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News: LV Final Saints fall to a determined effort by Chiefs

By David Lowrence
March 17 2014





LV=Cup Final

Exeter Chiefs vs Northampton Saints

Sandy Park

Sunday March 16th 2014 KO 3pm


5 Frooners (an arcane group of Saints Supporters who meet on Fridays at the Maltshovel) set of at 7:30 am on Saturday, in fine voice and fettle to travel to Exeter, aiming to arrive in time to watch the final matches in the six Nations. We travelled light and fast, and arrived in Exeter town Centre at 10:30 – time enough to explore the City centre and partake of a belated breakfast at “Bills”, before descending upon the Wellhouse to watch the first of the aforementioned games.

Watching the Saintly England contingent was great fun, especially seeing Luther gradually build up an immense domination throughout the game. His substitution for Tuilagi not only angered him – but the howls of anguish around the Wellhouse were palpable and heartfelt. On a par with that of Dylan for Youngs – who, although our captain was not perhaps at the peak of his game, demonstrated why he should be sent far away to relearn his craft (ha ha) by losing the first of his lineouts. And doing not a lot for the rest of the game.


Little did we happy few realise that this would be the height of our match appreciation for this weekend!. After an interesting encounter that evening with some Meze and a Belly Dancer from deepest Devon, we retired to our hotel to prepare for the Final.


Sunday dawned bright and clear. Meeting a friend on the way to the Blue Ball for lunch, she vouchsafed the news that the blessed Stephen was outside her hotel (for the team were staying there) practising kicks, and clearly worried about something. Before we left the Pub, the Word wend round – “Stephen not Starting – Hamstring” Will Hooley also not fit – Dickson at 10.

Arriving at the ground, which was rocking – lots of Banter with be-feathered supporters, we took our seats in the South Stand and the game started. At a ferocious pace.


Exeter immediately laid down a marker, kicking a penalty to the corner and with a thunderous catch and drive , putting Chris Whitehead over in the corner to touch down.


Some penalties traded between Dickson and Slade, but chiefs were up for this and preventing any possession to Saints with a feisty approach. Looking to exploit errors more  than the visitors. The Saints Scrum was having a torrid time, and seemingly every 40/60 decision was going to the Home side. This was territory not understood by the Saints. The team was getting plenty of ball, but the Exeter defence was remarkable. 5 points up at half time…


Exeter upped the pace in the second half and another score this time by Mumm, provided Exeter with their first Champagne moment of the afternoon (see what I did there?)


It had all gone Pete Tong for Saints who were beginning to look ragged, until a smidgeon of pride was restored by Christian Day who put Samu over in the corner, but all that did was provoke Exeter some more until  the match finished 15-8 to Chiefs.


Frooners retired to pub and thence to a wonderful Japanese restaurant in the city, to lick wounds and analyse a depressing day. Given a list of -  Exeter Home Advantage, 6 Players on International Duty, Some baffling (and I use the word advisedly) and  inconsistent decisions by Mr Small, our chief navigator with a hamstring, his deputy concussed, and the team not having played with Glenn Dickson at 10 for a long time, it is, probable the team could have coped with 2 or three of those setbacks, but taken together all of them seemed to be several steps too far.


Cue angst on the message board, accusation and counter accusation re choking, not able to win finals etc etc.


Well done Exeter – you wanted this more and got it. I leave you with something that has puzzled me all afternoon. If Mr Small had been reffing last week, we would not have made the final. Only 2 penalties against Saracens. Lost count at Sandy Park. For me it does not compute, but in the end the Saints lost this by themselves against a feisty and determined team.


A long journey home today – and so to bed………


 Jim & Kahn Speak












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News: LV Final Saints fall to a determined effort by Chiefs (IP Logged)
17/03/2014 23:29
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Re: News: LV Final Saints fall to a determined effort by Chiefs
St Dormouse (IP Logged)
18/03/2014 09:08
Sounds like you had a great weekend David despite the result.Thanks for your splendid take on things.

Re: News: LV Final Saints fall to a determined effort by Chiefs
Howlin (IP Logged)
18/03/2014 12:07
Always difficult to write up after a loss. Luckily weekends away are not all about the rugby. Still gutted to not bag the first trophy of the season but still also realise that I'm lucky that my club just gave me the chance to experience another cup final and a wonderful time in Devon. If we had to lose to anyone , I'm glad it was Ex. Great club, and (apart from one idiot in the ground) fantastic supporters.

Saint 'til I die

Re: News: LV Final Saints fall to a determined effort by Chiefs
X-Block Dave (IP Logged)
18/03/2014 13:27
Nice write-up David (Sm160)

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