|Exeter (21) 31|
|Tries: Cowan-Dickie, S Simmonds, Williams, Slade Cons: J Simmonds 4 Pen: J Simmonds|
|Racing 92 (12) 27|
|Tries: Zebo 2, Imhoff, Chat Cons: Russell, Machenaud Pen: Machenaud|
Exeter Chiefs had simply sufficient to maintain Racing 92 at bay to clinch their first Champions Cup title in an exciting closing at Ashton Gate.
Luke-Cowan Dickie, Sam Simmonds and Harry Williams barged over to offer Exeter a nine-point lead on the break.
But Racing roared again with Simon Zebo’s second try to Camille Chat’s surge bringing them inside a degree.
Exeter, right down to 14 males after Tomas Francis’ late yellow card, held out heroically to raise the title.
A breathless closing 10 minutes featured Racing hammering via the phases inside 5 metres of the road, Exeter substitute Sam Hidalgo-Clyne securing a turnover beneath the shadow of personal posts and Joe Simmonds touchdown a penalty with the final act of the match.
Even then the drama was not over.
The match clock initially confirmed that three seconds remained for Racing to restart and mount a closing assault. However, after consulting along with his crew officers, Owens confirmed that the clock had not restarted when Simmonds was lining up his penalty and that he might blow as much as spark delirious celebrations.
The victory marks the fruits of a outstanding decade for Exeter, who received promotion to the Premiership for the primary time again in 2010 in a play-off match throughout Bristol on the metropolis’s Memorial Stadium.
They will try to finish a double subsequent weekend once they tackle Wasps within the Premiership closing.
Styles make matches
The conflict of types was clear as quickly because the groups emerged right into a coronavirus-enforced empty Ashton Gate.
Racing 92 trotted onto the pitch sporting pink bow-ties, in a nod to the Parisians’ fast-living free-running previous.
Exeter marched out in business-like style, grim-faced and ahead trying, via a gauntlet of their replacements and backroom workers.
Racing introduced bursts of color and panache, however the Chiefs’ mastery of close-range trench warfare finally stored them one step forward all through an exciting contest.
Racing scrum-half Teddy Iribaren had the possibility to offer his aspect an early platform. Instead he screwed a penalty lifeless as he aimed for the nook and 5 minutes later Cowan-Dickie pressured his approach via the center of a pushed maul for the primary attempt.
Iribaren’s eccentricities continued as he handed blind to place Juan Imhoff beneath stress earlier than Russell juggled in his personal in-goal space. Racing put themselves beneath stress and Exeter gleefully pressed them past breaking level.
Sam Simmonds barged via reverse quantity Antonie Claassen on the finish of a collection of short-range bursts from his fellow forwards.
Fourteen factors forward with solely 16 minutes gone, Exeter chairman Tony Rowe regarded like he was struggling to maintain his enjoyment of examine within the stands.
But Racing refused to go quietly.
Russell’s cut-out move tempted Tom O’Flaherty out of place and opened a path to the nook for Zebo earlier than Imhoff ghosted via the perimeter defence to chop the hole to 2 factors.
Harry Williams crossed on the stroke of half-time for Chiefs however Zebo, out of contract subsequent summer season, confirmed his high quality with one other highly effective end to maintain the French aspect inside a rating early within the second half.
Ultimately although, Racing’s errors undermined their brilliance.
Two minutes after Zebo’s second, with the momentum with the French aspect, Scotland fly-half Russell threw a looping mis-pass simply exterior his personal 22m. It might have sprung a counter-attack. Instead it was picked off by an alert Jack Nowell who put Henry Slade beneath the posts.
That rating moved Exeter to 28 factors, a complete Racing might by no means overhaul regardless of Chat’s bulldozing try to their late stress.
Exeter: Hogg; Nowell, Slade, Whitten, O’Flaherty; J Simmonds (capt), Maunder; Hepburn, Cowan-Dickie, Williams, Gray, Hill, Ewers, Vermeulen, S Simmonds.
Replacements: Yeandle, Moon, Francis, Skinner, Kirsten, Hidalgo-Clyne, Steenson, Devoto.
Racing 92: Zebo; Dupichot, Vakatawa, Chavancy (capt), Imhoff; Russell, Iribaren; Ben Arous, Chat, Colombe, Le Roux, Bird, Lauret, Sanconnie, Claassen.
Replacements: Baubigny, Kolingar, Oz, Ryan, Palu, Machenaud, Klemenczak, Beale.