Wasps boost play-off hopes with 36-29 win over Exeter Chiefs
Last Updated: 26/04/15 6:32pm
Wasps boosted their Aviva Premiership play-off hopes with a 36-29 win over Exeter Chiefs at the Ricoh Arena.
The win brings Wasps to within two points of the fifth-placed Chiefs and three of the play-off positions with two games remaining.
Wasps were clear winners on merit as for the second week running Exeter were off their game, needlessly kicking away possession.
Wasps' points came from tries by Christian Wade and Joe Simpson plus a penalty try, while Andy Goode converted all three and kicked four penalties. Elliot Daly also fired over a long-distance penalty.
Exeter's tries came from Will Chudley and Thomas Waldrom with Henry Slade kicking four penalties and two conversions. Gareth Steenson slotted a drop goal from the final play to secure a bonus point.
Wasps were ahead after only 70 seconds. No 8 Nathan Hughes picked up from the base of a scrum and drew in two defenders to provide Wade with a simple try, which Goode converted expertly from the touchline.
Within three minutes, Exeter were level when Chudley saw a gap in the defence to race 15 metres to score a converted try.
Daly put the home side back in front with a superbly struck penalty from inside his own half, and a frenetic opening continued with Slade and then Goode kicking penalties to leave Wasps 13-10 ahead at the end of the first quarter.
Two further Goode penalties were cancelled out by Slade but Exeter suffered a blow when Waldrom was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on.
The decision proved crucial as almost immediately, Wasps extended the lead. A five-metre scrum saw the visitors' pack in retreat with the referee awarding a penalty try, which Goode converted for a 26-16 half-time lead.
Goode kicked his fourth penalty on 54 minutes as Exeter continued to struggle to make any impact in the game, so the Chiefs made changes with Damian Welch and Luke Cowan-Dickie entering the fray.
The decision paid dividends when Waldrom forced his way over from close range for Slade to convert to leave Exeter trailing 29-23.
Slade hammered over a penalty from halfway to keep the result in doubt but Simpson responded with a blistering 50-metre solo try with two minutes remaining.
With the last kick of the match, replacement Steenson dropped a goal that earned a valuable point for the visitors.