Exeter Chiefs 34-19 Bordeaux Begles: Woodburn brace secures bonus-point win for Chiefs
Tries from Olly Woodburn and Moray Low combined with 11-points from the boot of Henry Slade gave the Chiefs a 21-7 lead at half-time
Ian Whitten scored the hosts third try two minutes after the restart before Woodburn’s second score secured the bonus point and the victory
The visitors scored three superb tries of their own through Nans Ducuing, Julien Rey and Yann Lesgourgues but never looked as if they were ever going to leave Sandy Park with the win
Seven tries were scored in an entertaining clash as Exeter Chiefs steamed to an impressive 34-19 European Champions’ Cup bonus-point win over Bordeaux-Begles at Sandy Park.
An end-to-end start saw Olly Woodburn and Moray Low go in for Exeter, Nans Ducuing with Bordeaux’s reply. Lionel Beauxis converted, while Henry Slade added a conversion on top of an earlier penalty. Slade then kicked another three-pointer shortly after, before notching his third of the evening on the stroke of half time to leave the hosts with a 21-7 interval lead.
Tries came thick and fast after the restart as Ian Whitten and Julien Rey traded scores, before Woodburn and Yann Lesgourgues did the same either side of the hour mark, Romain Lonca with the only further conversion to leave Chiefs defending a 31-19 lead with 18 minutes to play. Slade then notched another penalty eight minutes from time to seal the points.
With Chiefs looking for a quick recovery from disappointing 25-13 defeat at Ospreys last week, they bounced into an early lead on the back of a purposeful start.
Slade kicked a penalty on eight minutes after a scrum collapse before RUCK Man of the Match Woodburn went in on the return set, benefiting from slick interplay by Tom Johnson and Jack Nowell.
Slade, shifted into fly half from centre after last week’s opening-round defeat, hit the post with his conversion attempt and Bordeaux closed to within a point on 15 minutes as Beauxis converted Ducuing’s spread-play score from the touchline.
But prop Low got over for a rare try within seconds, Chiefs regathering the restart before sending the Scotsman in on the back of a driving maul, Slade adding his only conversion of the night. Those proved to be the last points of the half until he added a penalty with seconds left of the first 40.
With a 14-point lead to protect, Rob Baxter’s men quickly set about extending their advantage as Whitten went in on 42 minutes after fine set-up play from skilful Number 8 Johnson, heavily involved in a second try of the game.
Slade failed to add the two and Rey struck back with aplomb to give the home side food for thought.
But Woodburn ripped down the wing for his side’s final try of the game to leave Bordeaux with a big scoreline to swallow.
‘Begles did all they could, replying with a try through Lesgourgues just after the hour, which Lonca converted, to bring the French visitors to within 12 points.
But no further tries were forthcoming as Slade kicked his 14th point of the night to round off the scoring late on.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Exeter Chiefs: Olly Woodburn
The 24-year-old looks to be settling well into his new surroundings after a January move from Bath. The 6ft 2in wing or centre finished a successful night’s work with two well-taken tries which proved crucial in the end.
Exeter: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Tom Johnson, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Ben White, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Geoff Parling, 3 Moray Low, 2 Jack Yeandle (capt), 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Don Armand, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Michele Campagnaro.
Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Nans Ducuing, 14 Metuisela Talebulamaijaina, 13 Sofiane Guitoune, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Loann Goujon, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Louis Madaule, 5 Jan Andre Marais (c), 4 Julien Le Devedec, 3 Patrick Toetu, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Clement Maynadier, 17 Sébastien Taofifenua, 18 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 19 Adam Jaulhac, 20 Marco Tauleigne, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Romain Lonca, 23 Charles Brousse.
Date: Saturday, November 21
Venue: Sandy Park
Kick-off: 19:15 GMT
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Gwyn Morris (Wales), Greg Morgan (Wales)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)