Chiefs run riot
EUROPEAN CUP REPORT: Exeter Chiefs produced a scintillating second-half display as they thrashed Glasgow Warriors 52-17 on Saturday
The Pool A encounter was finely balanced after the first period, but Chiefs ran riot after the break with Tom O’Flaherty completing his hat-trick to help the hosts rack up eight tries at Sandy Park.
Glasgow opened the scoring through a Ross Thompson penalty on seven minutes – the flyhalf kicked 15 points when the two sides met at Scotstoun Stadium in Round 2.
But unlike on that occasion, Exeter enjoyed much more control over the opening stages and made their pressure count when a lovely link-up between Joe Simmonds and Henry Slade released Tom O’Flaherty on the wing, who crossed for the game’s opening try.
And the 2020 European champions continued their promising start, with No.8 Sam Simmonds peeling off a maul to score their second try of the evening.
Glasgow began causing some problems for Exeter as the half wore on and managed to grab a try as lock Kiran McDonald sneaked over from close range on 31 minutes, Thompson’s conversion reducing the deficit to four points.
Exeter carried that slender advantage into the second half, but they soon fell behind as Glasgow repeatedly breached the gain line with a series of attacking phases before flanker Matt Fagerson hit a flat ball to crash over.
Chiefs wrestled back control though as Sam Simmonds barged over from close range for his second score of the evening.
And the home side would cross for two more tries in five minutes in a damaging period for Glasgow, with O’Flaherty dotting down after Joe Simmonds’ perfectly weighted cross-field kick, before captain Luke Cowan-Dickie went over following another powerful maul.
O’Flaherty then completed his hat-trick with his best score of the evening, holding off three Glasgow defenders to finish brilliantly in the corner on 65 minutes.
Further tries would follow in the final 10 minutes as Exeter began running riot, winger Jack Nowell first diving over before flanker Dave Ewers crossed for an eighth to round off the scoring.
Exeter faces a trip to Montpellier Hérault Rugby in Round Four next weekend while Glasgow host Stade Rochelais.
For Exeter Chiefs
Tries: O’Flaherty 3, Simmonds 2, Cowan-Dickie, Nowell, Ewers
Cons: Simmonds 4, Slade 2
For Glasgow Warriors
Tries: McDonald, Fagerson
Cons: Thompson 2
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Sean Lonsdale, 4 Sam Skinner, 3 Josh Iosefa-Scott, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie (captain), 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Jack Innard, 17 James Kenny, 18 Patrick Schickerling, 19 Dafydd Jenkins, 20 Don Armand, 21 Sam Maunder, 22 Harvey Skinner, 23 Tom Gilbert-Hendrickson
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Josh McKay, 14 Kyle Steyn, 13 Sione Tuipulotu, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Cole Forbes, 10 Ross Thompson, 9 Ali Price (captain), 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Rory Darge, 6 Matt Fagerson, 5 Kiran McDonald, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Jamie Bhatti
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Lewis Bean, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 George Horne, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Sebastian Cancelliere
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Vincent Blasco Baqué (France), Stephane Boyer (France)
TMO: Denis Grenouillet (France)