Glasgow Warriors pulverised in final half hour by an Exeter Chiefs side hellbent on revenge
This was a chastening evening for Glasgow Warriors. Four weeks on from a memorable victory over Exeter Chiefs at a foggy Scotstoun, they were outplayed by the same opponents who ran in eight tries in a 52-17 triumph at Sandy Park.
Exeter had been stung by the loss in Scotland where they had been dominated in the set-piece. Revenge was on the agenda and they exacted it in ruthless fashion during a second half in which they scored 38 points.
The defeat puts a big dent in Glasgow’s Heineken Champions Cup campaign and they must regroup for the final pool match, against La Rochelle at home next weekend.
Ryan Wilson came on for his 200th appearance for the Warriors but it was a grim second period for the visitors which will linger in the memory for all the wrong reasons.
Joe Simmonds pulled the strings behind a dominant Exeter pack and there were two tries for his brother Sam and a hat-trick for winger Tom O’Flaherty. Glasgow led briefly at the start of the second half but collapsed in the final half hour.
A Ross Thompson penalty gave the Warriors an early 3-0 lead but Exeter were feeling their way into the match and started to find good field position. Their opening try came about in strange circumstances. Jack Dempsey won a good turnover but the ball seemed to pop up too quickly for Glasgow and they were penalised for a forward pass on their own 22.
From the scrum, the Chiefs produced a slick passing move which culminated in O’Flaherty cutting inside for the score. Glasgow were looking a little shaky and six minutes later they conceded a second try. Exeter won clean lineout ball close to the visitors’ line and Sam Simmons powered his way over.
Glasgow needed to steady the ship and they did so in the final 10 minutes of the half. Having marched their hosts back up the pitch, they forced them into conceding a couple of penalties which Thompson kicked to the corner.
The lineout drive failed to produce the desired effect but George Turner recycled and had another go. Kiran McDonald was quickest to react, picking up off the back and finding a big gap in the Exeter defence to plunge over.
Glasgow edged ahead in the 45th minute when, after a period of pressure, Ali Price’s precise pass missed Dempsey and found Matt Fagerson who finished the move. Thompson’s conversion had the visitors 17-14 ahead but that was as good as it got for Wilson’s side.
A superb kick to the corner from Henry Slade forced Glasgow back on to their own line and they seemed to spend the rest of the game there. Exeter smelled blood and were ruthless in the final half hour, scoring six tries to run away with it.
This was the Chiefs back to their 2020 vintage and no-one was enjoying it more than Stuart Hogg. The Scotland captain had a hand in a couple of tries and celebrated wildly as they turned the screw.
Sam Simmonds, with his second try of the game, put Exeter back in front and then brother Joe produced a little bit of magic to extend the lead. His cross-kick to the corner found O’Flaherty in acres of space and the winger touched down to secure the bonus point.
Hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie added another from a lineout drive and then O’Flaherty bagged his hat-trick after being played in by Hogg.
Jack Nowell ran in try number seven after some sleight of hand from Slade and Dave Ewers pushed Exeter over the 50-point mark with the final touchdown.
Scorers: Exeter: Tries: O'Flaherty 3, Sam Simmonds 2, Cowan-Dickie, Jack Nowell, Dave Ewers. Cons: Joe Simmonds 4, Slade 2.
Glasgow: Tries: McDonald, Matt Fagerson. Con: Thompson 2. Pen: Thompson.
Exeter: Stuart Hogg; Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Ian Whitten (Tom Gilbert-Hendrickson 64), Tom O'Flaherty; Joe Simmonds (Harvey Skinner 73), Jack Maunder (Sam Maunder 67); Ben Moon (James Kenny 67), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Jack Innard 73), Josh Iosefa-Scott (Patrick Schickerling 46), Sam Skinner, Sean Lonsdale, Dave Ewers, Jannes Kirsten (Dafydd Jenkins 71), Sam Simmonds (Don Armand 71).
Glasgow Warriors: Josh McKay; Kyle Steyn, Sione Tuipulotu (Duncan Weir 63), Samuel Johnson, Cole Forbes (Sebastian Cancelliere 53); Ross Thompson, Ali Price (George Horne 61); Jamie Bhatti (Oli Kebble 59), George Turner (Fraser Brown 40), Zander Fagerson (Enrique Pieretto 64), Scott Cummings, Kiran McDonald (Lewis Bean 73), Matt Fagerson, Rory Darge (Ryan Wilson 57), Jack Dempsey.
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
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