Exeter still alive in Heineken Champions Cup after bonus-point success

Exeter Chiefs' Rob Baxter relishing Champions Cup clash at Munster

Exeter Chiefs' Rob Baxter relishing Champions Cup clash at Munster

Exeter kept alive their Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final hopes with a 34-12 bonus-point victory over Castres at Sandy Park.

The try gives them a 24-12 lead at the time of writing with 50 minutes on the clock, but more importantly it secures a bonus-point for the Chiefs.

For Munster, victory or a draw ensures their qualification.

Alternatively a draw or any type of win for the hosts next weekend would send the two-time winners through to the quarter-finals. A win for Exeter today will put them within four points of the Irish province, and if they win in Thomond Park (and stop Munster from getting a losing BP, or get a BP of their own) they will top the group, despite Munster's massive points difference.

All of the other pool leaders are ahead of Munster in the rankings but a win for the French outfit would suit Van Graan's side, providing they win at Thomond.

"When we're playing a relatively high-tempo multi-phase game it doesn't really matter what number he's got on his back". What a game we have to look forward to should Exeter hold on.

"We can genuinely talk this week about going and testing ourselves in one of Europe's iconic venues against one of Europe's iconic teams, in as close to a knockout as we could get".

"It was nearly evident they had a real game-plan to go after certain people within the Gloucester team".

But their response was impressive, as far from going into their shells, they hit back with an equalising try just four minutes later, with Canada worldwide Paris rounding off a slick passing move to cross unopposed.

Exeter failed to win any of their opening three games and would become the first side to qualify for the knock-out stages with that record should they overcome Munster by the required margins.

"It was great to see guys like Jack Nowell back, playing so well", Baxter said. "It's all on next week now, I know the boys will be buzzing from tomorrow to get into it".