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Sunday Apr 2, 2023

Wild Scenes In Exeter As Chiefs Scrape Into Quarterfinal Despite Montpellier Draw

Top 14 side Montpellier travelled to Sandy Park in Exeter to tackle the Chiefs in their round of 16 clash.

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In what would prove to be an all-time Heineken Champions Cup classic, it would take a full overtime period to confirm who would progress.

Despite being a man down due to number eight Zach Mercer being sent off, Montpellier put the Chiefs under immense pressure in a mightily impressive showing.

Trailing by three points with the clock in the red, Italian international Paolo Garbisi snuck over a penalty kick for Montpellier which would send the game to overtime.

Now clearly in the ascendancy having trailed for much of the contest, Montpellier would score the first try in the 20-minute extra time window.

Seemingly locked in for a historic win and a trip to Cape Town to tackle the Stormers, Phillippe Saint-Andre’s side let it all go as Exeter’s Jack Yeandle burrowed over for a try that brought the scores back to 33 – 31.

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Chiefs flyhalf Joe Simmonds would slot the conversion to bring the scores to 33 – 33 and with it send the Chiefs through to the quarterfinals.

Despite ending in a draw, the Chiefs would progress due to the rule that the home side progresses in the event of a draw at fulltime.

Having seen Irish giants Munster fall foul of a penalty shootout at the end of their titanic semi-final battle last season with Toulouse. The new rules that remove the penalty shootout will have Montpellier ruing what might have been.

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