Exeter are European champions after dramatic final against Racing 92

  • Final: Exeter 31-27 Racing 92
  • Chiefs stand firm after Racing fightback

Exeter’s success has been based as much on their ability to defend their line as the capacity to score from 10 metres out. The key to a victory that keeps the Champions Cup in England came four minutes from the end when, defending a one-point lead with a player in the sin-bin, they held out as Racing camped on their line and ended the siege when a replacement, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, won a penalty on his line to clinch one of the more enterprising European finals.

Pressure penetrates even the experienced. Teddy Iribaren, one of Racing’s survivors from the 2017 final defeat to Leinster, will struggle to avoid replaying the first 11 minutes in his mind in the weeks to come. There are prime rules to observe against Exeter, two of which are not to mess around in your own half and to take every opportunity to exert pressure.

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