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Exeter becomes European club rugby champion for 1st time

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BRISTOL, England (AP) — Exeter Chiefs completed their decade-long rise from English rugby’s second tier to the top of the northern hemisphere club game by winning the European Champions Cup for the first time in dramatic fashion. The team from southwest England beat French side Racing 92 31-27 in a thrilling final featuring a record eight tries at Ashton Gate in Bristol. Exeter played the final nine minutes with 14 men after replacement prop Tomas Francis was sin-binned but held out because of some stoic defending. An 80th-minute penalty gave Exeter a four-point advantage. Although there appeared to be a few seconds remaining for Racing to kick off again, the officials decided the clock had restarted too late while the penalty was being taken and declared the match to be over.

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