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LionsWatch: Slade pulls strings as Exeter make history in France

LionsWatch: Slade pulls strings as Exeter make history in France

It has been a tough first half of their European campaign for Exeter Chiefs but they bounced back in style on Saturday afternoon.

Henry Slade kicked ten points for the Chiefs in victory

It has been a tough first half of their European campaign for Exeter Chiefs but they bounced back in style on Saturday afternoon.

They became the first English team to beat Bordeaux on their own patch after Henry Slade inspired them to a 20-12 victory at the Stade Chaban Delmas.

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Thomas Waldrom and Luke Cowan-Dickie both crossed for scores for Rob Baxter’s men who bounced back from three losses in a row in Europe.

The forward pack fronted up impressively against Raphael Ibanez’s side but it was the man at fly-half that will garner the majority of the plaudits.
 
SLADE IGNORES THE NOISE

Club stalwart Gareth Steenson has been fly-half for Chiefs’ first three games of the season in Europe with Slade slotting into the centres.

It is his versatility that will make him an attractive option for British & Irish Lions Head Coach Warren Gatland. 

But for the trip to the south of France Baxter put his faith in the England international and handed him the No 10 shirt.
 

77 – Serin in front of kicker, it's a PENALTY to the Chiefs, Slade going for posts – his kick is good (12-20) pic.twitter.com/t3Q3bZW8HH

— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) December 17, 2016


And the 23-year-old did not disappoint, making off with the man of the match award for a controlled display at stand-off.

He kicked two penalties – including one that clinched the match at the death – and two conversions but also showed some nice flourishes with ball in hand.

It was his show and go with a lovely step off his left foot that set up Waldrom for their first-half score and his cannon of a left boot cleared their line on the defensive end on multiple occasions.
 
NUMERICAL ADVANTAGE 

Nans Ducuing saw red for Bordeaux early in the second half for an aerial collision with Olly Woodburn.

And the Chiefs finally made it count with ten minutes remaining and it was another England international in Luke Cowan-Dickie who grabbed the all-important score.

Both he and Jack Nowell – who impressed in glimpses also – were injured for England’s autumn but the hooker barrelled over from close range to set the Chiefs on the way to victory.  

 

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