Premiership: Gloucester 13-16 Exeter Chiefs

Will Witty (right), was the one who came up with Exeter's decisive second attempt at Gloucester
Gallagher Premiership Gloucester (13) 13 Tries: Singleton Con. Hastings Pens. Hastings 2 Exeter (16 Tries: Hepburn, Witty Pens. Skinner 2

Exeter led a second-half fightback, and then was able to withstand a Gloucester assault to win 16-13 at Kingsholm.

Two Harvey Skinner penalties gave Chiefs a six-point advantage early on.

Jack Singleton, a Gloucester hooker, brought his team back into the game with a try from a driving matul and two Adam Hastings penalties. It was 13-6.

Exeter was held to just two points by Alec Hepburn shortly after the break, before Will Witty scored the crucial point with twelve minutes remaining.

After a four-game run of unbeaten runs, Gloucester entered the match. They conceded four penalties in the first ten minutes.

Skinner kicked two goals to make the visitors 6-0 ahead. He could have gotten a third from his own half but it was short by a few meters.

This seemed to be Gloucester’s wake-up call. As the Cherry and Whites won the first scrum, Billy Twelvetrees made an assist and secured a penalty that Hastings touched.

The driving maul that Gloucester used to win this season had been successful so it was again. After asking for a line-out three times, Gloucester set up a maul to get their just rewards. A Singleton try was his second of this season. Hastings converted it to make Gloucester 7-6 ahead.

For the rest of the 40 minutes, Exeter was effectively contained within Gloucester's own half.

Ben Meehan, the scrum-half, almost crossed the line. He was at the end of a Louis Rees Zamit dart down the nearside touchline. Exeter were then caught offside, and Hastings kicked Gloucester even further ahead.

After being on the bench for the previous two matches, the Scotsman was back in the starting lineup and kicked his second penalty shortly afterwards to make it 13-6.

Although Exeter was able to break into the Gloucester half, Jack Nowell, Jack Maunder and the Gloucester defence held firm.

Exeter made seven changes to their side that lost to London Irish last week. Chiefs were then able to recover within two points of Hepburn's return at prop.

Gloucester conceded a penalty midfield. Stuart Hogg moved down the far side, and Hepburn crossed from close range.

Joe Simmonds was in the fly-half, Skinner in the fly-half, but he missed the conversion, which would have given Exeter the opportunity to go back in front. Two more missed penalties meant that he left six points to the field.

Rees-Zammit stepped in to give Exeter a scrum at Gloucester's five-metre mark after Chiefs fullback Hogg sent a sanitizing-looking kick downfield.

After a series pick-and-go phases, Witty crossed the line to secure their fourth win of this season.

George Skivington, Gloucester's head coach, spoke to BBC Radio Gloucestershire

"I thought that we were really good during the first half. "I thought we were very clinical and had the game under control.

"We knew that they would come back in half-time, so it wasn't like it was going to be easy for us. The boys did a great job, I think the defence was excellent, and Dom (Waldouck, defence coach) was doing a fantastic job.

"I can't fault their hard work, but we need to be more clinical.

"There were moments when we had many opportunities to score, and sometimes things go our way. However, I felt there were a few awkward moments. It was probably pressure, where we knew we had to do a few things to win the game.

Rob Baxter, Exeter director of rugby, spoke to BBC Radio Devon

"I don’t want to tear the game apart and try to create a perfect game out there of rugby.

It wasn't all about that today. It was all about energy, motion, fight, staying there, and competing until the end.

"If you do these things, you have a chance of winning and today we took it."

Gloucester: Woodward, Rees-Zammit; Harris, Twelvetrees and Carreras; Hastings; Meehan; Rapava–Ruskin; Singleton; Balmain; Clarke; Davidson, Ackermann; Ludlow (capt), Morgan

Replacements: Socino, Elrington, Gotovtsev, Thomas, Clement, Chapman, Evans, Moyle.

Exeter: Hogg; Nowell, Hendrickson, Devoto, Cordero; H Skinner, Maunder; Hepburn, Yeandle (capt), Williams, Witty, Lonsdale, S Skinner, Armand, Capstick.

Replacements: Burrows, Moon, Iosefa-Scott, Tshiunza, Tuima, Hidaglo-Clyne, J Simmonds, Whitten.

Referee: Christophe Ridley, (RFU).