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Home > News > Otley 0 - Exeter Chiefs 63
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Your News Otley 0 - Exeter Chiefs 63
20
OCT

Exeter made the long trip north to enjoy the hospitality of an Otley side yet to record a win on their return to Division One. Otley were currently in the unenviable situation of second from bottom with one bonus point the difference between them and Manchester.

On paper then, this game was significantly easier than the previous week’s heroics at Plymouth. The hardy travelling supporters from the south west might have been anticipating a try-fest. And they were not to be disappointed when, after less than five minutes, Chris Budgen opened the scoring with what was to be his first of three tries in the match.

The Chiefs had clearly come to Yorkshire with nothing other than an emphatic win in mind and they were playing with energy and pace but the visitors were clear not there to make up the numbers and it took Exeter until 19 minutes to alter the scoreboard again. Lewis Stevenson surged forward to within 10 metres of the home try-line only to knock on. Otley’s scrum, however, was turned over and following a ruck, Sam Blythe celebrated his 150th league appearance with a try.

With their tails now up, Chiefs looked to attack at every opportunity with Sean Marsden opting to chip over the Otley defence. Unfortunately, the kick was a little strong and went straight to touch giving Otley a lineout 12 metres into their own territory. Exeter took control in this phase as well and stole the home side’s set-piece. Playing an advantage for offside, the referee eventually blew up after a second Otley offence five metres from their own line. Opting for the scrum, Exeter were clearly confident in forward play. Once again the man known in Northampton as “Chicken”, emerged from the heap to claim his second try after only 25 minutes of play; Danny Gray again taking the extras.

From the restart, Otley kept possession and were looking to make ground but were penalised at the breakdown for holding on. Slow ball from the lineout meant that Exeter opted for some close quarter play and with Otley again under pressure, the penalty was soon to come. Being inside the opposition’s 22 and with options on both sides, Exeter again went for the scrum. Working right, the forwards put Blythe over for his second of the day, taking the bonus point on 31 minutes. The home side were beginning to struggle to contain the Chiefs and once more they lost their own lineout with devastating effect as the jubilant Budgen once more battered his way over to pick up his 15th point of the day.

It only took a further five minutes to see the back-line at last get the reward for their efforts when slick handling saw Matt Jess carve his way to the line to turn the first half screw even further. With Gray apparently suffering a knock, Marsden stepped up to take the kick and put it just wide of the left hand upright.

Only three minutes remained of normal time and Otley must have been willing the time away, hoping to regroup during the interval. Otley’s woes at the lineout were to continue before the break, however, when they knocked on. Exeter played the advantage, put the ball into Josh Drauniniu’s hands and he made a trademark powerful run, defeating defenders with aplomb to score close to the posts. Now recovered, Gray slotted the extras on 42 minutes. The referee deemed that there was time for Otley to restart the game one more time before the break. Thankfully for them a last ditch tap tackle on Drauninui prevented a repeat of his try. This was the last action of the half.

With the game in the bag, Exeter could be forgiven for sitting back a little in the second period and the first few minutes were scrappy from both sides. It appeared that Pete Drewett saw this as a good time to make some changes and six minutes into the half, Ward came off for Ed Lewsey and John Andress was replaced by Dan Parkes. Chiefs’ momentum picked up and Jess blazed through to score a very well taken try.

Scoring at regular intervals, Chiefs continued their dominance with a captain’s try for Richie Baxter converted by Gray in his last act of the game before being replaced by Gareth Steenson. In a rare concerted attack on the Exeter line, Otley looked for once like they might take a consolation try but a loose ball was pounced on by Steenson whose snap pass to Marsden sent the full-back on his way to the Otley line and five points.

Exeter were to finish the game with a flourish when some slick handling ended with replacement Dan Tuohy at the end of the move to take the try with aplomb. Steenson brought the scoring to a close with the conversion.

Teams:

Otley – Monks (Bland 40mins); Kitching, Dench, Mooney, Smith (Craig 53mins); Rhodes, McCormack (capt); Trethewey, Steele, Fullman, Parr (Whittaker), Williams, McNiel-Matthews (Moss 45mins), Rowan, Baldwin.

Exeter Chiefs –Marsden; Jess, Cornwell, Ward (Lewsey 46mins), Drauniniu (Lewis 47mins); Gray (Steenson 58mins), Stuart-Smith; Budgen, Blythe (Clark 60mins), Andress (Parkes 46mins), Stevenson (Tuohy 47mins), Hayes, Johnson (Pugh 60mins), Alan Miller, Baxter (capt).

Scorers:

Exeter Chiefs – Tries: Budgen (3), Blythe (2), Marsden, Drauniniu, Jess (2), Baxter, Tuohy; Cons: Gray (5), Steenson (2).

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