Chiefs scrap past Sale to hit Premiership summit
Exeter Chiefs backed up their superb European Champions Cup triumph over Montpellier by edging out Sale Sharks 10-6 on Friday to move top of the Premiership.
Back in action just five days on from their outstanding victory in France, the reigning English champions were made to work hard in a scrappy encounter at the AJ Bell Stadium.
However, an opportunist try from Lachie Turner ultimately proved decisive as the Chiefs battled their way to a fifth victory from seven league games this term.
They leapfrog Saracens at the top of the table as a result, although Mark McCall's men will regain top spot should they get the better of London Irish on Saturday.
Although Exeter enjoyed plenty of first-half possession, they only moved ahead in the 30th minute through a Gareth Steenson penalty, which was swiftly cancelled out by Faf de Klerk.
Turner's score came early in the second period, the wing capitalising on sloppy Sale defending to charge through a gap from the base of a ruck.
The hosts dug in and narrowed their deficit through a second De Klerk penalty before finishing the game strongly.
Stu Townsend was yellow-carded as Sale applied late pressure, but Exeter hung on to claim a gutsy win.