Exeter thump Lyon to advance to quarterfinals
MATCH REPORT: Exeter Chiefs thumped Lyon 47-25 in their Champions Cup play-off at Sandy Park on Saturday.
The defending champions secured a Champions Cup quarterfinal berth and a clash against Leinster next weekend, but it didn’t always look so likely.
Tries from Toby Arnold and Xavier Mignot in the opening 10 minutes gave Lyon a shock 14-0 lead, and when Jonny Hill hit back for the hosts, Jonathan Wisniewski slotted over a three-pointer to put Lyon 17-5 ahead on 18 minutes.
Hill then grabbed his second of the afternoon, again powering over from close range.
The remarkable comeback was completed just before the break when Olly Woodburn first found the hole and hit Tom O’Flaherty for the try in the corner.
Then Ollie Devoto had the simple job of scoring at the posts due to the Exeter power play that proved much too strong for Lyon all afternoon.
The second half continued in similar fashion with Jonny Gray again breaking through the line as Exeter worked across and found Dave Ewers who dived over with ease.
Exeter then sewed up proceedings with a penalty try and a seventh score soon followed with Stuart Townsend kicking in behind and finding Olly Woodburn in all sorts of space to dot down at the sticks.
Dylan Cretin would score a consolation five-pointer with the clock in the red but that was all it proved to be as Exeter ran out ready winners.
They will now face Leinster next weekend at Sandy Park in a mouthwatering Champions Cup quarterfinal.
Tries: Hill 2, O’Flaherty, Devoto, Ewers, Penalty Try, Woodburn.
Cons: J Simmonds 4, Skinner
Tries: Couilloud, Mignot, Cretin
Cons: Wisniewski 2
Pens: Wisniewski 2
Yellow cards: Vivien Devisme (Lyon, 26 – collapsing the maul); Xavier Chiocci (Lyon, 58 – scrum infringement); Jannes Kirsten (Exeter Chiefs, 79 – tripping an opponent)
Exeter: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ollie Devoto, 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 Tomas Francis, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Jannes Kirsten, 21 Stu Townsend, 22 Harvey Skinner, 23 Ian Whitten.
Lyon: 15 Toby Arnold, 14 Xavier Mignot, 13 Pierre-Louis Barassi, 12 Charlie Ngatai (captain), 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Baptiste Couilloud, 8 Patrick Sobela, 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Dylan Cretin, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Felix Lambey, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Jeremie Maurouard, 1 Vivien Devisme.
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Joe Taufete’e, 19 Mickael Guillard, 20 Alex Tulou, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Thibaut Regard, 23 Clément Laporte.
Referee: Ben Whitehouse
Assistant referee: Greg Macdonald, Jonathan Healy
TMO: Ian Davies