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Aviva Premiership: Exeter Chiefs end run of five defeats with 18-0 win over London Irish
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Exeter Chiefs saw their run of five straight defeats in the Aviva Premiership - their worst run in the competition - come to an end as they completed a season double over London Irish, who were shut out for the first time this campaign in an 18-0 defeat.
The home side led 6-0 at the break through two Henry Slade penalties, James O'Connor seeing his one attempt with the boot rebound back off the uprights, but the visitors were reduced to 14 men midway through the half with prop Leo Halavatau shown yellow.
The Chiefs added two tries in the second period with Phil Dollman's touchdown - converted by Slade - added to by an Ian Whitten effort, although their resolve was tested when they had Ben White yellow carded for a tip tackle on the hour mark.
Irish failed to capitalise on an early opportunity to move ahead when they kicked a penalty to the corner only for the Chiefs to steal the subsequent line-out.
But after a bright start from the visitors, they found themselves trailing when referee Matt Carley, having played an initial advantage, pulled play back for an original offside infringement on the Irish 22 which allowed Slade to bisect the posts.
The England Saxons fly-half added a second midway through the half after Halavatau was shown yellow for a cynical foul.
Irish had an excellent chance to reduce the arrears only to see O'Connor's penalty attempt from the 22 - 15 metres in from the left - bounce back into play off the near upright and that ensured the sides went in at the break with Exeter 6-0 to the good.
Dollman attempted a cheeky drop-goal before he did manage to stretch the home side's lead three minutes after the restart as Slade fed full-back Luke Arscott who in turn put Dollman away for a touchdown that Slade could not convert.
Midway through the half referee Matthew Carley called in TMO Geoff Warren to adjudicate on a tip tackle on scrum-half Darren Allinson which resulted in openside flanker White spending 10 minutes in the sin-bin.
But with less than 15 minutes remaining Exeter added a second try when Whitten chipped ahead, won the race for the bounce and shrugged off a tackle from right wing Alex Lewington to go over after confirmation from the TMO.
Exeter continued to press for a third try which resulted in Exiles No.9 Allinson becoming the third player to be shown yellow with three minutes of the game remaining, but the Chiefs could not capitalise and were penalised at the 10-metre scrum for an early push.
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com