Olly Woodburn scored a brace as Exeter kept their European Champions Cup hopes alive with a 41-10 win over Montpellier at Sandy Park on Saturday.
The Chiefs’ win move to within five points of leaders Leinster, and pushes them a point above Montpellier.
Dave Ewers, Sam Simmonds, Don Armand and Nic White also went over for the hosts, who face Glasgow in their final game next week.
If Leinster beat Glasgow on Sunday they will qualify for the last eight as pool winners, while Exeter could join them as one of the best second-placed teams if they beat the Scots.
Montpellier, the Top 14 leaders, were hugely disappointing with their forwards being comfortably outmuscled by a dominant home pack led by Simmonds.
Exeter made an uneasy start to the game, with Luke Cowan-Dickie being uncharacteristically wasteful from the line out. Montpellier captain Louis Picamoles couldn’t take advantage and was hauled down just ten metres from the line after making a break-away.
Gradually, Exeter and Cowan-Dickie regained their composure to gain a foothold in the game – with the hooker going close in the 23rd minute.
Just four minutes later however, they did make the breakthrough.
Steenson was at his ingenious best and set Mitch Lees free to break into the Montpellier 22. The lock went to ground, but Exeter recycled cleverly and Ewers went over for the first score of the afternoon.
Montpellier restarted after Steenson’s conversion and forced Exeter into a few neddless mistakes.
However, the French club lacked the cutting edge to turn pressure into tries and so it remained 7-0 at the break.
After the break, Exeter began to dominate the scrum – forcing Montpellier coach Vern Cotter to bring both props off to stem the constant flow of penalties for the home side.
However, it was the French side who got onto the board next via the boot of Aaron Cruden in the 52nd minute.
They couldn’t keep the pressure on the English side for long however, as Simmons finished from close-range.
Six minutes later and Woodburn grabbed his fist of the afternoon with a wonderfully athletic finish in the corner – performing magnificently in the absence of the injured Jack Nowell.
The winger capped a man-of-the-match performance by powering through Henry Immelman to score an improbable try in the corner.
The visitors had now totally capitulated for White and Armand to score further tries to ram home Exeter’s superiority. Nemani Nadolo’s late effort was a mere consolation.
The bonus point could prove crucial for Exeter – who have certainly not given up on reaching the quarter-finals.
Source : TalkSport