The Exeter Chiefs showed exactly why they top the Gallagher Premiership at the moment, repelling what Gloucester Rugby could throw at them in the first half before efficiently accumulating points in the second to ease to a 15-26 win.
It was a frustrating night for the Cherry and Whites who struggled to break down the visitors throughout due to a combination of excellent defence from the Chiefs and a number of errors and indiscipline from the home side.
The first half was a story of taking chances. Exeter went ahead early having forced a couple of penalties and then driving over from close range thanks to their well drilled pack. It was pretty much their only real attack.
On the other hand, Gloucester Rugby hammered away in the Exeter 22 for long periods but only came away with a penalty to show for their efforts and trailed 3-7 at half time.
The Cherry and Whites were still in touch as the second half commenced, poor discipline allowed the Chiefs to ease clear. Exeter barely got inside the 10 metre line, but kicked four penalties to open up a 3-19 lead.
And the killer blow came just after the hour mark, as an excellent counter attack from a long kick downfield resulted in Stuart Hogg diving over for the second Exeter try, the excellent Steenson adding the conversion.
Gloucester Rugby’s bench did make an impact. Callum Braley was an early replacement for the injured Joe Simpson and had a fine game. His break led to Jake Polledri forcing his way over from close range, before Louis Rees-Zammit touched down out wide after more pressure.
It narrowed the gap to 15-26, but the Cherry and Whites were out of time and left to reflect on what might have been against the Premiership’s top side.