Exeter Claim Their First European Title

Exeter Claim Their First European Title

Exter Chiefs have won the Champions Cup Final beating Racing 92 31-27 at Ashton Gate in Bristol.

Rob Baxter's men have completed an incredible journey from gaining promotion to the Premiership in 2010 to winning the Champions Cup just 10 years later.


Exeter were quickest out the blocks and raced into a 14-0 lead in the opening 17 minutes but Racing fought back and stayed within touching distance right to the end to the game.


Racing 92 got off to a shaky start with Antonie Claassen spilling a ball into touch before Teddy Iribaren smashed a penalty kick to touch dead to let Exeter off. The Chiefs' pounced winning a scrum penalty which Simmonds popped into touch deep inside the Racing 22. From there the forwards went to work with Luke Cowan-Dickie coming up with the ball from a strong lineout drive.

 
 

 
 


The lineout drive and strength of the Exeter pack paid off again as Sam Simmonds managed to force his way over the line with a pick and drive as Exeter led 14-0 after 16 minutes.


Racing 92 looked sluggish in the first 15 minutes but a Racing fightback was always going to come and ofcourse it came through their talisman, Finn Russell.

The Scotsman threw an inch-perfect pass just outside the Exeter 22 as Simon Zebo sped down the touchline to score out wide.

 
 

 
 

Racing continued to apply the pressure and it told with Juan Imhoff filling in at scrumhalf before throwing a lovely dummy to ghost through untouched to score for the Parisian club.

 
 

 
 

Imhoff's score in the 31st minute put Racing just two points adrift from Exeter but the Devon side would have the final say.

Once again it was from the work of the pack. 

An excellent kick and an equally good chase from Jack Nowell put Racing under pressure and they were forced to clear and Exeter had the lineout 5m from the line. 

The pack powered forward with the pressure telling as Harry Williams forcing his way over. Simmonds added the extras as Exeter led 21-12 at the break.

 
 
 
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That was some half of rugby! 😲 #EXEvR92 #HeinekenChampionsCup

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Racing came out firing in the second half and with Maxime Machenaud replacing Teddy Iribaren. 

Again it was the Russell and Zebo show with the former assisting the latter for the second time in the game. 

 
 

 
 

Exeter quickly took the wind out of Racing with Henry Slade dotting down just two minutes after Zebo's score as the see-saw battle continued.

The try came after Russell threw an opportunistic long pass that Jack Nowell picked off. The winger did brilliantly to offload to his England teammate. 

Racing quickly replied as they used one of Exeter's strengths against them. The Racing pack drove well inside the Exeter 22 before Camille Chat powered over with a brilliant carry off the back of the maul.

The two sides trade periods of attack as the defences stayed locked. Finally, Maxime Machenaud was given the opportunity to cut the deficit to just two points which he took with both hands.

The reserve scrumhalf slotted the shot at goal as Racing 92 trailed 28-27.

With 10 minutes left to play, Tomas Francis was sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knockdown as Exeter were forced to play the game out with 14 men. 

However, they managed to hold out for the victory with Joe Simmonds slotting a penalty in the final minute to make it 31-27 

 
 
 
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EXETER HAVE DONE IT!! #EXEvR92 They are #HeinekenChampionsCup Champions 🏆

A post shared by Ultimate Rugby (@ultimaterugby) on

                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   
                   



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