INCRIDIBLE NEWS’Chiefs boost top-four hopes with five-try win at Kingsholm

INCRIDIBLE NEWS;Chiefs boost top-four hopes with five-try win at Kingsholm

Chiefs scored five tries in the midst of a tumultuous Gloucester performance, riding high on the talismanic performance of Immanuel Feyi-Waboso and displaying the fluid build-up play and practical red zone approach that have defined their play-off campaign.

The Gloucester home crowd rarely falls silent, but the English interests in the stands couldn’t help but notice every time Feyi-Waboso lurked near the ball, on either side of possession.

Damage had already been done in the first half, when two unsuccessful attempts against the grain by Jonny May and Jack Clement held back tries by Jacques Vermeulen, Dan John, and Olly Woodburn.

After an exploitative first half, Gloucester appeared to be on the rise. However, chances were missed during an Arthur Clark chargedown attempt, and Exeter punished the home team with goals from Feyi-Waboso and Vermeulen before the game fizzled out to an underwhelming conclusion.

Inspired by Feyi-Waboso’s forceful interventions on both sides of the ball, the Chiefs scored their first points through Henry Stade’s boot. Max Llewelyn then had a chance after a Charlie Atkinson 50/22, but Olly Woodburn’s crucial hand caused the ball to spill over the line.

Nevertheless, Vermeulen used Jack Dunne’s bulk to bundle over the line as Exeter quickly became accustomed to their brutal cycle of five-meter lineout, penalty, tap and go, and score.

Three minutes later, soon after Feyi-Waboso had carried the kick-off return carry to his own ten-meter line, an Ollie Thorley line-break was dragged out for a forward pass, adding to Gloucester’s problems.

As a result, Slade had a scrum platform to move across with ease.

Following an audacious set-piece and deft offloading, John’s try appeared to free up Chiefs, who easily worked their way into the Gloucester 22, but the Cherry and Whites resisted the close-range approach that Chiefs have grown to be known for.

They entered Exeter’s 22 for just the second time in the half, and with the scoreline still manageable, they took advantage of a fortunate bounce off a misdirected Woodburn interception attempt to score through Jonny May in the corner.

Soon after Feyi-Waboso had moved the ball over the line, Woodburn would make up for it with a well-earned try. The left winger took advantage of another Slade line break to finish superbly in the corner.

The next few days were quite frustrating for Rob Baxter’s guys. Gloucester scored when Jack Clement strolled through a hole unnoticed, giving Gloucester a 24-5 lead at the half. Cairns was charged down at the base, and with the territory handed to them, Gloucester won.

As the home team maintained their momentum throughout the second half, they were twice denied opportunities to score a try: first, an offload did not locate Clement, and then Woodburn and Hawkins knocked Jake Morris into touch as he dove for the line.

Feyi-Waboso’s try, which came from a five-meter scrum walk-in, proved to be a bothersome interlude in between further Chiefs line assaults. After Clark’s charge down for his team’s third, Chris Harris broke free from a maul to unleash Varney, who had been tackled incredibly short by a covering Skinner.

With their backs to the wall, the Chiefs turned to their star players. Slade kicked his team into Gloucester territory by taking advantage of strong goal-line defence, and Vermuelen scored another close-range try after a beautiful crossfield ball by Skinner to Hawkins.

The game’s momentum wavered as the benches began to empty, eventually losing its potency as a metaphor for Gloucester’s Premiership.

GLOUCESTER: Ford-Robinson, Blake, Gotovtsev, Clarke, Clark, Ackermann, Clement, Mercer (c); Morris, May, Harris, Llewellyn, Thorley, C. Atkinson, Varney.

Socino, Vivas, Knight, Thomas, Ludlow, Chapman, Englefield, and Hillman-Cooper are the replacements.

John, Feyi-Waboso, Slade, Hawkins, Woodburn, H. Skinner, Cairns; Sio, Yeandle, Street, Dunne, Jenkins (c), Roots, Vermeulen, Fisilau are the executive chiefs.

Norey, Southworth, Painter, Tshiunza, Vintcent, Armstrong, Haydon-Wood, and Wimbush were the replacements.

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