LV= Cup: Exeter thrash Worcester to secure place in semi-finals
Last Updated: 01/02/14 6:41pm
Exeter qualified for the semi-finals of the LV= Cup with a convincing 42-3 win over Worcester at Sixways Stadium.
The Chiefs top Pool Two of the competition with 14 points which gives them an away tie in the last four as they seek to secure a place in the final on their home ground.
Exeter were 18-3 up at half-time and always in control as they ran in five tries in total through Tom James, Haydn Thomas (two), Ceri Sweeney and Gareth Steenson, who also kicked four conversions and three penalties for a 22-point individual haul.
Exeter's pack had too much power for their opponents with James Scaysbrook and replacement hooker Chris Whitehead being the leading lights.
Behind the scrum, Dave Lewis was a livewire at scrum-half with both wings, James and Matt Jess, creating havoc in the home defence.
Worcester had selected a strong side in readiness for next week's Aviva Premiership clash with Leicester but once again they were a huge disappointment.
Their pack struggled for possession and when they secured it, their half-backs Jeremy Su'a and Ignacio Mieres kicked poorly and lacked control.
They failed to threaten the tryline and had to rely on a Chris Pennell penalty for their only points, with the defeat ensuring they finished bottom of their pool with only five points.
Exeter made a strong start and took a fifth-minute lead. They declined to take kickable penalties in favour of more attacking options and were rewarded with the first try of the game. A couple of line-out drives softened up the opposition, which allowed Lewis to send out a long pass to James, who crossed easily.
Worcester had their first attacking opportunity and looked set to level the scores but Pennell failed to take a perfectly good pass when the line was within his sights.
The visitors suffered a blow when hooker Jack Yeandle was forced to leave the field with an injury to be replaced by Whitehead.
Worcester continued to make basic errors, with Pennell aimlessly kicking the ball over the deadball line before Ravai Fatiaki knocked on when under his own posts, and Exeter capitalised with a Steenson penalty to give his side an 8-0 lead.
Another Steenson penalty, awarded following an impressive 35-metre burst by James, made it 11-0 before Worcester got on the scoreboard with a Pennell three-pointer.
However, it was the Chiefs who continued to dominate and they should have extended their lead only for James' scoring pass to Luke Arscott to be correctly adjudged forward.
It mattered little though as they soon scored their second try, Jess easily evading two home players to give Steenson a simple try which the outside half converted for an 18-3 half-time advantage.
Worcester took off both their props and replaced Mieres with Paul Warwick at half-time but there was to be no immediate change of fortune as Steenson kicked his third penalty.
Worcester's woes continued when Su'a was yellow carded for preventing the Chiefs from taking a quick penalty.
David Lemi was the player sacrificed which completed a miserable afternoon for him as he had only received one pass on his return from a three-month injury lay-off.
Exeter took advantage of Su'a's absence as Thomas nipped over for his first try to further extend Exeter's lead.
Worcester were back to 15 but it made no difference as Thomas and Sweeney both added late tries with Steenson converting all three.
LV= Cup 2013/14 R4
Jonathan Davies impressed on his comeback but Scarlets were overpowered 29-10 by hosts London Irish.
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Flanker Matt Cox and centre Henry Trinder both scored two tries as Gloucester beat Wasps 36-5 in the LV= Cup.