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London Irish suffer to late Exeter Chiefs surge
LONDON Irish looked to be heading for back-to-back Premiership victories as they led 23-12 against visiting Exeter Chiefs on Saturday afternoon.
However, the visitors hit back to win the game 29-23 with 17 unanswered points in the last 20 minutes.
In the end tries by Nic Rouse and Marland Yarde was not enough as two scores by Dean Mumm and Ben White and 19 points off the boot of Gareth Steenson took the visitors to victory.
Things also did not start well for the home side at the Madejski Stadium as the Exiles were forced into a late change as Topsy Ojo was injured in the warm up.
Exeter took the lead from a Steenson penalty and Ian Humphreys levelled the scores on 19 minutes.
The visitors thanks to the boot of Steenson made it 9-3, but the home side hit back as Rouse scored and Humphreys converted to put them in front for the first time in the game.
They still led at the break, but by then had lost front row forward Halani Aulika forced out with an ankle injury.
Exeter started the second-half the better as Steenson’s penalty gave them the lead again.
Humphreys replied with a penalty for Irish and then Marland Yarde went over for his fourth try of the season. Humphreys converted to give them a 20-12 lead.
Ian Humphreys added a further three points for the home side which Steenson quickly cancelled out.
The big turning point was when Irish lost a man to the sin bin and they paid the ultimate price as Mumm went over the try line.
The visitors now had control of the game and Ben White bundled his way over and Steenson kicked the conversion to give Exeter victory.
Next up for the Exiles is a trip to The Rec to face in the Premiership on Saturday.