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Heineken Champions Cup holders Exeter Chiefs will be hoping to maintain their chances of winning back-to-back European titles when they host TOP 14 outfit Lyon.
The defending champions started their 2020/21 defence with a 42-0 demolition of Guinness PRO14 side Glasgow Warriors in the opening round of fixtures before conceding a fixture to Toulouse
Lyon, meanwhile, topped Heineken Champions Cup Pool B after an equally dominating 55-10 win over Gallagher Premiership side Gloucester Rugby, before being awarded their round two contest against Glasgow.
This will be the first meeting between the two sides in European action and you can watch it all live on BT Sport in the United Kingdom and beIN SPORTS in France from 17:30 (UK and Irish time).
Exeter Chiefs; 7th Heineken Champions Cup Pool B; 5 points
Lyon; 1st Heineken Champions Cup Pool B; 10 points
This will be the first meeting between Exeter and Lyon in European competition.
Can the French side deny them a spot in the quarter-finals? 👀
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) March 31, 2021
Leading 2020/21 points-scorers
Exeter Chiefs: Joe Simmonds (12)
Lyon: Xavier Mignot (15)
Joe Simmonds (Exeter): “It’s definitely an exciting prospect. We watched the draw as a squad and have never come up against Lyon before, so this is a good challenge. From playing Toulouse and Racing last year, the thing that stands out about French sides is their running game and they’re very good at offloads going into contact. They keep the ball moving, which is something we like to do at Exeter but those French sides definitely seem to have a lot of threats all across the board.”
- Reigning Heineken Champions Cup champions, Exeter, have won their last seven home games in a row in the tournament, one more win would set a club record for consecutive home wins in Europe (across both the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup).
- Exeter have won their last five completed fixtures against French opponents in the Champions Cup, as many as they had recorded in all of their previous 15 such matches.
- Lyon are playing their first ever knock-out match in European competition, they will be looking for a first Heineken Champions Cup victory away from home (L6, exc. Round 2 fixture v Glasgow).
- Exeter beat Glasgow 42-0 in Round 1 earlier this season, their biggest ever win in the Heineken Champions Cup.
- Lyon are the only side to win all of their lineouts (11/11) and scrums (4/4) in the Heineken Champions Cup so far this season.
- Exeter have won 100% of their rucks in the Heineken Champions Cup this season (82/82), no other side has a perfect rate in this facet of the game.
- Sam Simmonds (Exeter) has won a joint high four turnovers in the Heineken Champions Cup this season, despite playing just one game, he also scored a try and made 8/8 tackles in that one appearance.
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Exeter Chiefs scored seven tries but were made to come from 14-0 down against a dogged Lyon side to eventually see off the French outfit 47-25 at Sandy Park on Saturday afternoon.
The defending champions secured a Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final berth and a clash against Leinster Rugby next weekend, but it didn’t always look so likely.
Tries from Toby Arnold and Xavier Mignot in the opening 10 minutes gave Lyon a shock 14-0 lead, and when Jonny Hill hit back for the hosts, Jonathan Wisniewski slotted over a three-pointer to put Lyon 17-5 ahead on 18 minutes.
Hill then grabbed his second of the afternoon, again powering over from close range.
The Chiefs have flipped the switch 🙌
After a shaky start, they've fought their way back into it!
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) April 3, 2021
The remarkable comeback was completed just before the break when Olly Woodburn first found the hole and hit Tom O’Flaherty for the try in the corner.
Then Ollie Devoto had the simple job of scoring at the posts due to the Exeter power play that proved much too strong for Lyon all afternoon.
The second half continued in similar fashion with Jonny Gray again breaking through the line as Exeter worked across and found Dave Ewers who dived over with ease.
Look at that clever little kick from Stuart Townsend ✨
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) April 3, 2021
Exeter then sewed up proceedings with a penalty try and a seventh score soon followed with Stuart Townsend kicking in behind and finding Olly Woodburn in all sorts of space to dot down at the sticks.
Dylan Cretin would score a consolation five-pointer with the clock in the red but that was all it proved to be as Exeter ran out ready winners.
They will now face Leinster Rugby next weekend at Sandy Park in a mouth-watering Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final.