East Devon proudly backing the Exeter Chiefs
- Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK
A brilliant semi-final victory over Sale Sharks has booked a sixth successive final appearance for the Exeter Chiefs in the Gallagher Premiership.
Harlequins lay in wait at Twickenham on Saturday, kick-off 5.30pm, after the Quins produced a sensational comeback to recover from 28-0 down to defeat Bristol Bears 43-36 after extra-time.
For the Chiefs, it was all about a pulsating start at Sandy Park, as Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom O’Flaherty and Jack Nowell all crossed the line, with just one try in reply from the Sharks.
Sale did rally after the break but further tries from Nowell and Alex Cuthbert confirmed the victory for the Chiefs.
Confidence will naturally be high in the Exeter camp, as they head into the final on the back of eight straight victories, including a 74-point haul against Newcastle Falcons.
Back in March, the Chiefs and Quins played out a fascinating 21-20 victory for Exeter side, with Dave Ewers taking the hero plaudits.
The Zimbabwe-born powerhouse scored a dramatic late try five minutes from time and then secured a crucial turnover in the dying seconds, denying Harlequins the chance to pinch the points.
The reverse fixture in November was actually the season-opener and the Chiefs underlined their status as champions with an emphatic 33-3 victory.
A brilliant individual try from Sam Simmonds was followed by two further routine efforts to secure his inspired hat-trick, with Ewers and Townsend also score in a bonus-point win.
Quins, however, are a very different outfit to the one dismantled seven months ago, finishing their campaign in fourth position and displaying astonishing resilience in the win over Bristol.
A jubilant Chiefs Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter, spoke after the Sale victory, saying: "We turned up, we were bang on, we started the game with great intensity and managed to maintain that for most of the game.
“Actually, most of our mistakes and errors came from our enthusiasm to do things, rather than locking things down and not being accurate – I’ll take that every day of the week."
Enthusiasm and intensity is guaranteed on the field, as well as across rugby clubs and supporters throughout East Devon.
Good Luck Chiefs.