Exeter bounce back against UBB

Date published: November 21 2015

Exeter Chiefs took away maximum points from their late kick-off against Bordeaux-Bègles to bounce back in the Champions Cup with a 34-19 win.

The Premiership outfit finished with four tries, including two for new signing Olly Woodburn as he grabbed his first points for his new club since joining from Bath.

UBB have struggled to score tries this season but finished with three of their own in an open contest at Sandy Park, although the closest they got to the Chiefs was when trailing 8-7 in the first half.

Eddie Jones, the new England head coach, will have been encouraged by the performances of Exeter's young guns in the backline, with Henry Slade, Jack Nowell and Sam Hill all making an impression.

An out-of-sorts performance last Sunday away to the Ospreys marked a poor start to Exeter's Champions Cup hopes but they blew off those cobwebs with 21 points in the first half alone.

Slade, deployed at fly-half, struck with an early penalty before Exeter produced the first five-pointer.

Nowell was a constant threat for Exeter every time he touched the ball and it was his break that led to their first try, and a first for the club from winger Woodburn.

Nowell's offload to Tom Johnson put Exeter behind the defence and simple but well-executed hands from Phil Dollman and Ben White released Woodburn away down the touchline.

Bordeaux's start was far from convincing but they shifted the ball well to release full-back Nans Ducuing for their first try in over 300 minutes this season to hit right back.

However Exeter responded instantly, getting their maul rolling near to the Bordeaux-Bègles line before tighthead prop Moray Low came up with the ball at the bottom of the pile.

Slade converted and added a penalty to stretch Exeter's lead to 18-7 before a rare miss from Lionel Beauxis let the Chiefs off the hook.

Rising star Slade had no such issues with his third penalty attempt right on half-time, converting to give Exeter a 21-7 advantage going into the break.

Exeter centre Ian Whitten made it three tries for the Chiefs soon after the interval by rounding off a well-worked attack that started from Sam Hill's line break, in an ominous early sign for the French visitors.

Excellent defence from Woodburn and Dollman prevented Ducuing from scoring a second try for UBB as he was bundled into touch inches short of the line.

Bordeaux-Bègles didn't have to wait long – Julien Rey crossing after he broke Ben Moon's tackle to bust through the defensive line to make it 26-12.

A brilliant length-of-the-field break which was all started by Slade on his own 22 after dancing past the UBB tacklers. His break led to Will Chudley releasing Woodburn for his second try to cap off a stunning counter-attack.

Brilliant interplay from UBB led to Yann Lesgourgues scoring the visitors' third try after they first went wide before delivering two smart inside passes to put the scrum-half into space.

Only an outstanding bit of defence from Romain Lonca to punch the ball out of Whitten's hands prevented Exeter from scoring a fifth try but the job was already long complete, with Exeter winning by 15 points and making up ground in Pool 2 to go top before the Ospreys' game with Clermont on Sunday.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Tries: Woodburn 2, Low, Whitten
Con: Slade
Pens: Slade 4

For Bordeaux-Bègles:
Tries: Ducuing, Rey, Lesgourges
Cons: Beauxis, Lonca
Pens: Slade 2

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.

Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Gwyn Morris (Wales), Greg Morgan (Wales)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)