Glasgow Warriors upset Exeter at foggy Scotstoun
EURO CUP REPORT: Flyhalf Ross Thompson kicked 15 points as Glasgow Warriors battled to an excellent 22-7 win over Exeter Chiefs in the Champions Cup at Scotstoun Stadium on Saturday.
The United Rugby Championship outfit bounced back from their narrow defeat to last season’s finalists Stade Rochelais in Round One and put in a stellar performance.
The 2020 champions Exeter were left frustrated as handling and disciplinary errors littered their game – a stark contrast to their dominant win over Montpellier last weekend.
In difficult, foggy conditions, the two sides cancelled each other out during the opening exchanges, but Glasgow drew first blood as Thompson nudged his maiden penalty of the evening on 13 minutes.
The hosts grew in stature as the half wore on – they were in control for the vast majority, with their relentless defence contributing to a string of Exeter dropped balls inside their 22m.
A Chiefs attack ending with a knock-on five metres out, and then a penalty to Glasgow at the scrum typified the visitors’ game.
Glasgow therefore headed into the second half with a 3-0 lead, and they would start the final 40 minutes in similar fashion to the first, restricting Exeter’s attack while playing some neat rugby with ball in hand.
Thompson doubled his side’s advantage from the tee on 48 minutes – moments after striking the upright with another effort.
The 22-year-old, making only his second appearance in the Champions Cup, would slot a further two penalties before the hour mark to open up a healthy lead for Glasgow.
But despite Warriors’ massive defensive effort Exeter finally battered their way through, with Sam Simmonds dotting down from close range on 71 minutes and Joe Simmonds converting to set up a tense finale with the scores at 12-7.
Thompson would however kick a crucial fifth penalty on 75 minutes to put the game beyond Chiefs’ reach, and Glasgow would put the icing on a dominant display as replacement hooker Johnny Matthews touched down at the back of a maul late on.
Glasgow climb to fourth in Pool A after their victory, level with Exeter on five points, who host the Round Three encounter between the sides in January.
Pens: Thompson 5
Try: S Simmonds
Con: J Simmonds
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 Richie Gray, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Jamie Bhatti.
Replacements: 16 Johnny Matthews, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Kiran McDonald, 20 Rob Harley, 21 Thomas Gordon, 22 George Horne, 23 Duncan Weir.
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 Sam Skinner, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Jonny Gray, 3 Sam Nixon, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie (captain), 1 Alec Hepburn.
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Patrick Schickerling, 19 Don Armand, 20 Jannes Kirsten, 21 Sam Maunder, 22 Harvey Skinner, 23 Tom Gilbert-Hendrickson.
Referee: Pierre Brousset (France)
Assistant Referees: Luc Ramos (France), Flavien Hourquet (France)
TMO: Denis Grenouillet (France)