Ali Price on how Glasgow Warriors plan to bounce back from Exeter 'bombshell'

Three weeks out from the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield, the sight of one of Scotland’s top sides being routed by one of England’s was not great – but, according to Glasgow, not that relevant.

Glasgow co-captain Ryan Wilson leads his team off following the defeat to Exeter in the Heineken Champions Cup. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Glasgow co-captain Ryan Wilson leads his team off following the defeat to Exeter in the Heineken Champions Cup. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Instead coach Danny Wilson and captain Ali Price had a shorter term focus, on club rather than country, using the hurt from shipping 38 points in 29 minutes to bounce back against La Rochelle at Scotstoun and stay alive in the European Cup.

Wilson admitted the last half hour was a “bombshell” moment, but previous poor performances, such as losing to Treviso away, had provided inspiration for Glasgow, such as going on an unbeaten run.

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Price was keen to emphasise the last half hour was out of character, especially compared with the comfortable home win over the same opponents, and can be used positively in the week leading up to La Rochelle.

“You can look into that last 30 minutes but that doesn’t suddenly take us back to square one,” said the Scotland scrum-half.

“There were a number of things that happened in the last half an hour, individual mistakes – I’m included in that – a horrid way to finish the last third of that game.

“At the same time, we went in at half-time and probably hadn’t played that well but we were still in touching distance. Then we came out and struck first in the second half.

“Obviously it is incredibly disappointing and the boys are disappointed, but it was thirty minutes. I know it was bad and the final score is what it is, but I still feel like we have come quite a long way in terms of our performances over the last couple of months.

“We have to have a reaction and I know we will have a reaction this week in training and then leading into our home game against La Rochelle.

“In terms of Europe we needed to win two from two but we needed to definitely win one of the two so now the pressure is on us.”

It was a strangely lopsided game. For the early parts the turnovers won by Rory Darge and Jack Dempsey kept Glasgow in contention, but their best attacker in terms of defenders beaten was prop Zander Fagerson.

The format of this season’s Champions Cup, along with the number of games awarded as 0-0 draws because of Covid restrictions, means Glasgow are very much still in the mix for a top eight place in Table A.

They remain eighth in the table and need a win that equals or betters Montpellier's match points to go through.

Wilson backed up the message of not panicking. “We’ve gone from a 22-7 win to shipping 50 points tonight, that is a huge turn and one that, for thirty minutes, is unacceptable,” he admitted.

“A good performance next week and we can still go through and that is how we have to look at it. The mark of us will be, as we have done in the past, how quickly can we bounce back.

“We lost to Treviso away in a bombshell game last year and we didn’t lose a game from then on. We’ve had that bombshell tonight and we have to bounce back very quickly.

“We won’t completely park it, we have to front it up in house, but we have to quickly get onto La Rochelle to get back to where we have been.”

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