Radio Exe Match Report: Exeter Chiefs 19 – 17 Glasgow Warriors
In an incredibly bruising encounter, Exeter Chiefs grit their teeth to overcome Glasgow Warriors at Sandy Park this afternoon on a frigidly cold afternoon in Devon.
There was pressure to be weathered for the Chiefs in the opening ten minutes as play was located firmly in the Exeter men’s half, looking to encroach into their 22 at any chance possible.
The job faced by the men in their blue cup kit was made slightly harder when Greg Fisilau was sent from the field with a yellow cardon nine minutes played. A high tackle on Duncan Weir saw the Exeter man shown a yellow card and the Glasgow man sent for a HIA.
As the two left the field, George Horne opted to take the shot at goal for the infringement, securing Glasgow’s first points of the day as his penalty split the uprights.
A classy phase of play saw Tommy Wyatt jinking and jiving his way past opposition to break into the Glasgow half with 20 minutes gone on the clock. Dominant line-break carries from Alec Hepburn and Jacques Vermeulen gained more ground, as the Chiefs rushed the 22. Unfortunately for Baxter’s men, a breakdown penalty relieved the pressure for the visitors.
A freak happening gave Glasgow their first try. Horne chipped over the Chiefs’ defensive line, with Kyle Rowe running onto it. Ben Hammersley came up to meet the winger, but the grubber off his boot bounced up into the Glasgow man’s hands rather than his own and the former Scotland 7s player ran in the score under the posts. Weir, back on the field having passed his HIA, added the conversion.
The opportunities began to trickle in during the closing five minutes of the half. Chiefs struck up camp in the Glasgow 22. The handling errors might have hampered a quick-tap chance but a monstrous drive from Hepburn, Jack Yeandle and Ehren Painter at a Glasgow-fed scrum swung the penalty call in the Chiefs’ favour.
And so, the first half was to end on a positive note for the home side. Repeated barrages on the Glasgow defence weakened the travelling men’s resolve in making the big hits. And with a softer shoulder to be found, it can also be relied upon that Jacques Vermeulen is going to run through it.
With the clock in the red, Henry Slade converted the South African’s try to bring the Chiefs much closer to their opponents on the scoreboard and give them some momentum heading into the break.
Half-time: Chiefs 7 – 10 Warriors
Shared frustration reigned in the opening minutes of the second half as neither side seemed able to get a stronghold on their game. While play was primarily in the Glasgow half, the visitors were repeatedly relieved to hear the call of the referee’s whistle going their way.
In much the same manner as the first half, the first points of the second 40 minutes were to belong to Glasgow. Launching an attack out of very little, a galloping run from Scott Cummings and the dancing feet of Horne gave the Scots the room and speed of ball they need to create space in Exeter’s line for captain Sione Tuipulotu to exploit on the wing.
As Weir secured the conversion, Chiefs brought new blood onto the field as they looked for energy from their replacements.
It took a little time, but the impact came on the hour as Chiefs worked the tight faces along the Glasgow line. As the opposition tried to stay on-side while prepping for the big hits, replacement hooker Dan Frost found space to force his body through to crash over the line for the try. Slade’s conversion attempt came wide of the right upright.
Lewis Pearson deciding to give kicking duties a try in the play from the restart. As Chiefs looked to launch an attack from the Glasgow 10-metre line, the lock grubber a ball off the boot to chip over the line for Zack Wimbush to scamper down the wing after. The Exeter man was there first and crossed for the supposed try.
Unfortunately, a TMO check was called in for a knock-on before Pearson was fed the ball, bringing play back to the 10-metre line and erasing a first Chiefs try from Wimbush’s record.
He wasn’t to be denied today however, as Wimbush got his name on the scoreboard with the crucial try on the 76th minute played. A solid scrum engagement gave Townsend the option to play off the base. Passing to Harvey Skinner, who fed Hammersley for the vital last pass to Wimbush.
The conversion was tight to the touchline, but Slade sliced the uprights neatly to take the Chiefs ahead.
There was a heart-in-mouth moment with the clock in the red as Glasgow were certain they’d stormed over for the win stealing try when Exeter scrummaged on their own five metre line. However, as the boos wrang in from the crowd, and the questions were peppered from both captains, the refereeing team deemed there to have been a Glasgow infringement before the ball was taken over the line and so the win was to the Chiefs.
A win could be an important factor in determining the progression stages of the competition for Chiefs as Baxter’s men will look for a performance next week in Bayonne to further brighten their chances of a home clash.
Full-time: Chiefs 19 – 17 Warriors
Chiefs: T Wyatt (Wimbush 60’); I Feyi-Waboso, H Slade, R O’Loughlin (Hawkins 10’), B Hammersley; H Skinner, T Cairns (Townsend 56’); A Hepburn (Abuladze 48’), J Yeandle (Frost 48’), E Painter (Iosefa-Scott 48’), R Tuima, L Pearson, E Roots, J Vermeulen, G Fisilau (Vintcent 56’).
Unused replacements: M Postlethwaite
Tries: Vermeulen, Frost, Wimbush Conversions: Slade 2
Yellow card: Greg Fisilau
Warriors: J Mackay; H Jones, S Tuipulotu, S McDowall, K Rowe; D Weir (Jordan 9’, 72’), G Horne; O Kebble (Bhatti 52’), G Hiddleston (Turner 52’), Z Fagerson, S Cummings, A Samuel (Gray 52’), A Miller, M Fagerson, H Venter.
Tries: Rowe, Tuipulotu Conversions: Weir 2 Penalties: Horne
Referee: Pierre Brousset