Fixtures - Top Bar

European Round-up: Exeter Chiefs pinch quarter-final spot

<> at Sandy Park on January 24, 2016 in Exeter, England.

Exeter Chiefs booked their spot in the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-finals in dramatic circumstances and head coach Rob Baxter admits it is a big step forward for the club.

The Chiefs have never reached that stage before and began the day with a steep hill to climb, sitting third in Pool 2 behind Ospreys and last year’s finalists Clermont Auvergne.

However, with Clermont losing to Bordeaux-Begles and Exeter beating the Ospreys, all four sides were at one point sat on 16 points with time running out.

Thomas Waldrom and Tom James grabbed two tries apiece for the Chiefs, after Kai Horstmann had opened the scoring, and went on to win 33-17.

And that proved to be just enough – Clermont had sat above Exeter until the dying stages, when Bordeaux-Begles denied them a losing bonus point and Baxter’s side crept to the top and into the last eight.

“It has been an incredible finish to the competition for us,” said Baxter. “I can’t quite believe it has worked out like that.

“I suppose it shows that if you win your home games in your European pool, you’re always in with a shout.

“It feels like a big step forward for us to win a Champions Cup pool and get through to the quarter-finals.

“I would like to say this was a planned performance and that we rested up the guys knowing it was all going to come down to this but the truth is it has come as a little bit of a surprise to me.”

Leicester Tigers are also in the last eight – with a home tie to boot – but they couldn’t finish the pool stage unbeaten, slipping to a 36-21 defeat to Stade Francais.

Manu Tuilagi continued his return from injury by opening the scoring in the French capital, but three Stade tries ensured Leicester went into the break behind.

They fought back and Dom Barrow and Harry Thacker each crossed over as the Tigers moved to within touching distance of their hosts.

However, the French side had more riding on the game – Leicester having already safely secured a home quarter-final – and it showed as they finished strongly, securing maximum points and joining their Aviva Premiership Rugby visitors in the knockout stage.
 
Stade Francais 36 Leicester Tigers 21
 
Stade Francais
Tries: Plisson, Vuidarvuwalu, Slimani, Lakafia, Doumayru
Conversions: Plisson 4
Penalties: Plisson
 
Leicester Tigers
Tries: Tuilagi, Barrow, Thacker
Conversions: Burns, Bell 2
 
Referee: George Clancy (Ire)
Attendance: 12,073
 
Exeter Chiefs 33 Ospreys 17
 
Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Horstmann, Waldrom 2, Short 2
Conversions: Steenson 3, Hooley
 
Ospreys
Tries: Dirksen, Penalty
Conversions: Biggar 2
Penalties: Biggar
 
Referee: Jerome Garces (Fra)
 

Latest News

Ally Hogg, Cooper Vuna, Aaron Morris, Lachlan Turner, Bryce Heem and Dan Robson head the Opta Rugby Rankings

Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred…

allyhogg16sb1111

Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Pat Lam confirmed as Bristol Rugby head coach

Bristol Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Lam as the Club’s new Head Coach. The 48 year-old…

Pat Lam

Newcastle Falcons v Saracens kick-off time change

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17 Newcastle Falcons v Saracens fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball

Match Reaction: Worcester Warriors 12 Wasps 26

Wasps maintained the pressure on Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders Saracens with success over Worcester Warriors – a victory Dai Young…

Rob Miller deputised in sterling fashion (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 38 Harlequins 32

Dean Richards’ Newcastle Falcons side are evolving according to the director of rugby, after he saw his side run in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Newcastle Falcons 38 Harlequins 32

Newcastle Falcons ran in six tries in a thriller of a game at Kingston Park with Juan Pablo Socino starring…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Worcester Warriors 12 Wasps 26

Wasps moved to within one point of the Aviva Premiership Rugby summit but missed out on a bonus point in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library