Exeter Chiefs V Glasgow Warriors
Glasgow Warriors’ European campaign began in defeat as Exeter Chiefs squeezed their way to victory at Sandy Park.
The evening began promisingly for the Warriors as their forwards sent the Exeter pack retreating at the scrum and Finn Russell stepped up to convert the resulting penalty.
Moments later Glasgow extended their lead. With advantage being played Russell gambled with a cross field kick across the hosts’ 22 and Tommy Seymour rose above his defender to claim the ball and drop over the line.
Fraser Brown was replaced by George Turner as an eventful first 10 minutes drew to a close and having ridden out the early Scottish onslaught, the English Champions slowly began to take control of the game.
With their scrum ever dominant, penalty after penalty went to Glasgow’s corner before after several phases hammering the try line they finally breached the black defence.
Shortly after their first try from one meter out came their second. Almost identical to the previous score, a rolling maul set the platform and the pink forward pack did the rest.
Starved of the ball, Glasgow fought their way back into the game as the first half game to a close but as the whistle blew they trailed 14-10.
An early Gareth Steenson penalty in the second half extended the hosts’ lead before Glasgow gave themselves a life-line.
A lovely kick through from Russell was matched by his chase and the pressure on the retreating Exeter defender paid off.
Fumbling backwards he was unable to touch down over the line and Lee Jones’ tenacity was rewarded as he gratefully pounced on the spilled ball.
The remainder of the second half was about the defences. With ball in hand Glasgow looked threatening and as Exeter’s legs became heavy they found holes in the defensive line only to outdo their hard work with careless errors.
Similarly, Warriors had to deal with numerous attacks on their try line, their discipline getting them into trouble as they struggled with Exeter’s maul.
With just minutes to go and the scores locked at just 17-15 the home side took the game away from Glasgow with their third try from one meter out.
Sandy Park erupted at the full time whistle and although Warriors will be disappointed to take nothing from the game, to push Exeter so close with two minutes to go having not played their best will give the squad confidence going into next week’s game against Leinster.