Heineken Champions Cup: Exeter Chiefs 44-14 Bulls – Luke Cowan-Dickie hat-trick in bonus-point win

Heineken Champions Cup: Exeter Chiefs 44-14 Bulls - Luke Cowan-Dickie hat-trick in bonus-point win


Luke Cowan-Dickie scored his three tries before being substituted in the 50th minute
Exeter: (32) 44
Tries: Ewers, Cowan-Dickie (3), Slade. Kata Pens: J Simmonds (2); Cons: J Simmonds (4)
Bulls: (7) 14
Tries: Jacobs, C Smith Cons: Steyn (2)

Exeter Chiefs thrashed the Bulls to claim a bonus-point victory in the Heineken Champions Cup at Sandy Park.

Former England hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie grabbed a hat-trick of tries as the Chiefs won for a second straight week.

Dave Ewers, Henry Slade and Solomone Kata – on his European debut – also crossed. Joe Simmonds kicked 14 points.

Stravino Jacobs and Chris Smith crossed for the Pretoria-based Bulls side in their first away appearance in the Champions Cup.

The South Africans had beaten Lyon 42-36 on their competition debut a week earlier but, with coach Jake White having left out several key players, they were no match for the hosts.

They had started brightly when winger Jacobs sliced through the Exeter defence in the sixth minute for a try converted by experienced former Springbok Morne Steyn.

But Exeter responded quickly, with Ewers powering over from close range for his second try in consecutive weeks, before Cowan-Dickie went over from a line-out.

The hooker’s second try on the half-hour mark was a repeat of the first and, after Slade ended a slick move the home side, they had clinched their bonus point by half-time.

Cowan-Dickie’s treble was sealed after the 29-year-old took a quick tapped penalty himself to barrel over early in the second period.

Centre Smith latched onto a smart kick from Steyn for the Bulls’ second converted try, but substitute Kata crashed over soon after the restart to claim the Chiefs’ sixth try.

The Devon side finished with 13 players after they had used all their replacements, prior to an injury for Will Becconsall and late yellow card for Ewers.

But Rob Baxter’s side will be in a strong position in Pool A when the two sides meet again in Pretoria on 14 January.

Line-ups

Exeter: Hogg, Nowell, Slade, O’Loughlin, Woodburn, J Simmonds, Maunder, Sio, Cowan-Dickie, Williams, Jenkins, Gray, Ewers, Tshiunza, S. Simmonds.

Replacements: Yeandle, Hepburn, Iosefa-Scott, van Heerden, Grondona, Becconsall, Kata, Hodge.

Bulls: Simelane, Novuka, Gans, C Smith, Jacobs, Steyn, van der Linde, D Smit, du Plessis, van Rooyen, Ludwig, Swanepoel, Carr, Uys, W. Steenkamp.

Replacements: Van Zyl, Gqoboka, Lombard, Hanekom, Maqondwana, Johannes, Bannies, Mostert.

Referee:

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