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Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Saturday, 8 January 2011

Gloucester 37-23 Exeter

Gloucester (18) 37
Tries: Lawson, Morgan, Simpson-Daniel, Sharples, Qera Cons: Burns 2, Taylor Pens: Burns 2
Exeter (6) 23
Tries: Johnson, Naqelevuki 2 Con: Steenson Pens: Steenson 2

Gloucester v Exeter

Gloucester avenged an opening weekend Premiership defeat against top-flight newcomers Exeter to claim an impressive bonus-point victory at Kingsholm.

Exeter centre Sireli Naqelevuki crossed twice inside the final quarter to add a bit of gloss to the scoreline.

But Gloucester did the bulk of their scoring in the first hour, with tries from Rory Lawson, Olly Morgan, James Simpson-Daniel and Charlie Sharples.

Akapusi Qera also crossed, while Tom Johnson was Exeter's other try scorer.

The Chiefs rocked the Cherry and Whites with a 22-10 success at Sandy Park almost four months ago, but hopes of Exeter claiming a first Premiership double quickly disappeared.

Scrum-half Lawson and full-back Morgan set the tone with first-half tries, before further scores from the outstanding Simpson-Daniel, fellow winger Sharples and substitute Qera.

Fly-half Freddie Burns kicked two penalties and two conversions as Gloucester maintained an unbeaten Premiership home record stretching back to October 2009.

And the home side were good value for a first bonus-point win of the season to stay in touch with the title play-off places.

Gloucester boss Bryan Redpath refused to press the panic button following last weekend's surprise defeat at Leeds, making just two changes as Sharples replaced Lesley Vainikolo and prop Paul Doran-Jones took over from Pierre Capdevielle.

Apart from prolific points scorer Steenson, back for his first start since suffering a knee injury in October, the Chiefs also paraded two ex-Gloucester players - wing Mark Foster and scrum-half Haydn Thomas.

After Steenson and opposite number Burns exchanged early penalties, Gloucester stung the visitors with a 17th-minute breakaway score.

Despite being 20 metres from their own line, Gloucester did not consider a safety-first kicking option as flanker Peter Buxton found Simpson-Daniel, whose inside pass allowed Lawson an unchallenged 40-metre run to score.

Burns failed miserably with the conversion attempt, but it took just nine minutes to score again as Gloucester this time ran a penalty deep inside their own half, skipper Mike Tindall made the initial headway, Simpson-Daniel again acted as link-man and Morgan finished off in style.

Burns this time added the extras and, although Steenson booted his second penalty, Burns responded to earn an 18-6 interval lead.

Exeter were by now a man short after Thomas was sin-binned for a technical infringement deep inside his own 22. And that numerical disadvantage told when, after relentless Gloucester pressure, Simpson-Daniel pounced after Burns was tackled inches short.

Johnson gave the visitors a glimmer of hope when he collected an opportunist try after twice kicking on in a lung-busting surge.

But Gloucester added their all-important fourth touchdown 17 minutes from time when slick passing enabled Sharples to breach Exeter's defence.

Naqelevuki added the Chiefs' second try, converted by Steenson, but Qera capitalised as Exeter's defence shredded.

Tim Taylor converted, but there was still time for Naqelevuki to score again with the game's final move.

Gloucester boss Bryan Redpath said:

"James Simpson-Daniel was outstanding. He needs to keep working hard and getting on the ball.

"He needs to demand the ball more and be in positions to create opportunities. e's a dangerous runner, and he must be assertive enough to go and demand the ball.

"Reputation is one thing, performance is another. Today, James's performance - and in the last couple of weeks - is getting there in terms of consistency. He finished off well today, and he worked hard for the team."

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter told BBC Radio Devon:
"It's very easy when you lose to start looking at all of the critical things with your team but I think you've got to take your hats off to Gloucester as they showed some great endeavour out there today.

"We're a very young Premiership side in terms of experience, we've come to Kingsholm for the first time in a Premiership game and it was a tough environment for us.

"I'm not massively disappointed, I've been very careful all along and I said after our good winning sequence that it's still about working hard, gaining experience and enjoying what we're doing."

Gloucester: Morgan; Sharples, Tindall, Fuimaono-Sapolu, Simpson-Daniel; Burns, R Lawson; Wood, S Lawson, Doran-Jones, James, Brown, Buxton, Hazell, Narraway.

Replacements: Taylor for Sharples (66), Trinder for Fuimaono-Sapolu (53), Harden for Burns (75), Azam for S Lawson (67), Qera for Hazell (59), Strokosch for Narraway (73).

Exeter: Arscott; Foster, Shoemark, Naqelevuki, Sestaret; Steenson, Thomas; Sturgess, Whitehead, Tui, Hayes, Hanks, Johnson, Scaysbrook, Baxter.

Replacements: Dollman for Shoemark (59), Davis for Steenson (76), Poluleuligaga for Thomas (48), Alcott for Whitehead (46), Budgen for Tui (50), Slade for Hanks (54), Ewers for Johnson (67).

Sin Bin: Thomas (38).

Att: 13,409

Ref: Martin Fox (RFU).

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see also
Guscott's predictions
09 Jan 11 |  English
Lock Attwood handed nine-week ban
06 Jan 11 |  Gloucester
Steenson feeling fit after injury
06 Jan 11 |  Exeter
Leeds 15-13 Gloucester
01 Jan 11 |  English
Exeter 15-22 Leicester
02 Jan 11 |  English

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