Amlin Challenge Cup: Exeter Chiefs 31-14 Perpignan

Exeter have reached their quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup with a convincing victory over Perpignan.

Tries from Charles Geli and Joffrey Michel, both converted by James Hook, gave the visitors a 14-point lead.

But 11 points from the boot of Ignacio Mieres and a Haydn Thomas try turned the game on its head to give the hosts a 16-14 half-time lead.

Exeter scored 15 points without reply after the break thanks to tries from Brett Sturgess and James Phillips.

Mieres added another penalty and Gareth Steenson kicked a conversion.

Exeter, who only needed a draw to progress, finish top of Pool Four with 23 points from six matches.


Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter told BBC Radio Devon:

"No-one is going to say it came easy, 14 points down is tough to come back from in any game. But we did it in such a pressured game. We kept our composure and kept working hard, we did a lot of good things today.

"If you go through the players involved today you'd struggle to find anyone who didn't have a very big impact on the game.

"They were a big old team, Perpignan, and we kept battering away and battering away and we found space and found momentum.

"We played some real good rugby, created some opportunities, took some of them and kept the scoreboard ticking over and we kept our composure when they started to crumble."


Exeter Chiefs: Arscott; Camacho, Sestaret, Shoemark, Jess; Mieres, Thomas; Sturgess, Clark, Andress, Hayes, Muldowney, Johnson, Scaysbrook, Baxter.

Replacements: Dollman for Arscott (71), Steenson for Mieres (65), Barrett for Thomas (40), Tui for Sturgess (72), Mitchell for Andress (59), Phillips for Muldowney (67), White for Scaysbrook (76). Not Used: Alcott.

Perpignan: Michel; Sid, Marty, Hume, Plante; Hook, Mele; Freshwater, Geli, Bourrust, Taofifenua, Tchale Watchou, Britz, Perez, Bezian

Replacements: Porical for Michel (58), Laharrague for Hook (70), Cazenave for Mele (64), Schuster for Freshwater (55), Guirado for Geli (55), Pulu for Bourrust (40), Tincu for Tchale-Watchou (71), Olibeau for Bezian (45).

Sin Bin: Tchale-Watchou (28), Perez (78).

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland).

Attendance: 7,996