Another South African double in Europe
EUROPEAN CUP REPORT: Sunday was a good day for South African players in Europe.
Just hours after Cheslin Kolbe stepped his way past several defenders for a try-double in Toulouse’s demolition of Ulster, utility forward Jacques Vermeulen equalled the fleet-footed back’s exploits.
Vermeulen scored twice as Exeter Chiefs booked their place in the Champions Cup semifinals for the first time – defeating a dogged Northampton Saints side 38-15 at Sandy Park on Sunday.
Exeter will now face Toulouse at Sandy Park next Saturday in the Champions Cup semifinals.
* Did you miss any of the action? To recap all the drama, CLICK HERE!
The Saints kept in touch throughout and were only four points down at the break, but three tries from Exeter in the second period ensured they would run out convincing winners.
Northampton led early through a Dan Biggar penalty kick but Exeter would soon take a lead they would keep for the remainder of the match.
The Saints forced an initial turnover but Exeter snatched the ball at the scrum and as ball was played wide, Henry Slade weaved in and out of two Northampton defenders before handing to Jack Maunder who wriggled over the try line.
Jacques Vermeulen then powered over of the first of his two tries, but Northampton captain Tiemana Harrison helped the visitors get within four at the break after diving over the try line following a powerful driving maul.
The hosts would take over in the second period and soon moved further clear through the slippery Jack Nowell, who slalomed past two or three Northampton defenders and was somehow able to dot down at the posts.
They soon added a fourth try after a looping line-out allowed Jonny Hill to reach around and he was strong enough to reach over and grab another for the hosts.
Northampton wasn’t finished with and after an efficient line-out, Fraser Dingwall hit a tremendous line, beating two men and scoring in the corner.
The scoring was ended on 78 minutes as Vermeulen burst through the tiring Northampton line, with replacement flyhalf Gareth Steenson making the tricky conversion.
Chiefs TV – We catch up with Star of the Match Jacques Vermeulen, moments after the final whistle of our 38-15 European Rugby Champions Cup Quarter-Final victory over Northampton Saints pic.twitter.com/DKvI6lSBQG
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) September 20, 2020
For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries: Maunder, Vermeulen 2, Nowell, Hill
Cons: J Simmonds 4, Steenson
For Northampton Saints:
Tries: Harrison, Dingwall
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Joe Simmonds (captain), 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Jonny Gray, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Alec Hepburn.
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Tom Francis, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Jannes Kirsten, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Ollie Devoto.
Northampton Saints: 15 George Furbank, 14 Matt Proctor, 13 Fraser Dingwall, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Ahsee Tuala, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Henry Taylor, 8 Teimana Harrison (captain), 7 Lewis Ludlam, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Manny Iyogun.
Replacements: 16 James Fish, 17 Alex Seville, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Alex Moon, 20 Nick Isiekwe, 21 Shaun Adendorff, 22 Alex Mitchell, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro.
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce (England), Tom Foley (England)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)