Exeter champions after extra-time win over Wasps

Wasps blow as injured Kurtley Beale ruled out of Premiership final

Chiefs flyhalf Gareth Steenson's penalty 30 seconds from normal time levelled the game and meant both sets of players had to endure another ten minutes each way in the warm London sun.

Exeter were crowned English club champions for the first time in their history as they beat Wasps 23-20 after extra time in a tense, thrilling final at Twickenham on Saturday.

A 15-game unbeaten streak - which included last weekend's last-gasp win over Saracens in the semi-finals - has put them on the cusp of greatness.

It was Exeter's first Premiership title and chairman Tony Rowe could hardly contain his delight at feeling a very different emotion from 12 months ago. We were in our first ever front-line final past year and when you think back, there was a three-point difference in the teams with two or three minutes to go.

Exeter enjoyed the best of the first half and scored the first two tries.

There had been precious little sign of Wasps' exciting attacking game but they eventually hit their stride with some great passing under pressure to send Jimmy Gopperth over and reduce the halftime deficit to 14-10. Josh Bassett - who scored the winning try two minutes from time in the semi-final - is rewarded with a start out wide.

Within four minutes of the restart Wasps were three points ahead as impressive number eight Nathan Hughes forced a turnover then blasted through three tackles before Christian Wade´s kick bounced beautifully into the arms of Elliot Daly who gleefully dived over the line. The Chiefs' decision-making was certainly called into question.


But it was left to Steenson to kick the decisive penalty when Wasps collapsed a scrum and Chiefs and their fans could celebrate joyously.

Rob Baxter's decision to stick with the majority of the side that clinched the 18-16 victory means that England global Henry Slade must once again bide his time, despite his brilliant kick to touch in the final seconds of the win over Sarries setting the platform for Sam Simmonds to burrow his way over and score the match-winning try.

"We went through it previous year, went through that, know how it feels".

"I do believe it will help, I think the experience of those things is very important", Baxter said.

Wasps poked their noses in front for the first time three minutes into the second half as Hughes showed all his mighty strength and power to shrug off a posse of Chiefs rivals and spark a surge down field.

Wasps captain Joe Launchbury said: "It was agony watching that penalty go over".

"We were happy how we came back into the game", he said.

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