Rampant Chiefs thrash sorry Exiles

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Published: Sunday 7th September 2014 by The News Editor

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Thomas Waldrom celebrated his Exeter debut by powering over for two first-half tries as London Welsh endured a humbling return to the Aviva Premiership.

Former England number eight Waldrom led the rout in front of only 2,776 fans at the Kassam Stadium, with Dave Ewers, Sam Hill, Ian Whitten, Jack Arnott and Chrysander Botha also touching down.

Fly-half Gareth Steenson kicked six conversions and centre Henry Slade weighed in with five points as the Chiefs celebrated their record Premiership victory.

Exeter were ruthless when offered sight of the whitewash and had wrapped up the bonus point 10 minutes into the second half, but their task was made embarrassingly easy by weak opposition.

Nine new signings made their Welsh debuts and they looked every bit a team that had been hastily thrown together and on this evidence a long season awaits.

Among the newcomers was World Cup-winning scrum-half Piri Weepu and he endured a debut to forget alongside half-back partner Olly Barkley, who also struggled.

The writing was on the wall as early as the 10th minute, when Exeter scored with their first meaningful attack of the match.

Waldrom was involved in a lengthy build-up that started in the Chiefs’ 22 and, when a large gap in appeared in the Welsh midfield, Steenson picked a clever line and sent Waldrom over.

The end-to-end play continued with Waldrom and flanker Ewers roaming the Kassam Stadium and Exiles number eight Lachlan McCaffrey forcing an important tackle after breaking free.

The tide was turning, however, with Exeter spending more time on the ball in an open and high-tempo game.

Inside centre Hill ran hard and straight, pushing Welsh back, Steenson dummied and was held up short of the line before Waldrom arrived to deliver the try.

The Exiles’ cause was not helped by Barkley missing successive penalties and, to rub his nose in it, Slade landed three points from 46 metres out.

Contributing to Welsh’s downfall was a fragile defence that opened up for rampaging lock Mitch Lees to create the platform for Exeter’s third try that was finished by Ewers.

The floodgates opened in the 50th minutes as the Chiefs secured the bonus point with comical ease, Hill stripping the ball in the tackle and sprinting over unopposed.

Weepu showed his class with a beautifully floated pass to Matt Jess, but Welsh were unable to capitalise on their most promising passage of play in the second half.

Exeter showed them how to finish with their fifth try, although once again they were waved through by some feeble tackling as Whitten ran a cute line over the whitewash.

The Exiles were falling apart as replacement Arnott, who had only just come on, plucked Will Chudley’s box kick from under the nose of Seb Stegmann and raced free.

The procession ended when full-back Chrysander Botha collected Waldrom’s cleverly delayed pass and weaved an all-too-easy path over the line, driving the final nail into Welsh’s coffin.

Published: Sunday 7th September 2014 by The News Editor

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