Exeter beat 14-man Castres to keep Champions Cup hopes alive

Tom O'Flaherty dives over to score Exeter's bonus-point try at Sandy Park

Tom O'Flaherty dives over to score Exeter's bonus-point try at Sandy Park

Exeter Chiefs kept their play-off hope alive in the ongoing European Champions Cup as they went on to beat Castres 34-12 at Sandy Park on Sunday.

If Munster win a bonus point, Exeter have to follow suit and get one too. Alternatively, if Exeter win they will need to deny Munster a losing bonus point or win with a bonus-point so they can top the pool.

That win for the home side means a win against Munster in Thomond Park could be enough to send them into the quarter-finals, while Castres will host Gloucester Rugby.

For Munster, victory or a draw ensures their qualification. What a game we have to look forward to should Exeter hold on.

"That was Jack Nowell not 100% fit, which was quite nice to see, so hopefully he'll shake that off and a bit more game time will sharpen him up". We have to collect at least a four-point gap to get level with Munster, but we have given ourselves a definite something to go over there and play for.

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"We can genuinely talk this week about going and testing ourselves in one of Europe's iconic venues against one of Europe's iconic teams, in as close to a knockout as we could get".

"Looking at Munster (at Gloucester) on Friday, they went there absolutely bubbling with emotion, to get in the faces of Gloucester, particularly in the forwards".

"It was nearly evident they had a real game-plan to go after certain people within the Gloucester team. And that will give us our best chance". The ball took a lovely bounce for Tom O'Flaherty who caught the ball on the run and dived over for his first Heineken Champions Cup try.

Exeter showed a number of switches from the side which beat Premiership opponents Bristol last weekend, with England back Nowell headlining the changes following his recovery from a hamstring injury.

With Castres reduced to 14-men from the 59th minute when Tudor Stroe was sent-off for a foul play, they had little chance and Luke Cowan-Dickie with a 66th minute touched down capped off a 34-12 victory for Exeter.

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