It would be pushing it to compare this Exeter performance to Harlequins’ glorious Friday night pyrotechnics and even the hosts would admit they were not at their sharpest. That said, this was still as one-sided a match as you will see in this season’s Premiership and here was further proof that early season whispers of the Chiefs’ demise as title contenders were premature.
Six converted tries, with two apiece for Sam Simmonds and Facundo Cordero, were a fair reflection of the difference between the two sides on a day notable for the sight of six summer British & Irish Lions back roaming across the Devon countryside. Simmonds, along with Dave Ewers, looked particularly full of running having recently become a father for the first time and the rangy Jonny Hill also makes a conspicuous difference to the home pack.
Stiffer challenges lie ahead, however, and Rob Baxter will know his side could and probably should have racked up 60-odd points against distinctly mediocre opposition. Exeter chose to dedicate this game to the NHS, wearing a specially commissioned blue strip and staging a minute’s applause in recognition of all those who have worked tirelessly during the Covid-19 pandemic, but this contest will not have done much for Worcester’s general health, particularly the peace of mind of their new star winger Duhan van der Merwe.
Even Van der Merwe himself would acknowledge his eagerly awaited debut for Worcester did not go as he might have hoped. His first 40 minutes in a Warriors’ jersey, in particular, were a total nightmare, the apparent consequence of trying too hard mixed with a dollop of misplaced overconfidence. From dropped balls and poor passes to assorted unnecessary turnovers, here was a reminder that an eyecatching signing or two is no guarantee of instant nirvana for any club.
Rory Sutherland, Van der Merwe’s Scotland teammate, also experienced a sobering start to Premiership life, with the first quarter mostly an exercise in collective…
Source : theguardian