Exeter blown apart by Hall in point-a-minute thriller

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Exeter 15Teddy Hall 76Teddy Hall continued their assault on the college rugby league with an embarrassingly one-sided victory over Exeter. The forwards set up a solid football platform for a backs’ performance that was genuinely inventive and penetrating.The pattern of the game was established right from the outset, as Hall went 12-0 ahead within 10 minutes of kick-off. Fly-half Rob Yates masterminded the early onslaught, scoring the opening try and creating the second with a defence-splitting dummy and an intelligent pass inside to an onrushing team-mate. It was clear from this opening passage of play how dangerous Hall were, combining individual skill with teamwork and leadership throughout the side. The attacking play was characterised by fluent passing moves sweeping the pitch from flank to flank and encompassing every member of the team.Hall’s tries were scored from an impressive range of situations. The vast majority of the points haul came from the fast, flamboyant passages of play, which led to try after try. However, midway through the first half the pack took their chance to shine, setting up a maul from a line out and driving the Exeter defence fifteen yards back to their own try-line for Andy Godfrey to peel off and tumble over the line to make the score 24-3.This was followed by the one costly mistake made by Hall during the game. A period of excellent defensive play appeared to have removed the danger of Exeter scoring, but a dropped catch by fullback Graham Robertson in his own dead-ball zone allowed Exeter to simply fall onto the ball and claim their first of two tries. However, Luka Travlos almost immediately intercepted an Exeter pass to send Hall in 31-8 ahead at half-time.The second half followed the same pattern. Credit should go to Exeter for holding their heads high throughout. However, the ruthlessness of Hall and the ability to maintain their devastatingly fluid style of play throughout saw the score soar to 71-8. Indeed the first pressure which Exeter enjoyed after half time did not come until the last 10 minutes and they were rewarded with a consolation try when Greg Johnson drove over the line. However, there was still time for Hall to issue a reminder that this game was all about their performance, scoring a final try with minutes remaining when they rounded off a move which saw the ball sweep from the right touchline to the left in a matter of seconds. The reminder was not at all necessary: they gave another expression of their desire to reclaim the title which for so long they have been associated with. Meanwhile, this second heavy loss for Exeter will leave them hoping that they can turn things around sooner rather than later.ARCHIVE: 2nd week MT 2005

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