Heineken Cup: Exeter beat Pool 5 rivals Scarlets
Last Updated: 15/12/12 7:04pm
James Scaysbrook scored a late try to secure Exeter a 30-20 Heineken Cup victory over Scarlets on Saturday.
The hard-fought success at Sandy Park - their second in as many weeks against the Welsh side - leaves the Chiefs in third place in Pool 5 but still in with a chance of reaching the knockout stages.
Ian Whitten and Simon Alcott set up the win with early tries and although Scarlets responded either side of the break through Ken Owens and Scott Williams the Chiefs hit back to take the points.
Gareth Steenson missed an early penalty but the Chiefs continued to apply the pressure as Jack Nowell made a break with Whitten up in support to touch down under the posts. Steenson added the simple conversion.
Minutes later the Scarlets were reduced to 14 men when Tom Johnston, in his 150th appearance for the Chiefs, was tackled high by Liam Williams, who was sent to the sin-bin by French referee Romain Poite.
Steenson landed the resulting penalty but after Aled Thomas replied in kind, the visiting fly-half had a clearance kick charged down and hooker Simon Alcott picked up the loose ball to cross for the second try which Steenson converted.
Midway through the half, lock James Hanks was sent to the bin for taking a swipe at flanker Jonathan Davies.
With the Chiefs down to 14 men they received a team warning in front of their own posts and the Scarlets reduced the arrears with a Thomas penalty. Then from an Exeter free-kick inside the Scarlets 22 the visitors mounted a break to take them close to the Chiefs line.
Number eight Kieran Murphy was bundled into touch just short of the line and the Chiefs were then able to clear up field. Exeter, back to full strength, then had their defence tested but deservedly Owens went over the whitewash.
Thomas converted from out wide but when the Chiefs mounted an attack the Scarlets were penalised for pulling down at the line-out. Steenson landed the penalty to give the Chiefs a 20-13 lead at the break.
Early in the second half the Scarlets capitalised as play continued while Johnson was leaving the field with an injured shoulder. George North put Scott Williams away in the left corner and the conversion from Thomas levelled the scores.
Exeter finally got back into the game after making a number of charges and centre Sireli Naqelevuki was held up over the line. The Scarlets defence initially held against another series until James Hanks knocked on.
The Chiefs pack then exerted the pressure at a series of scrums in front of the posts. After a number of resets, the Scarlets were penalised for standing up and Steenson's simple penalty nudged his side back in front.
Exeter went in search of another try in the final minutes and Scaysbrook went over under the posts before Steenson added the extras to complete the scoring.
Heineken Cup Round 4
John Mitchell admitted Sale had not been good enough after they slumped to a 62-0 Heineken Cup defeat at Toulon.
Saracens boss Mark McCall paid tribute to his side after they claimed a crucial 19-13 Heineken Cup victory over Munster.
Saracens moved to the top of Heineken Cup Pool 1 after battling to a 19-13 victory over Munster at Vicarage Road.
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