Glasgow 6 Chiefs 15

Pictures: Exeter Rugby Club/Pinnacle Photo Agency

Glasgow Warriors    6   

Exeter Chiefs        15

Mark Stevens at Millbrae

Exeter Chiefs left it late to wrap up victory in their final pre-season game ahead of the new season.

A late converted try from James Hanks, plus a Gareth Steenson penalty, proved the significant difference as Rob Baxter’s side overcame a determined Glasgow Warriors outfit in Ayr.

With only a penalty from home fly-half Duncan Weir separating the two sides at the break, it was the Chiefs who pounced first after the break when Chris Whitehead found his way over for the first of their two tries on the night.

Weir punted the home side back in front with a second penalty, before the Aviva Premiership showed their killer instinct late on as Hanks and Steenson administered some telling late blows.

Having utilised his whole squad during the warm-up clashes with Connacht and the Cornish Pirates, it was a familiar looking Chiefs line-up that took to the field in Ayr with centre Ian Whitten the only one of Baxter's summer signings handed a starting spot.

Ahead of kick-off, though, the Chiefs were dealt an untimely blow when prop Hoani Tui pulled up in the warm-up with what appeared a hamstring injury, so Welsh international Craig Mitchell was promoted from the bench to start at tight-head.

Despite the late switch, the visitors started brightly as the Chiefs looked to pick up from where they had left off against the Cornish Pirates last time out.

That early pressure seemed to be working a treat as on five minutes Exeter were afforded their first opening of the night when home flanker John Barclay was pulled up for playing the ball on the floor.

Sadly Argentine marksman Ignacio Mieres could not capitalise on the home side's indiscretion as his  penalty from 40 metre floated just wide of the left post and into the arms of a waiting Warrior.

As the half continued apace, the Chiefs continued to look the more threatening in attack. However, they were unable to turn their domination of both possession and territory into crucial points.

And having weathered the Exeter storm, it was the turn of the Warriors to threaten as fly-half Weir went close with a penalty of his own after Kevin Barrett was adjudged to have held on in the tackle.

Although the Chiefs survived that threat, Scottish international Weir made amends with the final action of the half as he fired over a lengthy kick after prop Brett Sturgess was harshly adjudged to have stood up at a scrum.


Baxter introduced another of his newcomers Will Chudley at the break for Barrett and the switch seemed to have the desired effect as the former Newcastle man was quickly into his stride.

With a buoyant pack working around him, the Chiefs had the chance to draw level just three minutes into the second period when a strong shove from the visitors won them a penalty chance.

Mieres stepped forward once more, but the normally deadly goalkicker was not enjoying the best of evenings as he dragged his second effort wide, before firing a third attempt straight at the right post as the Chiefs looked to up the tempo.

Thankfully the wait for Exeter’s points did not last much longer as the Chiefs were quickest to react to the Mieres miss, reclaiming the ball before working it through a series of play, the last of which allowed hooker Whitehead to drive over from close range for an unconverted try.

Although in front for the first time in the contest, Exeter’s lead proved shortlived as a spirited counter from the Scotsman saw them reclaim the lead through a second Weir penalty on 56 minutes.

Weir had further chances to extend his side’s slender advantage, but twice he saw penalty chances fail to register as the game entered into the final quarter.
Baxter introduced fresh muscle in a bid to regain the initiative back from the home side, who were defending valiantly as the Chiefs look to crank up the gears in the closing stages.

With the pressure mounting by the minute, finally the Glasgow defence was breached again as strong running from the forward, in particular Carl Rimmer, created the opening for Hanks to cross from five metres out.

Steenson obliged with the extras to that score, plus a late penalty as the Chiefs wrapped up their pre-season programme on a winning note.

Warriors: F Thomson (P Murchie 57); T Seymour, B McGuigan (G Morrison h/t), P Horne, DTH van der Merwe; D Weir (S White 65), H Pyrgos (S Kennedy 65); G Reid (G Hunter 66), F Gillies (capt), M Law (M Cusack 57); T Ryder (A McDonald 48), N Campbell; A Ashe (J Eddie 52), J Barclay (C Fusaro 57), R Wilson.

Penalties – Weir (2)

Chiefs: P Dollman; J Tatupu, I Whitten (L Arscott 57), J Shoemark, M Jess; I Mieres (G Steenson 62), K Barrett (W Chudley h/t); B Sturgess (C Rimmer 65), C Whitehead (S Alcott 74), H Tui; T Hayes (capt, D Welch 71), A Muldowney (J Hanks 62); T Johnson (J Phillips 62), J Scaysbrook, R Baxter (B White 74).

Tries – Whitehead, Hanks; Conversion – Steenson; Penalty – Steenson

Referee: A McMenemy

NEXT UP FOR THE CHIEFS: v Sale Sharks (H), Aviva Premiership, Saturday, September 1 (3pm)

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