replacements: Innard, Kenny, Street, Price, Capstick, Maunder, Walsh, Hodge

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (RFU).

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