Exeter edge Racing 92 in European Champions Cup final thriller

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Bristol (United Kingdom) (AFP)

Exeter beat Racing 92 31-27 in a dramatic Champions Cup final in Bristol on Saturday as the English Premiership club were crowned champions of Europe for the first time in their history.

The Chiefs, who can complete a domestic and European double with victory in next week’s Premiership final, surged into a 14-0 lead only for Racing to pull back to within a point with 15 minutes to go.

A match featuring eight tries was eventually decided when Exeter captain Joe Simmonds kicked a last-minute penalty.

Victory came just 10 years after Exeter were promoted to the English top-flight with a play-off win at the same Ashton Gate ground.

The Chiefs, who can complete a domestic and European double with victory in next week’s Premiership final, surged into a 14-0 lead only for Racing to pull back to within a point with 15 minutes to go.

But there was more drama to come when problems with the stadium match clock saw referee Nigel Owens having to consult with television officials before declaring there was no time left for Racing to kick off and that the match was over.

Both teams scored four tries apiece but Exeter’s greater goalkicking accuracy proved decisive as Racing, still to win the title, suffered a third Champions Cup final defeat.

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