Exeter Chiefs left it late to book their spot in their fourth-straight Anglo-Welsh Cup Final with a nail-biting win over Newcastle Falcons on Sunday afternoon.
They’ll meet Bath Rugby in the final at Kingsholm after the South West side beat Northampton Saints by a single point at The Rec under the Friday Night Lights.
Sunday’s final is set to be a huge spectacle in Gloucester with the two rivals set to go head-to-head in a bid to lift the first piece of silverware of the season.
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Simmonds does it again for Chiefs
Joe Simmonds was the man-of-the-match against Saracens in his Aviva Premiership Rugby debut and he was at it again on Sunday afternoon.
The young fly-half, brother of England star Sam, knocked over the match-winning penalty with the scores tied at 17-17 in the final minutes to send Sandy Park wild.
Man of the Match is, unsurprisingly, @joesimmo10
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) March 11, 2018
The 21-year-old had already scored a try of his own and knocked over two conversions and a pair of penalties as he picked up 15 of the Chiefs’ 20 points.
Stu Townsend had put the Chiefs ahead after two minutes but Kyle Cooper’s try, converted by Toby Flood, had the Falcons ahead 10-7 as the half hour approached.
Simon Hammersley put Falcons further in front only for Simmonds to pull his side level with a try and then ahead with a successful penalty with just minutes to play.
Joel Hodgson had a chance to force extra-time at Sandy Park but his last-second penalty fell agonisingly short for the visiting fans.
Hodgson’s penalty is not on target and it finishes Exeter 20 Falcons 17. Well done to our hosts, and best of luck in the final.
— Newcastle Falcons (@FalconsRugby) March 11, 2018
Fly-half Lewis guides Bath through
In difficult conditions, the 25-year-old fly-half Josh Lewis stepped up to the plate to guide Bath Rugby past Northampton Saints in their Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-final.
Despite seeing a yellow card, Lewis amassed eight crucial points from the kicking tee in addition to Levi Douglas’ 18th minute try.
— Tom Ellis (@tomellis45) March 10, 2018
Douglas powered over from close range to move Bath 10-0 up but Stephen Myler struck four penalties to give Saints a two-point lead with 55 minutes played.
With the rain pouring down, Lewis stepped up on 67 minutes and nailed the crucial penalty to put Bath back into the lead and they held on against 14-man Saints after Teimana Harrison’s red card.
Bath will be looking to win their first trophy since 2008 this Sunday at their oldest rivals home ground and face a Chiefs side who won this competition in 2014.
💬 “Emotions run high when there’s a lot on the line, but the boys are all behind him. He puts his heart on the line every week and he’s a big part of this team.”
— Northampton Saints (@SaintsRugby) March 10, 2018