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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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|Sunday 30th November|
|Newcastle Falcons 13 - 18 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 14 - 43 Northampton|
|London Irish 9 - 21 Gloucester|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Exeter 27 - 19 Saracens|
|Leicester Tigers 18 - 16 Wasps|
|Friday 28th November|
|Bath 25 - 6 Harlequins|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester Tigers|
|Saracens 24 - 31 Northampton|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|London Irish 23 - 33 Bath|
|Exeter 31 - 15 Wasps|
|Friday 21st November|
|Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 Gloucester|
|Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Sunday 16th November|
|Wasps 71 - 7 London Welsh|
|Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 Saracens|
|Saturday 15th November|
|Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle Falcons|
|Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London Irish|
|Friday 14th November|
|Gloucester 15 - 22 Harlequins|
|Northampton 18 - 24 Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com