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Brave Saints fall to semi-final defeat at Exeter

Six tries for the home side saw off a brave effort from Northampton Photo: PA

Northampton Saints suffered semi-final defeat against Exeter Chiefs in the Gallagher Premiership.

The Chiefs finished top of the table during the regular season and were hot favourites to make it through to their fourth Twickenham final in a row,

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The Chiefs raced in to a 14-0 lead in the first half, before the Saints closed the gap with a stunning two try salvo in 60 seconds.

First Chris Boyd's men scored a penalty try - which saw Tom O'Flaherty sent to the sin bin.

Then a minute later Northampton closed to within two points. Tom Collins making a break from a Dan Biggar kick, before shifting the play across the field which eventually led to an Ahsee Tuala try.

Saints succumb to the Chiefs Credit: PA Images

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The second half was all one way traffic - the Chiefs scored 19 unanswered second-half points last weekend and this time it was 28 as lock Dave Dennis, O'Flaherty, substitute back-row forward Sam Simmonds and centre Sam Hill all touched down.

Joe Simmonds added four more conversions for a 17-point haul as Exeter won 42-12 and booked a Twickenham appointment with Saracens next Saturday.

It will be a third meeting for the sides in the last four seasons in English domestic rugby's showpiece final, with Saracens having won the previous two.

Saints though had a tremendous first season under New Zealand coach Boyd, with plenty of positivity going into the summer break.

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