European Champions Cup: Exeter 41-10 Montpellier

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Sam Simmonds scored Exeter’s second try
European Champions Cup
Exeter (7) 41
Tries: Ewers, S Simmonds, Woodburn (2), White, Armand Cons: Steenson 3, J Simmonds Pen: J Simmonds
Montpellier (0) 10
Try: Nadolo Con: Cruden Pen: Cruden

Exeter secured a potentially crucial bonus point as they beat Montpellier to keep alive their hopes of reaching the European Champions Cup quarter-finals.

The Premiership leaders scored six tries, five of which came in the second half, against their subdued Top 14 counterparts at Sandy Park.

The win moved Exeter second in Pool Three, one point ahead of Montpellier.

They play Glasgow in their final game next week, while the French side face unbeaten pool leaders Leinster.

If Leinster beat Glasgow on Sunday they will qualify for the last eight as pool winners, while Exeter could join them as one of the best second-placed teams if they beat the Scots.

Mission accomplished for Exeter

Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter had described Saturday’s match as “win or bust” – a win would have been good, but this bonus-point victory is potentially priceless.

The first half featured numerous handling errors and turnovers from both sides as they struggled in wet and windy conditions.

The Chiefs kept it tight to score the opening try – prop Dave Ewers driving over from two metres out, five minutes after Luke Cowan-Dickie had dropped the ball diving for the line.

They led 7-0 at half-time, but Aaron Cruden reduced the deficit with a penalty as Montpellier finally got on the scoreboard in the 53rd minute.

It was virtually one-way traffic from then on, though, with the Chiefs relentless in their pressure.

First Sam Simmonds forced his way over in front of the posts, then Olly Woodburn went over twice in six minutes – diving over in the corner from Gareth Steenson’s long pass, then charging over Henry Immelman to somehow touch down.

Scrum-half Nic White nipped down the blindside for their fifth try on 70 minutes, and five minutes later Don Armand drove over for the sixth.

More to follow.

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