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Heineken Champions Cup: Exeter Chiefs knocked out by Leinster

Heineken Champions Cup: Exeter Chiefs knocked out by Leinster

Exeter (14) 22
Tries: O Flaherty (2), Ewers Con: J Simmonds (2), Pen: J Simmonds
Leinster (20) 34
Tries: Lowe, Larmour (2) Cons: Sexton, Byrne Pens: Byrne (5)

Defending champions Exeter Chiefs were knocked out of the Champions Cup by Leinster in a gripping quarter-final.

His replacement Ross Byrne made a crucial contribution by kicking 17 points including five penalties.

One try from James Lowe and two from Jordan Larmour saw the Irish side battle back to move into the last four.

Exeter’s defeat and Sale’s loss to La Rochelle earlier mean there will be no English sides in this year’s semi-finals.

The Chiefs made an outstanding start to go 14-0 ahead after only seven minutes, with O’Flaherty slicing through Leinster’s defence twice to score tries converted by fly-half Joe Simmonds.

But Leinster gathered themselves and began their fightback soon after, when a brilliant offload by Hugo Keenan gave Lowe the chance to dive over in the corner for a try that Sexton claimed the extra points for with a fine conversion.

Sexton was replaced by Byrne after failing a head injury assessment, but Leinster shook off the loss of their captain when Larmour touched down in the corner.

Byrne converted and then soon afterwards kicked the first of his five penalties, with Exeter going into half-time with a 20-14 lead.

Exeter were back within a point just two minutes into the second half when flanker Dave Ewers was driven over from a lineout for his fourth try in four consecutive games.

But Larmour extended Leinster’s lead with a brilliant effort, managing to wrest himself over the line by the corner flag despite being under immense pressure in a tackle by Simmonds.

More penalties from the accurate Byrne saw Leinster stretch their lead in the closing stages, with Exeter unable to consistently threaten the Irish side’s line.

Source: BBC

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