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Exeter and Castres looking to keep Champions Cup dream alive

Friday 11th January 2019

4:28 pm (GMT)

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Slade

Exeter Chiefs centre Henry Slade in Heineken Champions Cup action against Munster Rugby

Exeter Chiefs and Castres Olympique will be hoping to kick-start their Heineken Champions Cup knockout stage prospects with a victory at Sandy Park on Sunday at 15:00 GMT. The match is live on BT Sport and beIN SPORTS.

  • This will be just the second meeting between the two sides after Castres’ victory in Round 2.
  • Exeter are winless in their two home games this season and have never gone three home outings without a victory.
  • Castres have lost their last 15 away games in the Champions Cup.
  • Exeter have spent the most time in possession of any side this season, averaging 22 minutes and 20 seconds per game, while Castres have had the least possession.
  • Exeter’s Santiago Cordero has beaten 31 defenders this season, more than any other player after four rounds.

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Exeter still alive in Heineken Champions Cup after bonus-point success

Sunday 13th January 2019

3:04 pm (GMT)

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Tom O'Flaherty of Exeter Chiefs celebrates with his team mates

Exeter Chiefs kept their Heineken Champions Cup hopes alive after a 34-12 bonus-point win over Castres Olympique at Sandy Park on Sunday.

A superb finish from the returning Jack Nowell gave Exeter the lead inside three minutes. With penalty advantage, Nowell weaved past three Castres defenders and flew clear of the last man for the opening try of the afternoon.

Castres launched an instant response, spreading wide and forcing the overlap, finding Taylor Paris who was able to saunter over the try line.

Exeter dominated territory and possession throughout and made it count minutes later as they found Ollie Devoto who played a terrific pass under pressure to Joe Simmonds, allowing the fly-half to cross the try line with ease.

Lock Jonny Hill then scored the third Exeter try of the afternoon after Nowell – who was named Heineken Man of the Match – got the move underway with another swashbuckling run, riding tackles and reaching the Castres 22. After a number of phases, Hill was able to power his way over the try line at the posts.

Exeter continued their dominance in the second period, with Henry Slade taking the ball 30 metres before kicking behind the Castres line. The ball took a lovely bounce for Tom O’Flaherty who caught the ball on the run and dived over for his first Heineken Champions Cup try.

Thomas Combezou grabbed the second try for the visitors but it was nothing more than a consolation as Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie added further scores for the home side. Castres replacement Tudor Stroe was also sent off in the latter stages for foul play.

That win for the home side means a win against Munster in Thomond Park could be enough to send them into the quarter-finals, while Castres will host Gloucester Rugby.

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