Exeter 34 - 18 Glasgow: Dave Rennie says Warriors defeat was self-inflicted

Glasgow winger DTH van der Merwe is tackled by Exeter's Joe Simmonds. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Glasgow winger DTH van der Merwe is tackled by Exeter's Joe Simmonds. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images
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Glasgow coach Dave Rennie felt his side contributed to their own downfall as the Warriors’ European Champions Cup hopes suffered a setback with defeat in Exeter.

After last’s week edgy win over Sale at Scotstoun, Rennie’s men were looking to build momentum at Sandy Park but after leading 13-10 at the interval they were run ragged in the second half.

“We need to be better as we put pressure on ourselves by over-playing at times,” the Glasgow coach said. “We looked dangerous at times but we made errors in the third quarter and we lost the kicking battle.

“We overplayed a handful of times where we’ve gone three, four or five phases and we haven’t got what we wanted and it’s actually OK to put it over the sideline and start again.

“It’s something we need to be better in because we battled second half last week in the same situation.”

Much of the pre-match focus had been on Stuart Hogg’s reunion with his old Glasgow buddies. The Exeter full-back ended up on the winning side but, in truth, Hogg had a frustrating afternoon, wth little coming off for the Scotland talisman.

The hosts won well but it was not always plain-sailing for the Chiefs, particularly in the first period but a much improved second-half performance saw them totally dominate an out-gunned Glasgow.

Jonny Hill, Henry Slade, Sam Simmonds and Tom O’Flaherty scored their tries, with Joe Simmonds converting all four and adding two penalties.

Nick Grigg and George Turner scored Glasgow’s tries, with Adam Hastings kicking two penalties and a conversion.

Glasgow made an explosive start with an excellent break from Sam Johnson and good support from George Horne winning a five-metre scrum but they could not capitalise and conceded a penalty for not releasing. However the Warriors were not to be denied for long as Tommy Seymour burst through to set up the opening try for Grigg.

Hastings converted from in front of the posts but his side were pinged at a scrum with Joe Simmonds stepping up to kick a straightforward penalty.

Glasgow led 7-3 at the end of an evenly contested first quarter in which their centres, Johnson and Grigg, troubled the home defence with their probing runs which contrasted with some well-judged box kicking from Chiefs’ scrum-half Nic White. White’s kicking helped in giving his a pack a period of dominance and after 27 minutes, they took the lead when Hill finished off a succession of forward drives by forcing his way over.

Joe Simmonds converted before the visitors suffered another setback when wing Ratu Tagive was forced to leave the field with a back problem but Glasgow regained the advantage when Hastings succeeded with two penalties in quick succession to leave his side 13-10 ahead at the break.

It took only 90 seconds after the restart for Exeter to score their second try. A basic handling error from the Scots surrendered possession and Jack Nowell made them pay by evading two defenders to send Slade over.

Glasgow’s poor start to the second half continued when they first lost another wing through injury with DTH Van Der Merwe hobbling off before Sam Simmonds finished off a driving lineout to put Exeter firmly in control. The Warriors continued to fall apart and they soon conceded a fourth try when O’Flaherty easily won the race to touchdown after a skilful kick ahead from Slade.

Glasgow lost replacement Kiran McDonald to a yellow card for an off-the-ball incident with Joe Simmonds knocking over the resulting penalty before his brother Sam joined McDonald in the bin for a deliberate offside. Glasgow took advantage of the No.8’s absence to score their only points of the second half when Turner crossed with 90 seconds remaining.