First-half tries from Jack Nowell and Phil Dollman helped Exeter lead that final 14-10 at half-time, but after Jimmy Gopperth inspired a Wasps comeback to sneak 20-17 in front, it was Gareth Steenson who converted a last-minute penalty before another one in extra time sealed the victory. Neutrals will be willing on more of the same this time around, although it could take a Herculean effort from Wasps to make this one a contest.
The rollercoaster final will offer Wasps fans hope that Exeter’s wall is not an impenetrable one, but the latter’s ruthless 36-5 semi-final over Bath the week prior proves they are intent on becoming the new dynasty in English rugby, and determined to brush off the disappointment of three final defeats to Saracens in the past four years while adding to their 2017 title. Recent meetingsBefore their 47-24 win over Bristol, Wasps enjoyed a 46-5 win over Exeter, although not much can be drawn from that match given Baxter’s side was second-string with Europe in mind. Back in November Exeter enjoyed a dominant 38-3 win over Wasps at home, while in the season before it was the away side who came out on top on both occasions. Looking beyond the two one-sided meetings this season, Exeter and Wasps have often played out thrillers, notably a 35-35 in February 2017, three months before they went head to head in the 2017 Premiership final.
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