Burns inflicts pain on Chiefs
November 5, 2011
Gloucester too good for Chiefs
Gloucester secured their first victory away from Kingsholm in any competition since February 26 as they beat Exeter Chiefs 24-19 at Sandy Park.
It was a disappointing performance from Exeter, in front of 9,607 at Sandy Park, as they lacked composure while Gloucester produced a resolute defence. Both sides were eager to get back to winning ways before the break for the European competitions with Exeter having lost their last three Premiership matches and Gloucester their last two.
Exeter wasted no time getting points on the board with Gareth Steenson landing a 35 metre penalty but the visitors hit back quickly through a try from Freddie Burns fending off a couple of defenders. The fly-half added the simple conversion only for the Chiefs to kick their next penalty to the corner before Fijian centre Sireli Naqelevuki was held-up over the line.
Gloucester were penalised at the scrum and again when Exeter opted for a scrum. Referee Andrew Small had to speak to the two front rows after a couple of collapses before the fourth reset allowed Gloucester to clear their line.
But Exeter again pinned the visitors back deep in their own half with left wing Matt Jess coming within five metres of the Gloucester line and after several phases of play Hoani Tui powered over for the touchdown midway through the half.
The problems in the scrums continued and Gloucester's tighthead prop Rupert Harden was penalised and Steenson slotted the 40 metre kick between the upright to give the Chiefs a four point advantage.
But Exeter gave away a soft try as Mike Tindall and Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu linked-up with flanker Akapusi Qera before the Fijian stepped out of a Gonzalo Camacho tackle to cross the line for Gloucester's second try, converted by Burns for a 14-11 interval lead.
Freddie Burns scored one of Gloucester's three tries © Getty Images
Gloucester dominated the early play after the restart but Burns missed a penalty. However they kept the pressure on the Exeter line with fullback Olly Morgan squeezing in the left corner with Burns adding the extras from out wide.
When Exeter got inside the Gloucester 22 they wasted their opportunities and turned down a couple kickable penalties as the visitors mounted a stout defence. Problems continued in the front rows in the final quarter and Exeter were awarded a penalty and Argentine international Ignacio Mieres, who had replaced Steenson, landed the Chiefs penalty.
With 12 minutes remaining Exeter carelessly threw the ball around in their own 22 and Gloucester gained a penalty which Burns duly put between the uprights to keep the Chiefs at bay.
With time over on the clock Gloucester went in search of the try scoring bonus point but it was Chiefs replacement scrum half Kevin Barrett who broke through before putting Jess in for the vital losing bonus point try.
However it was Gloucester celebrating their first away win since they beat Northampton 18-16 in February.
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