A dominant performance by the Exeter saw them edge closer to a first Champions Cup final when they brushed aside Northampton 38-15. The Chiefs are now just two wins away from shaking the tag of “nearly men” in Europe, however first they need to account for Toulouse in their Champions Cup semi-final on Sunday. The French outfit dominated Ulster on their way to a 36-8 win, with Springbok World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe in scintillating form in a man of the match performance. Tipsters Form Labs guide you to where the value might lie with their betting preview and tips for the game.
Following Leinster’s exit from the competition in the last round, these two sides are now the only unbeaten teams that remain in the competition. Rob Baxter’s Exeter outfit have finally advanced past the quarterfinals of Europe’s elite competition for the first time in their history.
They were dealt a kind hand however, as an out of sorts Northampton side at the weekend hardly put up a challenge in their 38-15 trouncing and we’d expect the competition to be much hotter in the semis.
Toulouse put in one of the performances of the weekend when downing Ulster 36-8 at Stade Ernest Wallon.
Blistering attacks from the likes of Cheslin Kolbe, Thomas Ramos and Antoine Dupont opened up the Irish defence and saw them come out deserved winners, but that came in their own backyard where they’ve been much more capable of earning results, and now on the road it could prove a different story.
The French side have lost their only trip in their domestic competition in the 2020/21 campaign so far at Clermont, and although that came by just three points, it did require them so come back from a dismal 23-5 half time scoreline.
In fact, they’ve now lost four of five trips across all competitions this calendar year, as Stade Francais, Racing 92 and Bayonnais also got the better of them, as the only side they beat was Connacht.
That Irish side finished down in fourth in the Pro14 Conference B and Toulouse will need to turn that form on its head to get anything from this one.
The Chiefs on the other hand, have lost just one of their last 12 games in both Europe and the Premiership at Sandy Park dating back to mid-November last year, and with that sole defeat coming when fielding a weakened side against Sale back in January, they certainly deserve to be favourites.
Indeed, that impressive home run includes dominant victories over the likes of Glasgow, Wasps, Sale, La Rochelle, Northampton (twice) and Gloucester to name a few.
Exeter To Beat Toulouse
Weighing the fixture up, although the French side showed utter quality in their victory last weekend we have to be hesitant of getting too carried away with that home performance.
Sandy Park has developed into one of the hardest places to come get a result at and considering Exeter have already secured a home Premiership semi-final domestically, all their resources will be going into this one.