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EXETER 15 SAINTS 8 LV= Cup final as it happened

Samu Manoa scored but the American couldn't inspire a Saints comeback in Devon © Getty Images

Match Report EXETER 15 SAINTS 8 LV= Cup final as it happened

The final proved an ask too far for the Saints as they were stifled by Exeter's excellent defence, the Chiefs lifting the LV= Cup on home soil.

KO
The teams are out at Sandy Park and it’s LOUD! Slade gets the 2014 LV= Cup final underway…
EXETER 0 SAINTS 0

1min
Positive start from Ken who runs back the kick off but when the ball is lost in contact, Exeter are awarded a scrum inside Saints’ 22. Dangerous position.
EXETER 0 SAINTS 0

3mins
First break of the game comes from Dollman after the Chiefs had been knocked back by a quick defensive line. Though his pass goes to touch, Saints spill another ball and when it is picked up in an offside position, Slade kicks the penalty to the corner.
EXETER 0 SAINTS 0

4mins
Chiefs try. What a start for the hosts. The maul is stagnant to begin with but a bit of patience and persistence eventually sees the pack drive it over and Whitehead grounds. Slade swings the extras wide.
EXETER 5 SAINTS 0

6mins
Saints had a couple of chances to clear their lines there before Exeter went over. A nervy start but plenty of time left yet to put things right.
EXETER 5 SAINTS 0

8mins
A smart Chiefs kick pins Saints back and though Ken can’t quite receive Fotuali’i’s high kick, Exeter drop a routine pass on halfway. Now Foden plays the territorial game and the Saints are finally up into the ‘home’ half. The decision pays off as well, Whitehead’s throw not straight.
EXETER 5 SAINTS 0

11mins
Saints drive out a penalty from the scrum and Dickson wastes no time pointing to the sticks. His pure strike gets Saints on the board.
EXETER 5 SAINTS 3

16mins
Turnover King Kahn is at it again. Chiefs attack but the Samoan spots an opportunity to wrap up the ball and Dickson’s penalty puts Saints back in Exeter’s half. As the chance unfolds though they go off their feet and give the penalty and possession back to the Chiefs.
EXETER 5 SAINTS 3

19mins
Dickson looks bright as he cuts a half gap to take Saints clear. Slade then runs back the Kiwi’s kick, right into the path of Alex who slams the young Chief to the turf. Big hit from the Saints prop but a few phases later it’s Exeter with the penalty in midfield.
EXETER 5 SAINTS 3

20mins
Slade again puts it to touch and Exeter are back inside the Saints 22. A couple of balls almost slip through the hands and when it goes to ground, Saints’ other breakdown specialist is on the scene. Chalk one up for Calum Clark.
EXETER 5 SAINTS 3

22mins
Saints having to work hard for every inch, let alone yard and Fotuali’i makes the right decision in hooking a kick to touch. Territory has been key so far.
EXETER 5 SAINTS 3

24mins
van Velze and Manoa at the heart of a brilliant Saints move up and over halfway that springs the Saints Nation into the life. Exeter scramble to bundle Foden into touch but the visitors are getting stuck into the Chiefs lineout too.
EXETER 5 SAINTS 3

26mins
George dances through as the Saints start to turn it on and van Velze powers out the metres once again. Some slicker than slick handling doesn’t bear fruit but there is a penalty that goes into the corner. The Saints are upping the ante.
EXETER 5 SAINTS 3

27mins
Exeter hold up the drive close to the line but a 5m scrum is the Saints’.
EXETER 5 SAINTS 3

28mins
Coming away with something from this period of pressure could be crucial for the Saints. Exeter are really feeling the squeeze for the first time but a couple of scrums are reset rather than punished as Saints edge forward.
EXETER 5 SAINTS 3

30mins
A long scrum completes third time of asking it’s Exeter who come up trumps, nicking the ball and then awarded a penalty to further help their clearance.
EXETER 5 SAINTS 3

32mins
Big double hit in midfield from the Saints, Manoa of course on the scene but with a little help from referee Small, Arscott roams forwards and Exeter are awarded another penalty. Slade misses his second place kick of the afternoon though.
EXETER 5 SAINTS 3

36mins
Shoemark gets the better of Elliott down the right touchline and there’s another penalty coming the Chiefs’ way at the breakdown. Saints need to clean up their act, while it’s third time lucky for Slade.
EXETER 8 SAINTS 3

39mins
Elliott now finds himself some space after George’s cut inside but the TJ says the Samoan’s offload strayed forwards. Little has gone the Saints’ way so far and they’ll be looking forward to half-time for a chance to regroup.
EXETER 8 SAINTS 3

40mins
Last play of the half and Exeter are flowing upfield again. Fotuali’i almost nips in for an interception but his knock on means there’s time for one more scrum. Lewis gets it off the park and Exeter lead.
EXETER 8 SAINTS 3

HT
A tight, tense half as you’d expect in a cup final and the Saints trail. There’s a heck of a lot of rugby still to be played and while Exeter deserve to be in front, Saints will know they can produce a lot better after the break.
EXETER 8 SAINTS 3

40mins
Both teams back out. 40 minutes left to decide the LV= Cup. Dickson restarts…
EXETER 8 SAINTS 3

41mins
Chiefs struggling to clear their lines and Saints half charge down a first kick attempt. Arscott is then reined in by multiple tacklers but there’s an offence on the ground and pressure is relieved by Slade’s penalty to touch.
EXETER 8 SAINTS 3

43mins
Lineout poached by Day and Saints have it back, Manoa twice involved as the men in lime look to smash their way through. They’re eating up the yards but another penalty goes in favour of the Chiefs and Slade can punt upfield for the second time in quick succession.
EXETER 8 SAINTS 3

