Exeter battle to bonus-point win at Leicester

Exeter and England fly-half Henry Slade (centre) was flawless with the boot in tricky conditions
Aviva Premiership
Leicester (8) 15
Tries: Rizzo, Mermoz Con: Williams Pen: Williams
Exeter (27) 34
Tries: Horstmann, Penalty, Townsend, Lees Cons: Slade 4 Pens: Slade 2

Exeter Chiefs moved one point behind Premiership leaders Wasps with a bonus-point win at Leicester Tigers.

Michele Rizzo bundled over for Tigers, before Kai Horstmann charged down Owen Williams' kick and crossed unopposed.

A penalty try, which saw Tom Youngs sin-binned, and score from Stu Townsend gave Chiefs a 27-8 half-time lead.

France centre Maxime Mermoz glided through a gap to give Leicester hope, but Mitch Lees crashed over a fourth try to secure a fine victory.

Leicester had won three straight league games before the visit of last season's Premiership finalists.

However, a terrible first-half littered with individual errors and indiscipline meant they were left with too much to do after the break.

The home side camped themselves in front of the Exeter try-line after Mermoz had reduced the deficit to 12 points, but the visitors' defence was superb despite being down to 14 men with Geoff Parling in the sin bin.

Having resisted the hosts' best attacking spell and with conditions worsening at Welford Road, Australian forward Lees sealed Chiefs' 13th bonus point of the season.

Second-placed Exeter have a favourable run-in, playing none of their main play-off rivals in their remaining five fixtures, as they bid to win a first Premiership title.

Ten-time champions Leicester on the other hand face a tricky derby game at Northampton before travelling to Bath in their next two matches.

Leicester: Veainu; Thompstone, Smith, Mermoz, Pietersen; O Williams, Kitto; Rizzo, T Youngs (capt), Bateman, Fitzgerald, Barrow, Croft, O'Connor, Hamilton.

Replacements: McGuigan, Genge, Cilliers, M Williams, McCaffrey, Harrison, Burns, Betham.

Exeter: Dollman; Woodburn, Whitten, Devoto, Short; Slade, Townsend; Rimmer, Cowan-Dickie, Williams, Lees, Parling, Armand (capt), Horstmann, Waldrom.

Replacements: Yeandle, Moon, Francis, Hill, S Simmonds, Maunder, J Simmons, Hill.

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