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Heineken Champions Cup: Exeter Chiefs through on tries scored | Saracens, Toulouse win as well

Exeter Chiefs progressed to the quarter-finals of the European Cup courtesy of scoring more tries in a clash with Montpellier which finished 33-33 after extra time; Saracens overcame Ospreys to go through too, while Toulouse were convincing winners over the Bulls

Exeter Chiefs v Montpellier Herault Rugby - Heineken Champions Cup - Round of 16 - Sandy Park
Exeter Chief�s Tom Cairns celebrates during the Heineken Champions Cup round of 16 match at Sandy Park Stadium, Exeter. Picture date: Sunday April 2, 2023.
Image: Tom Cairns celebrates as Exeter triumphed over Montpellier in a dramatic Heineken Champions Cup clash

We round up Sunday's round of 16 action in the Heineken Champions Cup, which saw Exeter Chiefs, Saracens and Toulouse secure the last quarter-final spots...

Exeter Chiefs 33-33 Montpellier (Exeter win 5-4 on try countback)

Exeter reached the Champions Cup quarter-finals on try count after extra-time following a dramatic draw with Montpellier at Sandy Park.

Hooker Jack Yeandle's try in the final seconds of 20 minutes' added time put Exeter within striking distance, then Joe Simmonds' nerveless conversion meant the Chiefs progressed 5-4 on tries.

French champions Montpellier, despite having their England international No 8 Zach Mercer sent off following a high challenge 10 minutes after half-time, dug deep to almost turn a pulsating clash their way.

Fly-half Paolo Garbisi levelled the game at 26-26 through a long-range penalty with the final kick of normal time, then Montpellier replacement Louis Carbonel touched down midway through the second period in extra-time, and Garbisi converted, but Yeandle and Simmonds had the final say.

Exeter looked well set after tries from Scott Sio, Sam Simmonds, who will join Montpellier next season, Tom Wyatt and Josh Iosefa-Scott left the visitors reeling, while Joe Simmonds kicked four conversions.

The hosts impressively wiped out an early 12-point deficit given to them through tries by replacement hooker Curtis Langdon and wing Vincent Rattez, while Garbisi ended with three penalties and two conversions, with lock Lenni Nouchi also touching down.

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Saracens 35-20 Ospreys

Saracens pounced on a terrible blunder by the Ospreys to clinch victory at StoneX Stadium that secured their place in the quarter-finals.

With a desperately-tight round-of-16 tie locked at 20-20 approaching the final 10 minutes, Rhys Webb took a quick line-out around his 22 only for the ball to fall straight into the arms of Duncan Taylor, who scored with his first touch of the game.

Max Mallins grabbed two tries for the hosts as well, while Tom Woolstencroft's late try distorted the final scoreline. Owen Farrell kicked three penalties and three conversions too.

Mike Collins and Kieran Williams both crossed for tries early on for Ospreys, but the latter was sin-binned for killing the ball before half time.

It was a far from vintage display from three-time European champions Saracens but they had the resilience to set up a last appointment with La Rochelle next weekend, becoming the third English club behind Leicester Tigers and Exeter to reach that stage.

Toulouse 33-9 Bulls

Toulouse turned on the style in the second half to beat the Bulls and reach the quarter-finals of the European Cup.

Tries from Emmanuel Meafou, Matthis Lebel and Thibaud Flament, all after the break and all converted by Thomas Ramos, took the game away from the South Africans after a cagey first half.

The hosts led 12-6 at the break, with all the points coming from the boots of Ramos and Chris Smith in a battle of penalties, but it was a different story in the second half as Toulouse's dominance showed.

Meafou got the first in the 51st minute as Toulouse cashed in on a penalty with some quick movement, and Bulls had little opportunity to recover before Lebel got the second, set up by Antoine Dupont off a scrum.

Dupont was involved again for the third, kicking the ball over for Flament to finish.

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