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PREVIEW: Horstmann ready for key Chiefs clash

Wednesday 13th January 2016

12:00 am (GMT)

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Kai Horstmann believes "everything is open" for Exeter Chiefs as they target a place in the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-finals for the first time. - 13/01/2016 14:55

Kai Horstmann believes "everything is open" for Exeter Chiefs as they target a place in the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-finals for the first time. - 13/01/2016 14:55

Kai Horstmann believes “everything is open” for Exeter Chiefs as they target a place in the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-finals for the first time.

The Chiefs travel to France to face Bordeaux-Begles in a fiercely contested Pool 2 knowing a win would send them home to Sandy Park to face the Ospreys with a last eight place on the line.

Rob Baxter’s men have two wins and two defeats from their four games so far and are sitting four points behind leaders Clermont Auvergne.

Concluding the pool stage with back-to-back wins would give the Chiefs a great chance of securing at least a best runners-up spot and they can take confidence from a fine win over Bordeaux earlier in the competition.

With the Chiefs also flying high in the Aviva Premiership, confidence is high and flanker Horstmann is looking forward to what could be a defining period in their season and one which they struggled to handle 12 months ago.

“We are getting better and better at resetting each week and adapting to the different competitions,” he said. “This was a period of the season where we came unstuck a bit last season but we are constantly learning.

“We have strong characters in the squad. This is a big journey for us but we are going in the right direction. There is no respite but it is exciting to go into a new situation. Everything is open for us and that is a good place to be for the squad. I still get excited about these games, you have to love what you do. 

“I enjoy coming to work every day, there is plenty out there for us as a team until the end of the season so let’s go out there and get it.”

But the Chiefs will be wary of a lively Bordeaux side, who saw off the Ospreys in a thrilling encounter last month.

Match Facts

  • Exeter have won twice in eight away games in the Champions Cup with both of those wins coming in Wales.
  • This will be Exeter’s fourth consecutive game against French opposition.
  • Bordeaux have lost 15 of their last 17 European games against English sides (including Challenge Cup), with both of those wins coming against London Welsh.
  • Olly Woodburn scored two tries in the reverse fixture between these sides, one of just two occasions an Exeter player has scored a brace in a Champions Cup game (Thomas Waldrom 2 v Clermont in week 3).


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REPORT: Bordeaux see-off Chiefs comeback

Saturday 16th January 2016

12:00 am (GMT)

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Eliminés mais absolument pas résignés

Eliminés mais absolument pas résignés

Marco Tauleigne crossed for a late try to give Bordeaux-Begles a crucial 34-27 bonus-point victory over Exeter Chiefs.

The result means all four sides in Pool 2 are still alive in the competition heading into round six. Ospreys sit at the summit with 16 points, two ahead of ASM Clermont Auvergne, but Exeter and Bordeaux can still make it into the final eight if results go their way.

Tauleigne scored the winning try nine minutes from time after Adam Ashley-Cooper, Blair Conor, Louis-Benoit Madaule and Benat Auzqui had crossed earlier. Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter had made 13 changes to the side that beat Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership yet Exeter took the lead inside three minutes through the boot of Hooley.

Matt Jess made an early break and Elvis Taione was denied a score on the line. However Bordeaux dominated possession and took the lead with two tries in quick succession. Former Wallaby, Ashley-Cooper, picked up a loose ball from Julien Rey’s break to cross on 13 minutes. Connor then followed just three minutes later from Pierre Bernard’s pass.

Fly-half Bernard missed with both conversions to limit Bordeaux’s lead to 10-3 though was successful with his third effort with a 23rd minute penalty. Exeter were struggling for possession but hit back with a classic counter attack. McGuigan ran back a loose kick before sending scrum-half Lewis racing over.

Hooley’s conversion made it a three-point game but Bordeaux’s response was immediate. Yann Lesgourges’s burst along the left-hand touchline ended with captain Madaule driving over. Yet Exeter again found a way back as Michele Campagnaro released McGuigan for a try that Hooley converted before adding a penalty to level the scores on the stroke of half-time.

Exeter were again forced to defend at the start of the second half as McGuigan prevented Metuisela Talebula touching down. However Bordeaux’s forwards set up a driving maul from a lineout that ended with replacement hooker Auzqui touching down on 56 minutes for the bonus point and Lionel Beauxis converted.

Exeter took just three minutes to respond again when Bodily finished a sweeping attack.
Olly Woodburn found space before exchanging passes with Bodily who raced clear to score before the hour mark.

Hooley’s conversion tied the scores at 27-27 but the fly-half was binned in the 67th minute for infringing at a ruck as Bordeaux attacked. Ashley-Cooper had a second try ruled out by the video official but replacement back-row Tauleigne broke clear a moment later for the decisive score.

Exeter had late chances and were helped when Bordeaux were reduced to 14 men for the final four minutes with a yellow card for prop Sebastien Taofifenua. But Chiefs could not find a scoring pass to claim either a bonus point or the draw.

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