Exeter are European champions after dramatic final against Racing 92

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

Exeter completed a circle in the city where they won promotion to the Premiership 10 years ago. Victory over Bristol at the Memorial Stadium in 2010 took them out of the obscurity of the Championship and they have made progress every season since, culminating in winning the ultimate prize in European rugby after withstanding a late Racing onslaught. The double awaits at Twickenham next weekend.

The Chiefs have become renowned for their mental hardness and after a final in which they again showed their capacity to score tries from close range and keep out opponents, some players were in tears. If, overall, it was not one of Exeter’s most complete performances of the season as they saw an early 14-point lead whittled away to the extent that they were hanging on at the end, a man short after Tomas Francis was sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on, the way they threw everything into defending their line as Racing looked to apply the coup de grace said everything about a side that has replaced arch rivals Saracens as the champions of Europe.

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