European Rugby Champions Cup: Exeter beat Bordeaux-Begles

Henry Slade looks on as Romain Lonca passes the ball for Bordeaux
England back Henry Slade (left) impressed in the 12 shirt for Exeter
European Rugby Champions Cup Pool Two
Exeter (21) 34
Tries: Woodburn 2, Low, Whitten Con: Slade Pens: Slade 4
Bordeaux (7) 19
Tries: Ducuing, Rey, Lesgourgues Cons: Beauxis, Lonca

Olly Woodburn scored a brace of tries on his European debut as Exeter secured a bonus point win over Bordeaux.

The teams exchanged early tries through Woodburn and Nans Ducuing, but Exeter stretched clear through the boot of Henry Slade and Moray Low's try.

Ian Whitten scored Exeter's third try early in the second half.

And they secured the bonus as Woodburn finished off a counter-attack, Bordeaux bracketing that try with scores from Julien Rey and Yann Lesgourgues.

Exeter looked to play at a high tempo to run Bordeaux's bigger pack of their feet and they took the lead when young England back Slade - who showed some lovely footwork as he impressed in the 10 shirt - landed an early penalty.

The hosts were happy to play from deep and Slade's England team-mate Jack Nowell featured twice before Woodburn, signed from Bath in the summer, crossed in the corner to finish off an 80m attack.

Exeter always looked the livelier side but Bordeaux could never be entirely discounted and they scored a fine try of their own through full-back Ducuing.

However, Scotland prop Low somehow robbed Bordeaux of the ball at a maul near their line to score Exeter's second try and two Slade penalties gave them a 14-point half-time lead.

It was now just a question of whether the hosts could secure the bonus point and they added a third try as Whitten dummied and finished off another pacy attack two minutes into the second half.

And they added a fourth before the hour mark as Woodburn won a turnover, Slade showed his class as he countered from his own 22, and Woodburn was on hand to race over from 40m.

Bordeaux scored tries from Rey and Lesgourgues either side of Woodburn's second, but Exeter were deserved winners.

What they said

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter: "What ultimately won the game for us was the speed and tempo but there were times in the second half when that dropped away a bit and we went a little soft defensively.

"But overall the boys stuck pretty much to plan. I was particularly impressed by the first-half tackle quality because we were up against some big guys.

"We chopped them to ground and made them have to keep getting off the floor which is important when you play big French teams."

Bordeaux-Begles head coach Raphael Ibanez: "It was a tough lesson for the team, we were really struggling in the opening 20 minutes with the pace of the game.

"The most pleasing point was that the players didn't give up and they tried to play some good rugby, even if sometimes it didn't lead to a successful conclusion.

"At least we tried to pass the ball to each other - which is what I wanted to see."


Exeter: Dollman; Nowell, Whitten, Hill, Woodburn; Slade, Chudley; Moon, Yeandle, Low, Parling, Welch, White, Salvi, Johnson.

Replacements: Campagnaro for Woodburn (63), Lewis for Chudley (59), Rimmer for Moon (59), Taione for Yeandle (73), Brown for Low (59), Atkins for Welch (64), Armand for Johnson (51).

Not Used: Steenson.

Bordeaux-Begles: Ducuing; Talebula, Guitoune, Rey, Connor; Beauxis, Lesgourgues; Kitshoff, Avei, Toetu, Le Devedec, Marais, Madaule, Chalmers, Goujon.

Replacements: Serin for Ducuing (70), Brousse for Rey (59), Lonca for Beauxis (48), Taofifenua for Kitshoff (48), Maynadier for Avei (59), Gomez Kodela for Toetu (29), Tauleigne for Goujon (59).

Not Used: Jaulhac.

Att: 11,000

Ref: Leighton Hodges (Wales).