Dave Rennie has spent the last five years cheering on professional and clinical performances from the Chiefs back home in his native New Zealand and the Glasgow coach was forced to do the exact same thing last night at Sandy Park.
It wasn’t always pretty but it was pretty effective rugby from the Exeter version of the Chiefs as they beat the Warriors 24-15 in the sides’ opening Champions Cup tie.
“They played a lot of territory,” said Rennie, who took over at Glasgow in the summer after leaving the other Chiefs.
“They choked us down our end of the field and came up with three tries just going around the edge but they did it well.
“It was frustrating not to win. It was an arm wrestle, at 17-15 we had a couple of opportunities but we just didn’t hang on to enough ball and build enough pressure.
“They shaded us in the kicking game and ended up winning the territory battle.”
Exeter are very like Glasgow is many respects. Both clubs only came to prominence in the professional era and certainly Exeter’s defence was a thing to behold. “They don’t commit anyone to rucks, they just spread the field,” Rennie said.
Now Glasgow must face Leinster at home next weekend after the Dublin club were buoyed by a bonus point 24-17 win over French giants Montpellier. Is it, he was asked, a must win match?
“It was always a must win game,” argued the coach, “because it’s at home. It’s disappointing not to get any points tonight. The boys put in a lot of effort out there and we fell short. Next week’s important but there won’t be any issues about motivation.”