SA’s Jacques Vermeulen scores as Exeter comes from behind to beat Sale

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FILE PHOTO: South Africa’s Jacques Vermeulen (top) in action for Exeter Chiefs. AFP PHOTO

South African Jacques Vermeulen was one of four try scorers as Gallagher Premiership leaders Exeter Chiefs came from 14-10 down at halftime to defeat Sale Sharks 32-22 at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday.

The bonus-point win saw Chiefs exact revenge on Sale after the narrow 22-19 loss in January.

The South African flanker added to his tally of tries in the 47th minute as the Chiefs outscored Sale 22-8 in the second half. Vermeulen was drafted into the squad to replace compatriot Jannes Kirsten in the back-row.

Chiefs came out on top against a Sale side which had eight South Africans, including flyhalf Robert du Preez and Rugby World Cup winner Faf de Klerk, in their starting XV on the night. Zimbabwe-born Dave Ewers also started for Chiefs on the night.

It has been a fruitful few weeks for Vermeulen who, last month, committed his future to the Chiefs by signing a contract extension for an undisclosed period.

Du Preez, meanwhile, scored a try and kicked seven of Sale’s points in a valiant effort to defeat the 2016/17 Premiership champions.

Exeter, which has won both its games since the restart, leads the Gallagher Premiership with 52 points, five clear of second-placed of Bristol Bears. Sale, in contrast, has lost both its games and is fourth on 41 points.

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