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England side Exeter won the 2019-20 European Cup final on Saturday, pushed back five minutes due to the Covid epidemic. They won a spectacular meeting (31-27) during which 8 tries were registered.
The first attempt was a good one for the team of the Chiefs of Exeter who won on Saturday 17th October against French club Racing 92 their first European Cup. They had never made it to the final of this competition and thus confirmed the brilliant progress of this crowned champion of England team at the end of the 2018/2019 season.
The English players, who played this meeting not far from home, in Bristol, very quickly took control of this meeting. They used their primary weapon, the power and efficiency of their forwards, to score two strength tries in 8e and the 16e minute, converted by their opening half Joe Simmonds, to lead 14-0.
Racing 92 relied on the talent of their three-quarters to return to the game, with wingers Simon Zebo and Juan Imohff signing two tries in ten minutes. The Ile-de-France club did not intend to give up its chance and showed it in the best possible way. But as he hoped to finally settle into this game, he gave in once again to the power of the opposing forwards, with a try from mainstay Harry Williams scored just before half-time.
Three finals lost for Racing 92
With nine points behind the restart (12-21), Racing had to succeed in scoring quickly to come back to score. From the 42e minute, Simon Zebo manages to register his second try of the game and bring the Ile-de-France back to 17-21. Unfortunately for him and his team-mates, the English responded immediately by intercepting a pass from Racing 92 opener Finn Russell and scoring a third try.
Forced to chase after the score since the start of the match, Racing 92 never gave up, like hooker Camille Chat who scored a strength test in the 50e minute. A penalty entered by Maxime Machenaud a few minutes later finally allowed Racing players to pick up the score, with only one point behind (27-28) and still a quarter of an hour of play to play.
Their efforts, however, were not rewarded at the end of the game, the English defense holding on, with a final score of 31 to 27. The third attempt was therefore not the right one for Racing 92 who lost their third European final. after the previous setbacks of 2016 and 2018.