Friday 24 November 2017

Steenson kicks Exeter forward

European Watch

Exeter's Gareth Steenson will punish indiscipline. Mat Mingo / SPORTSFILE
Exeter's Gareth Steenson will punish indiscipline. Mat Mingo / SPORTSFILE

John Fallon

Connacht's great start to the season will not have gone unnoticed in France and England but Exeter are also posting some serious performances.

The latest came at Kingsholm, where they beat David Humphreys' Gloucester 25-22.

Once again the accuracy of Gareth Steenson - the 30-year-old Dungannon native left Ulster in 2006 because of a lack of opportunities - was central to Exeter's success and he has shown he will punish indiscipline.

He kicked 14 points in the Chiefs' second win of the campaign (from three games) and they will travel to The Stoop this weekend with a pep in their step to face Harlequins.

In France, both of Connacht's European Challenge Cup opponents lost, with La Rochelle's 29-26 defeat to Bordeaux Begles the most notable as it was their first home defeat after wins over Toulouse and Castres.

Fijian Kini Murimurivalu touched down for the second week in a row and they also got a penalty try but both teams had a couple of players each binned in a fractious encounter, with the losing bonus point taking La Rochelle out of the automatic relegation spots.

Bayonne remain just above them despite coming away from Grenoble with nothing when five penalties from Blair Stewart was all they had to show in a 24-15 loss.

They entertain Toulouse this weekend when Guy Noves' men will be trying to prevent a fifth successive Top 14 defeat.

Irish Independent

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