|Exeter (26) 47|
|Tries: Hill 2, O’Flaherty, Devoto, Ewers, Penalty, Woodburn Cons: J Simmonds 4, H Skinner|
|Lyon (20) 25|
|Tries: Couilloud, Mignot, Cretin Con: Wisniewski 2 Pen: Wisniewski 2|
Defending champions Exeter survived Lyon’s opening blitz to advance to the final eight of the Champions Cup.
The Chiefs slipped 14-Zero down inside 10 minutes as Xavier Mignot crossed quickly after Baptiste Couilloud.
However a close-range double from Jonny Hill and tries from Tom O’Flaherty and Ollie Devoto reeled within the guests.
Exeter have been quickly out of sight within the second half with Dave Ewers and Olly Woodburn going over as Lyon misplaced coronary heart and form.
The victory units up a blockbuster quarter-final towards bookmakers’ favourites and long-time Professional14 champions Leinster.
Chiefs belatedly hit their stride
Director of rugby Rob Baxter will know the Chiefs could nicely give up their title with a equally gradual begin subsequent weekend.
Lyon burst out of the blocks with Couilloud scampering in after a break by New Zealander Rory Arnold earlier than Charles Ngatai’s mis-pass despatched Mignot in on the nook.
The French guests, sixth within the High 14, had been helped into their flying begin by some uncharacteristic inaccuracy from the Chiefs forwards.
However a stolen line-out and shaky scrum have been quickly changed with their trademark effectivity.
Hill burrowed over twice with Lyon’s fringe defence wanting unprepared for the holders’ pick-and-go excellence.
A training-ground transfer sliced aside Lyon’s backline to permit O’Flaherty to attain earlier than Devoto went over for a fourth attempt on 38 minutes.
Lyon’s early burst meant they have been nonetheless inside a transformed attempt on the break. However Exeter disappeared over the horizon within the second half, with Ewers’ rating adopted by a penalty attempt as Lyon’s scrum, shorn of sin-binned prop Xavier Chiocci, crumbled.
Woodburn dotted down from alternative scrum-half Stu Townsend’s canny kick. The guests completed as they began, Dylan Cretin cantering in on the nook within the ultimate play of the sport – however it was too little too late after their quick begin.
The sight of Joe Simmonds limping out of the motion can be a priority to Chiefs followers with such a decent turnaround to the arrival of four-time winners Leinster at Sandy Park.
Jones’ European double-header
England head coach Eddie Jones headed down the M5 to Sandy Park after watching Wasps’ last-minute defeat towards Clermont Auvergne earlier within the day.
Quantity eight Sam Simmonds – the Premiership’s main try-scorer – did not rating, however made metres within the unfastened and secured an excellent turnover in nearer fight.
Nonetheless, it could be Hill who made the most important impression. The second row began England’s first three video games of the current Six Nations, however dropped to the bench behind Charlie Ewels for the ultimate two matches.
In addition to his two tries, Hill received by means of a stack of tackles and dug in on the breakdown soiled work.
There was no signal of British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland within the stands, however Stuart Hogg and Hill’s second-row companion Jonny Grey additionally shone in performances that may nicely curiosity the New Zealander.
Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter: “We had a type of humorous begins and it proved that we would have liked a sport.
“The very fact is these guys have been away a very long time now. That is solely the second or third sport that Henry Slade or Jonny Hill have featured for us due to their unavailability for internationals.
“And you’ve got the Scotland lads and Tom Francis going backwards and forwards. Couple that with the accidents we have had and you’ve got a much-changed crew.
“We simply wanted that point to align and I am actually happy that is occurred now. We would have liked a sport to provide us an opportunity at being higher subsequent weekend.
“We began the method of enchancment. After this I would count on us to be no less than 10% higher.”
Exeter: Hogg, Woodburn, Slade, Devoto, O’Flaherty, J. Simmonds, J. Maunder, Hepburn, Cowan-Dickie, Williams, Grey, Hill, Ewers, Vermeulen, S. Simmonds.
Replacements: Whitten for Devoto (64), H. Skinner for J. Simmonds (66), Townsend for J. Maunder (55), Moon for Hepburn (47), Yeandle for Cowan-Dickie (51), Francis for Williams (47), S. Skinner for Grey (52), Kirsten for S. Simmonds (61).
Sin bin: Kirsten (78).
Lyon: Arnold, Mignot, Barassi, Ngatai, Nakaitaci, Wisniewski, Couilloud, Devisme, Maurouard, Gomez Kodela, Lambey, Rodda, Cretin, Fainga’a, Sobela.
Replacements: Laporte for Arnold (61), Regard for Ngatai (67), Doussain for Wisniewski (62), Chiocci for Devisme (44), Ivaldi for Maurouard (44), Taufete’e for Gomez Kodela (44), Guillard for Lambey (6), Tulou for Sobela (67).
Sin bin: Devisme (25), Chiocci (57).
Ref: Ben Whitehouse (Wales).
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