Premiership Rugby Cup final: Exeter Chiefs beat London Irish hearts for comeback victory in extra time
Having lost in extra time to Worcester last year, the London Irish also lost the Premiership Cup final in extra time as Exeter Chiefs won 24-20 after an Aidon Davis try. Eilish’s trophy run spans his 21-year run, with Exeter increasing his win count in 2014 and his 2018.
in PA sports
Last updated: 19/03/23 6:13pm
The London Irish have fallen for the second year in a row after Exeter Chiefs flanker Aidon Davies’ extra time attempt robbed them of the Premiership Cup and left them with a long wait for the trophy.
Worcester robbed them of their success last season by scoring more tries in a 25–25 draw, but Eilish said a late yellow card for flanker Josh Basham put the game in Exeter’s fashion at the Chiefs. Until I changed that, this round seemed poised to end a 21-year drought. Ultimately he was 24–20 winners short and added to the 2014 and his 2018 cup wins.
For the Irish, outside half Jacob Atkins scored two tries scored by hooker Ignacio Ruiz, who also added two penalties.
Jack Inard, Josh Iofesa Scott and Davis scored tries for Exeter, Ivan Jenkins kicked the conversion and a penalty, and Joe Simmons added two conversions.
An excellent run from Exeter’s Tom Wyatt secured an early attacking platform for his team. The full-backs carried the ball deep into their half and easily evaded two defenders, but Eilish was able to keep the line intact despite the sustained pressure.
In the Chiefs’ first break into the 22, the home side took the lead 15 minutes later when Lewis crashed from a lineout drive.
This converted try was the only score of a lively first quarter, in which the Irish had a dominant scrum, but their dysfunctional lineout left Exeter’s enterprising Backs was given the chance to prosper.
The high penalty counts in favor of the Chiefs were also helping their cause, so it wasn’t a surprise when captain Innerd leveled the scores with a forceful catch from close range.
Thirty-three minutes later, Exeter were hit twice in quick succession. First, prop Danny Southworth was yellow-carded for a high challenge to No 8 So’otala Fa’aso’o, allowing the Irishman to capitalize on Lewis’ second try.
Atkins converted before Jenkins kicked a 40-metre penalty to reduce arrears and see Ireland head into half-time with a 14–10 lead.
Southworth returned from Sinbin just in time to see his team fall further behind when Atkins kicked a penalty awarded for an intentional knock-on by Chiefs No. 8 Lastuyma.
Exeter tried to turn the tide using the experience of Ollie Devort, Jannes Kirsten and Simmons.
With seven minutes remaining, Irish lost flanker Basham to Sin Bin for a high challenge to center Sean O’Brien, and Iosefa Scott crashed, so the conversion from Simmons sent the game into overtime, so the cost was high. I know it will take.
Exeter lost Kirsten to head injury ratings before Basham returned in time to see his side regain the lead with an easy penalty from Atkins.
However, Eilish fumbled Davis’ restart, ending a period of pressure and a conversion from Simmons sealed Eilish’s victory and despair.