Leeds claim crucial win over Chiefs
April 3, 2011
Leeds claim crucial win over Chiefs%]
Leeds gave their hopes of avoiding relegation from the Aviva Premiership a massive boost by beating Exeter Chiefs 27-22 at Headingley on Sunday afternoon.
Adrian Jarvis was the hero for the league's basement boys, the former Bristol fly-half claiming 17 points with the boot. However, Leeds were also indebted to tries from Hendre Fourie and Alfie To'oala as they moved to within two points of 11th-placed Newcastle. Leeds will face the Falcons at Kingston Park on Saturday in what will be billed as a relegation decider.
Try-scoring opportunities were scarce in the opening exchanges at Headingley but Exeter fly-half Gareth Steenson opened the scoring with his first penalty of the match in the 14th minute.
Leeds steadied themselves and were level three minutes later when Jarvis replied with a penalty and midway through the half he added another one to put his side 6-3 ahead.
Leeds fly-half Adrian Jarvis had a productive afternoon with the boot at Headingley © Getty Images
The hosts showed plenty of desire and commitment and were rewarded in the 32nd minute when Fourie crossed the line to cap a period of sustained pressure. Excellent work from Scott Mathie saw Peter Wackett and Kearnan Myall go close but Fourie was not to be denied and the South African-born flanker grounded the ball for a try which Jarvis converted.
However, Steenson added another penalty goal from distance to reduce the deficit and Jarvis did likewise on the stroke of half-time to leave the scores finely poised at 16-6 at the break.
Exeter then caught Leeds cold five minutes after the restart when wing Nemani Nadolo charged down the left flank to stretch the home defence. His progress was halted by a home defender but Bryan Rennie followed up to collect the ball and make the short charge over the line.
Steenson converted the try and Jarvis then failed with a penalty goal attempt before being made to pay moments later. Steenson, having just missed a penalty himself, made no mistake in the 51st minute as his kick sailed over the posts to level the scores at 16-16.
Jarvis then added another penalty in the 56th minute to put Leeds back in front and nine minutes later Headingley was in raptures as a rolling maul from 20 metres out culminated in To'oala touching down among a sea of bodies.
Jarvis failed to convert and then saw a penalty rebound off a post with nine minutes remaining as Leeds began to dominate territory. However, the Leeds No.10 added a drop goal eight minutes from time and although Exeter replied in kind through Steenson, Leeds held on for victory.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September