Simmonds siblings put Chiefs within sight of Euro play-offs
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Brothers Sam and Joe Simmonds scored 21 of Exeter’s points as they took a step towards a place in the European Champions Cup quarterfinals on Sunday with an 35-10 home victory over Sale.
No.8 Sam, 25, crossed twice and flyhalf Joe, 22, scored once and kicked three conversions in a game which was briefly suspended during the final quarter due to a hail storm at Sandy Park.
The victory moves the Chiefs 10 points clear of Glasgow at the top of Pool Two ahead of the final couple of rounds of the campaign in January and ends the Sharks’ hopes of last-eight spot.
Man of the Match goes to @samsimmonds_ who is back to his pre-injury dynamic best.
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) December 15, 2019
Scotland’s Stuart Hogg started for the hosts despite suffering a head injury last weekend but South Africa’s World Cup winning scrum-half Faf de Klerk missed out for the visitors.
The Sharks took a 3-0 after 17 minutes as US flyhalf AJ MacGinty slotted a penalty goal before the Chiefs responded with three tries by the hour mark.
Loose forward Sam scored four minutes later as Joe converted.
The flyhalf crossed five minutes into the second half before his older brother doubled his tally for the game after 56 minutes.
Centre Sam James’s converted try closed the deficit to 11 points on 61 minutes before a heavy hailstorm forced referee Pierre Brousset to send the players back into the changing rooms.
They returned to the field five minutes later and the Chiefs tied up the bonus point as prop Ben Moon and England winger Jack Nowell scored.
Later on Sunday, Clermont can also move within sight of a knockout spot with victory over winless Bath in Pool Three.
On Saturday, record four-time winners Leinster produced a stunning seven-try, 50-21 victory against Northampton to become the first team ever to qualify for the quarter-finals after just four rounds.
For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries: S Simmonds 2, J Simmonds, Moon, Nowell
Cons: J Simmonds 3, Steenson 2
For Sale Sharks:
Yellow card: Curtis Langdon (Sale Sharks, 49)
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Ian Whitten, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Nic White, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Dave Dennis (captain), 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Alec Hepburn.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Marcus Street, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Don Armand, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Olly Woodburn.
Sale Sharks: 15 Cameron Redpath, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Sam James, 12 Luke James, 11 Byron McGuigan, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Ben Curry, 6 Tom Curry, 5 James Phillips, 4 Matthew Postlewhaite, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Curtis Langdon, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Valery Morozov, 18 WillGriff John, 19 Bryn Evans, 20 Cameron Neild, 21 Gus Warr, 22 Tom Curtis, 23 Marland Yarde.
Referee: Pierre Brousset (France)
Assistant referees: Tual Trainini (France), Laurent Cordona (France)
TMO: Éric Briquet Campin (France)