Exeter showed their 11-try thrashing of defending Premiership champions Saracens on the opening day of the campaign was no fluke as they managed an equally emphatic 43-0 victory over last season’s beaten finalists Sale.
Despite losing a host of internationals during the summer, Exeter’s new young guard once again showed they are going to be a force to be reckoned with.
Sale went into the game having won their first two matches of the season, but they were strangely off colour as an error-strewn display saw them suffer their biggest ever defeat to the Devon side.
Exeter got off to a dream start with a try inside the first two minutes. An initial surge by hooker Dan Frost earned a penalty, which was quickly taken, and England Under-20 number eight Greg Fisilau finished off on the blindside, with captain for the day Henry Slade slotting a superb conversion.
The England centre added a penalty soon after to put the Chiefs into double figures.
Sale had the wind behind their backs in the first half, but it was the Chiefs who continued to dominate territory, and they notched a second try just before the midway point of the half, with a catch-and-drive effort from Frost, after Chiefs did well to splinter Sale’s maul defence, and it was improved by Slade.
Young full-back Tom Wyatt was proving rock solid under the high ball for Exeter, while their scrum was having much the better of the Sale eight.
The Sharks thought they had got a foothold in the game when Cobus Wiese drove over in the 27th minute, but he was adjudged by excellent debutant referee Joe James to have been held up, while Tom O’Flaherty knocked on soon after when trying to ground the ball after a handling mistake close to his own line by Fisilau.
Exeter made the most of that double reprieve by securing the try-scoring bonus point before half-time.
Tight-head prop Josh Iosefa-Scott finished off another driving maul in the corner, and then Slade latched on to a wayward Sale pass to send former Wasps winger Immanuel Feyi-Waboso racing over beneath the posts, with Slade adding the conversion for an incredible 29-0 interval advantage.
Both sides struggled to string passages of play together in the wet conditions in the second half.
When Sale did threaten the home line, the Chiefs defence proved more than a match.
The Chiefs put the icing on the cake when an excellent run by impressive second row Lewis Pearson saw him offload to replacement scrum-half Niall Armstrong to run in try number five, with Slade adding the kick for a personal 11-point haul, and their dominant scrum rounded it off with a penalty try as Exeter completed their first Premiership shutout since 2014.