Champions Cup Pool 3: Toulon 18 Exeter Chiefs 19
Henry Slade held his nerve to land a match-winning conversion with the game’s final kick as Exeter launched their Investec Champions Cup campaign with a stunning 19-18 victory over Toulon at Stade Felix-Mayol.
The Chiefs trailed by 13 points at half-time, but they kept French Top 14 title contenders scoreless after the break.
Flanker Jacques Vermeulen touched down from close range for Exeter’s third try with a minute left, then England international centre Slade stepped up to convert amid intense pressure.
And it meant that Rob Baxter’s team made a flying start at the start of four pool stage weekends in the quest for a round-of-16 place.
Outhalf Harvey Skinner scored an early interception try for the Chiefs, but Toulon then took charge as prop Beka Gigashvili and former Leicester scrumhalf Ben White touched down, while outhalf Enzo Herve kicked a conversion and two penalties.
It left Exeter 18-5 adrift at the interval, but the second-half performance will be remembered as one of Chiefs’ finest in their European history, with hooker Max Norey claiming a try that Slade converted before the memorable finale.