45mins
Maul time for Exeter and Saints cough up a third penalty in five first half minutes. Loveley touch finder from Slade pins them onto their own 5m line and Exeter will look to utilise that lineout drive once more.
EXETER 8 SAINTS 3

46mins
Good counter driving and it’s a penalty courtesy of more good work from Clark and then Fotuali’i on the ground. Booming penalty to touch as well.
EXETER 8 SAINTS 3

48mins
Nice from George again but Exeter counter after pinching his offload. It’s a desperate scramble that halts the dangerous Vainikolo and Lewis but it’s the ‘home’ side who are finding all the gaps at the minute. Ma’afu departs, Mercey on in Saints colours.
EXETER 8 SAINTS 3

50mins
Clark is struggling with a knock and Exeter take full advantage. Vainikolo is involved again and Mumm charges over on an inside ball. Foden and Elliott drag the Chiefs skipper down but it’s not enough to stop a second Exeter try. Slade knocks over the extras.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 3

52mins
Nutley has come on for Clark and Saints are now chasing the game. They’re helped by a kick that glides out on the full but they’re making no inroads into a stern defensive effort by the Chiefs and Armand wins his side a penalty.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 3

55mins
Saints need some sort of points to get back into this game but they’re going to have to earn them the hard way. Exeter are looking inspired on home soil.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 3

57mins
Chiefs tacklers are lazy rolling way and Wilson kicks the penalty into the home 22. It’s not now or never yet for the Saints, but now would certainly be nice!
EXETER 15 SAINTS 3

58mins
Saints picking and driving their way closer to the Chiefs line but when it goes wide a pass doesn’t go to hand and knock on is the decision. Another chance goes begging.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 3

61mins
What a tackle! If Saints do go on to complete a remarkable comeback, that intervention from Ken Pisi will be the turning point. Arscott skips free of multiple tacklers to bear down on the line but the Samoan scrambles back and forces the ball from his grasp.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 3

62mins
Penalty gets the clearance done - or should have - but Wilson misses his touch. Pressure off the Chiefs for now.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 3

65mins
Sensational from Manoa who gallops clear of the Chiefs defence but Slade crucially gets in the American’s way. He’s involved again with a basketball style offload as the move goes right but nothing is going Saints’ way and that pass is forward.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 3

66mins
Fresh legs for the Saints in the shape of Ethan on for Alex. A chargedown on Dollman almost falls kindly for Exeter, who are now making changes of their own. Saints lineout 35m from the Exeter line.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 3

67mins
Ken almost away but he can’t cling onto brother George’s pass and Exeter then drive out a penalty from the scrum. This game is fast getting away from the Saints.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 3

68mins
They do get to the next breakdown quickly though for a penalty of their own. 8m lineout, points needed and sharpish!
EXETER 15 SAINTS 3

70mins
SAINTS TRY!!! Foden takes Saints to within 5m despite the attentions of Slade and with men spare on the left, a looping pass evades Arscott and allows Day to play in Manoa.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 8

71mins
Big kick for Dickson but from wide and with the wind whipping, they don’t get much harder. Saints back to within a score of parity though and still nine on the clock.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 8

72mins
Manoa and Haywood off, Craig and McMillan on. Saints make the cardinal error of spilling the restart and Exeter have a lineout in an attacking position.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 8

73mins
Saints desperate to stem the maul but concede a penalty in trying. Slade with a chance to all but kill the game off. The fans think it’s over but dramatically, it strikes an upright and Saints cling on.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 8

75mins
Handling error from the men in lime gifts possession back to the Chiefs. As they charge through there’s blocking and Saints have a scrum, albeit on their own 10m line.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 8

77mins
Penalty as the front rows flop for a second time. That’s a huge blow from Wilson to take Saints onto Exeter’s 22 and it really is now or never with three left on the clock.
EXETER 15 SANTS 8

78mins
Exeter do a good job  of wrapping up the maul and earn themselves a scrum. Just over 90secs to play but a really poor kick from Thomas gifts the visitors a lineout and probably their last chance of the final.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 8

80mins
Last chance saloon as Saints attack Exeter’s brilliant defensive line. The move is going backwards though and when a maul is held up, Sandy Park erupts. Exeter are the 2014 LV= Cup winners.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 8

FT
A really frustrating afternoon for the Saints, but you have to applaud the intensity Exeter brought to make it that way. A brilliant run from the Saints in this year’s LV= Cup but unfortunately the final has proved an ask too far.
EXETER 15 SAINTS 8

TIMELINE
5mins EXETER Try Whitehead 5-0
11mins SAINTS Pen Dickson 5-3
34mins EXETER Miss pen Slade
37mins EXETER Pen Slade 8-3
HALF-TIME EXETER 8 SAINTS 3
50mins EXETER Try Mumm Con Slade 15-3
70mins SAINTS Try Manoa 15-3
73mins EXETER Miss pen Slade
FULL-TIME EXETER 15 SAINTS 8

EXETER: Arscott; Vainikolo, Dollman, Shoemark, Jess; Slade, Lewis; Moon, Whitehead, Tui, Mumm (capt), Welch, Ewers, White, Horstmann

Reps: Cowan-Dickie, Rimmer, Brown, Graham, Armand, Thomas, Steenson, Naqelevuki

SAINTS: Foden; K Pisi, G Pisi, Wilson, Elliott; G Dickson, Fotuali’i; A Waller, Haywood, Ma’afu, Manoa, C Day, Clark, Dowson (capt), van Velze

Reps: McMillan, E Waller, Mercey, Craig, Nutley, A Day, Olver, Autagavaia

LV= Man of the Match: Chris Whitehead

Referee: Andrew Small

Att: 10,004

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