Glasgow 22 Exeter 7: Warriors reign supreme over Chiefs in Scotstoun fog

Visibility was poor in the west end of Glasgow due to the heavy fog that had settled over the city, but the Warriors’ supremacy over Exeter was crystal clear long before the end of this Champions Cup clash.

Glasgow players celebrate Johnny Matthews' late try in the win over Exeter (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Glasgow players celebrate Johnny Matthews' late try in the win over Exeter (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

Danny Wilson’s team had the boot of Ross Thompson to thank for the bulk of their points, with Johnny Matthews’ last-gasp score and substitute stand-off Duncan Weir’s conversion just the icing on the cake. Thompson’s accuracy from penalties had his team 12-0 up before Exeter finally got on to the scoreboard - and within minutes he had added a fifth.

That kick snuffed out any hopes the Chiefs may have had of a late fightback, but in truth they played second fiddle almost throughout this Pool A game. The four match points gleaned by Glasgow means they now have a total of five, and with the top eight teams going through to the last 16 from each pool of 12, one more win from their remaining two games could be enough for them. On this form they should be well capable of achieving that.

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Exeter, European champions in 2020, have one of the meanest defences in the game, but time after time in this game they could only keep the Warriors out by offending close to their own goal-line. Thompson’s first penalty boosted Glasgow’s hopes, then an attack up the touchline furthest from the main stand provoked the shout “Gaun yersel whoever it is!” from one fan - but whoever it was lost possession and the chance was gone.

Exeter had been rampant against Montpellier in their opening pool match, with Scotland lock Jonny Gray scoring a hat-trick in their 42-6 win. But they continued to struggle to put a decent attack together here, and should have gone further behind in the last minute before the break when George Turner burst free.

The Glasgow hooker was tackled short of the line - and replays showed there was a case for a penalty for a high tackle. Even so, Turner’s momentum kept him going, and for a moment it looked like he was going to score. But in the end he was stopped short, so the half ended at 3-0.

Sione Tuipulotu and Cole Forbes were both prominent in Warriors attacks early in the second half, but again the breakthrough failed to come. Then Thompson had the chance to double the lead with another penalty, but this time his kick hit the post.

He got two more opportunities in the following five minutes, though, and was successful with both to stretch his team’s lead to 9-0.

That was a big advantage given the type of match it was - and it got bigger right on the hour mark when Thompson was on target for the fourth time.

Then, with just ten minutes left, Sam Simmonds finished off a close-quarters move to touch down for his team’s first points of the game. His brother Joe converted to put the Chiefs right back in contention - but then a fifth penalty by Thompson made it 15-7.

That made the game secure all right, but just for good measure substitute hooker Matthews added that try in the last minute after some good close-quarters work from the home pack. Weir’s conversion brought a triumphant evening to an emphatic end.

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Scorers: Try: Matthews. Con: Weir. Pens: Thompson 5.

Exeter: Try: S Simmonds. Con: J Simmonds.

Glasgow Warriors: J McKay; K Steyn, S Tuipulotu, S Johnson, C Forbes; R Thompson (D Weir 78), A Price (captain) (G Horne 78); J Bhatti (O Kebble 52), G Turner (J Matthews 52), Z Fagerson (E PIeretto 66), S Cummings, R Gray (K McDonald 58), M Fagerson (R Harley 74), R Darge (T Gordon 72), J Dempsey.

Exeter Chiefs: S Hogg; J Nowell, H Slade, I Whitten (T Hendrickson 59), T O’Flaherty; J Simmonds, J Maunder (S Maunder 59); A Hepburn (B Moon 59), L Cowan-Dickie (captain) (J Yeandle 66), S Nixon (P Schickerling 50), J Gray (D Armand 66), J Hill (J Kirsten 59), D Ewers, S Skinner, S Simmonds.

Referee: P Brousset (France).

Attendance: 7,246.

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