Exeter Chiefs became the first English side to ever win in Bordeaux as they picked up their first Champions Cup win with a 20-12 victory.
The Devon side scored tries through Thomas Waldrom and Luke Cowan-Dickie to secure a 20-12 win in the south of France. Bordeaux’s only scores came from the tee, with Lionel Beauxis slotting three before Baptiste Serin added a fourth.
After missing an early drop goal attempt, it took 25 minutes for Bordeaux’s Beauxis to open the scoring with a penalty from distance. Soon after, Mitch Lees found himself being sent to the sin bin having been pinged in the ruck, allowing the French fly-half to double the home side’s lead.
Waldrom then gave the Chiefs a half-time lead after excellent play from Henry Slade was followed by the number eight burrowing his way over the whitewash, before the fly-half added the extras.
Beauxis’ third penalty restored the hosts’ lead shortly after the break, but Nans Ducuing’s red card for clattering Olly Woodburn in the air meant they would have to see the game out with 14 men on the field.
Cowan-Dickie’s try came after Slade and Serin had exchanged penalties, when the hooker picked from the back of a ruck to score around the corner. Slade’s conversion made the score 17-12 with 10 minutes remaining, when Greg Holmes returned from a 10-minute stint in the sin bin.
The French side went close to regaining the lead when a quick move through the hands saw the teenaged Geoffrey Cros reach for the corner, only to spill the ball under the challenge of Exeter’s Woodburn. Slade’s final penalty snatched a losing bonus point away from Raphael Ibanez’s side, as the 79th minute kick took the Chiefs eight points clear.
Pens: Beauxis 3, Serin
Red Card: Ducuing
For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries: Waldrom, Cowan-Dickie
Cons: Slade 2
Pens: Slade 2
Yellow Cards: Lees, Holmes
Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Geoffrey Cros, 14 Nans Ducuing, 13 Romain Lonca, 12 Joe Wakacegu, 11 Jean-Baptiste Dubié, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Julien Audy, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Joe Edwards, 6 Loann Goujon, 5 Berend Botha, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Marc Clerc, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Sébastien Taofifenua
Replacements: 16 Benat Auzqui, 17 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 18 Xerom Civil, 19 Cyril Cazeaux, 20 Louis Madaule, 21 Gauthier Doubrere, 22 Baptiste Serin, 23 Jean-Marcellin Buttin
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Kai Horstmann (c), 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Ollie Atkins, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Carl Rimmer
Replacement: 16 Shaun Malton, 17 Moray Low, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Don Armand, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 Michele Campagnaro
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Stuart Gaffikin (Ireland), Richard Kerr (Ireland)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)