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Result: Exeter gain revenge over rivals Saracens in feisty Premiership clash

Result: Exeter gain revenge over rivals Saracens in feisty Premiership clash
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The Chiefs' victory was marred by a late red card for Harry Williams.

Exeter took revenge on arch-rivals Saracens in their first meeting since the salary-cap scandal broke but their 14-7 Gallagher Premiership victory was marred by a late red card for Harry Williams as tempers flared at Sandy Park.

Converted tries by Nic White and Jacques Vermeulen scored in each half swept the Chiefs to a victory against opponents who have been docked 35 points and fined £5.4million for exceeding the league's £7m ceiling for wages.

Exeter had more reason than any other Premiership club to feel aggrieved after losing the two most recent Premiership finals to Mark McCall's men, prompting their owner Tony Rowe to call for them to be stripped of their titles and threaten legal action.

For all the Chiefs' anger – director of rugby Rob Baxter has also been vocal in his dismay at Saracens – an ugly match failed to ignite until the 77th minute when a ferocious brawl broke out on the sideline.

It was sparked by White sitting on Duncan Taylor and in a flash large numbers of players locked horns, including the substituted Williams who joined in from the Exeter dug out.

Once peace had been restored, referee Wayne Barnes declared the tighthead prop's behaviour "not acceptable" and showed him a straight red card.

Williams even invited England team-mate Mako Vunipola to continue the fight in front of a record Sandy Park crowd of 13,593 before Barnes intervened to issue marching orders to a player who was also sin-binned earlier in the game.

Up until that point the grudge match had lacked fireworks, the closet to a flashpoint being a simultaneous dressing down delivered by Barnes to both captains for protesting against decisions he had made.

Two poor missed penalties by Owen Farrell were jeered and when Exeter had the wind in their sails for the second half they received noisy support, their defensive resilience particularly rousing for home fans.

Saracens' Billy Vunipola is tackled by Exeter's Dave Ewers and Ollie Devoto
Saracens' Billy Vunipola is tackled by Exeter's Dave Ewers and Ollie Devoto (David Davies/PA)

Saracens were awarded a last-gasp penalty try to salvage a losing point from a chastening trip to Devon as they continue their desperate battle for top-flight survival.

Billy and Mako Vunipola were prominent as Saracens created an early overlap that was wasted by Jackson Wray's dismal pass when acting at scrum-half and errors began to compound for the nervy champions.

A poor pass from Farrell to Max Malins was hacked downfield by White and the Australia scrum-half was first to the ball as it crossed the line, offering an easy try.

Farrell then missed a routine penalty, a Saracens scrum was shoved backwards and another opportunity went begging in the right corner.

Exeter were equally jittery at times with White's poor decision-making a hindrance, but their whitewash stayed intact again when Jack Nowell forced a penalty against Billy Vunipola.

Williams went in at the side to earn a yellow card but his side survived the next 10 minutes, although they spent most of the period defending deep in their own half.

Exeter's Nic White clears from a ruck
Exeter's Nic White clears from a ruck (David Davies/PA)

Farrell missed an even easier penalty and Saracens continued to see points flash before their eyes as Jamie George was held up over the whitewash following a line-out drive involving almost every visiting player.

Exeter emerged for the second half a more purposeful team and the scales now tilted in their favour as they staged attack after attack, reversing Saracens' territorial advantage.

Their second try was not pretty but the swarm of forwards that battered away from close range eventually made their mark as Vermeulen forced his way over.

Fly-half Joe Simmonds had converted both tries to leave Saracens trailing 14-0 but a long kick by Farrell that was almost gathered by Richard Wigglesworth was headed off by Sam Simmonds.

A dramatic final 10 minutes set pulses races as they rivals came to blows, but Exeter had already done enough.

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Munster medic Jamie Kearns (L) with referee Pascal Gauzere as players including Saracens' Jamie George clash on December 14, 2019
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Monday's key events

· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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