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Premiership: Exeter Chiefs 25-24 Gloucester - Henry Slade earns hosts dramatic win

Gallagher Premiership: Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester

Exeter Chiefs: (12) 25

Tries: Tuima, Jenkins, Townsend; Pens: Slade 2 Cons: Slade 2

Gloucester: (7) 24

Tries: Clement, Thorley, Varney, Atkinson; Cons: Barton 2

Henry Slade earned Exeter Chiefs a dramatic win against Gloucester with the final kick of the game.

Tries from Rus Tuima and Dafydd Jenkins, either side of Jack Clement's effort for the Cherry and Whites, put the hosts 12-7 up at the break.

Ollie Thorley, Louis Rees-Zammit and Seb Atkinson put Gloucester nine points ahead going into the last 10 minutes.

But Stu Townsend hit back with a try on his Exeter return before Slade held his nerve to seal the win with a penalty.

Slade's kick ensured Exeter kept their 13-month unbeaten home run intact and made it four straight wins at Sandy Park to start the season.

It also lifted Chiefs to third in the table and consigned Gloucester to a cruel fourth straight defeat.

Gloucester found themselves a man down early on with Clement sin-binned for a high tackle on Tuima, who went on to dive over for the first points of the game while the visitors were still down to 14.

George Skivington's side were dealt another blow with their first serious attack, with Albert Tuisue limping off injured after linking up with Micky Young in a move that included Rees-Zammit and Santiago Carreras, before the ball was fumbled close to the line.

Soon after it was Exeter who were reduced to 14 men, as Tuima was shown a yellow card for a high hit of his own, and it was Clement - back from his own stint in the sin-bin - who crossed the line to level for Gloucester.

Jenkins restored Exeter's lead shortly after the half-hour mark, finishing a break after excellent work from Joe Hawkins and Slade helped put their captain over.

Carreras then put Thorley through a gap out wide as Gloucester levelled again after 56 minutes.

Fly-half George Barton sent the conversion attempt off the post in blustery conditions, but Slade made light of the wind to slot a penalty from near halfway to restore Exeter's lead soon after.

Two tries in five minutes from Rees-Zammit and Atkinson appeared to put Gloucester on the cusp of upstaging Exeter, only for Townsend to come off the bench and score a try on his return from illness and injury with four minutes remaining.

Slade's conversion made it 24-22 and with the Chiefs sensing an unlikely victory, Gloucester conceded a penalty, giving the 56-cap England international the opportunity to take the win with the final action of the match.

Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter:

"There's two ways of looking at it. During our successful years, we have won a lot of games like that with scores in the last five minutes.

"But then again the team have to ask themselves whether they were satisfied with their performance going in those final minutes, and today the answer would probably be not.

"The second half got away from us with too many unforced errors as some of kicks went off-beat, which surrendered momentum, and there was a moment of ill-discipline by questioning the referee which cost us dear.

"We were in control and I thought we were going to be the side making the breakthrough, but then we turn around and give them two tries."

Gloucester head coach George Skivington:

"It's stinging right now as we should have closed that game out, but our errors gave them the opportunity to come back into it.

"The last crucial penalty was a 50-50 call and I'm not too aggrieved about that as more often than not those penalties go in favour of the attacking side, but there are few other tight calls which I felt didn't go our way.

"The boys worked ferociously hard to keep our line intact during the sin-bin period, but we did leave two or three tries out there.

"I feel a lot whole lot better than I did last week after our game against Bath as the last 30 minutes there were not acceptable in terms of physicality, which we rectified today."

Exeter Chiefs: Wyatt; Feyi-Waboso, Slade, Hawkins, Hammersley; Skinner, Cairns; Sio, Yeandle, Painter; Tuima, Jenkins (capt), Roots, Vermeulen, Davis.

Replacements: Frost, Abuladze, Iosefa-Scott, Pearson, Vintcent, Townsend, Haydon-Wood, Woodburn.

Sin-bin: Tuima (22)

Gloucester: Carreras; Rees-Zammit, Harris, S Atkinson, Thorley; Barton, Young; Vivas, McGuigan, Balmain; Clarke, Alemanno, Tuisue, Ludlow (capt), Clement.

Replacements: Socino, Elrington, Gotovtsev, Clark, Thomas, Varney, M Atkinson, Hillman-Cooper.

Sin-bin: Clement (1)

Referee: Ian Tempest