Exeter 34-12 Castres: Chiefs keep their Champions Cup quarterfinal hopes alive with a bonus point win
- The leaders of the Gallagher Premiership still have a huge task to make progress
- Unless they beat Munster in Thomond Park, the Irish team wins Pool Two
- However, the Chiefs still have hope after Jack Nowell, who has the full back
Nik Simon for the Daily Mail
Hang in there. Just. Exeter & # 39; s Champions Cup campaign is alive for another week after Jack Nowell had a perfect comeback.
The English flag flew half-mast in Europe, but the Chiefs still have a chance to join Saracens in the quarter-finals.
They must now beat Munster in Thomond Park on Saturday, either earning a bonus point or preventing the Irish party from winning their own point. Only three teams have delivered such a performance.
Exeter kept their Champions Cup quarterfinal hopes alive with a gain of 34-12 bonus points
However, the majestic return of Nowell would provide Rob Baxter with an extra hint of hope. At his first performance since November, England's winger scored a try against a slow Castres within four minutes.
He started on full back and proved no sign of a hangover from his hamstring injury, but proved that he could become a chance winner of the Six Nations.
& # 39; It was great to see Jack back and play as well & # 39 ;, Baxter said. & # 39; We saw him choosing and going – putting the hand on the ball – much more than a full back would normally do.
& # 39; The way the game went suited him. We looked like a team that had several ways to injure their defense, which was very pleasant. Jack can play almost anywhere on the back line. It does not really matter which number is on his back. & # 39;
The replacement prop of Castres, Tudor Stroe, was sent out midway through the second half
It was an all-action display of the 25-year-old. In defense, he won sales that would take an opener flanker, but his most impressive work was with the ball in hand.
He rushed through tackles, squeezed around defenders and showed a twist of speed for the opening proxy of the Chiefs.
Castres was in the ninth minute right by Taylor Paris, but from there the Devonians were unstoppable. With Tomas Francis delivering a powerful platform on the scrum, the backs tore open the slow French defense.
The Chiefs still keep their quarter-finals and hope they are alive after Jack Nowell's attempts
EXETER: Nowell; Cordero, Slade, Devoto, O & # 39; Flaherty; Simmonds, white; Hepburn, Yeandle (captain), Francis, Dennis, Hill, Skinner, Armand, Kvesic.
REPLACEMENTS: Cowen-Dickie, Moon, Williams, Read, Lonsdale, Maunder, Steenson, Whitten.
attempts: Nowell, Simmonds, Hill, O & # 39; Flaherty, Slade, Cowan-Dickie
CON: Simmonds 2
CASTRES: Palis; Paris, Combezou, Ebersohn (captain), Smith; Urdapilleta, Radosavljevic; Tichit, Jenneker, Kotze, Lassalle, Jacquet, Gerondeau, Delaporte, Vaipulu.
REPLACEMENTS: Firmin, Stroe, M. Clerc, Mafi, Jelonch, Tulou, Vialelle, Kockott.
attempts: Paris, Combezou
We received a good impulse from our wear and in general it was about keeping Castres moving, & # 39; Baxter added.
With a full-reel offload from Ollie Devoto, Joe Simmonds scored the second time in the 17th minute.
If they disrupt the chances in Limerick, they will be the first to reach the knockout stage after they have not won in the first three rounds.
We're talking this week about testing ourselves at one of Europe's iconic locations against one of Europe's iconic teams, & # 39; said Baxter.
Further attempts by Jonny Hill and Tom O & # 39; Flaherty provided a potentially crucial bonus point.
However, Munster will not turn around as easily. Nor will they demonstrate the violence of Tudor Stroe, who got a red card for a forearm at the head of Devoto.
Thomas Combezou had put the French champions to the test, but the numerical advantage of Exeter started when Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie scored two final attempts.
After the rout was completed, the focus quickly turned to the next challenge. Exeter has two days less preparation time than Munster, who played Friday night, but Baxter can not change his hand.
& # 39; It is a strange, & # 39; he said. It does not really seem like the best planning you could offer on the English Premierity side, but we'll take it. & # 39;
Exeter showed a number of switches from the side that beat Premiership opponents Bristol