Glasgow shatters Exeter's Euro dream
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Glasgow Warriors ripped the heart out of Exeter Chiefs' quarterfinal quest with a sensational display of running rugby, claiming a 28-21 win at Scotstoun on Saturday.
Exeter Chiefs' slender hopes of making the knockout stages rested on them clinching a bonus-point win at Scotstoun with Leinster Rugby already wrapping up Pool Three in Round Five, but instead the reigning Premiership champions found themselves on the wrong end of bonus-point win for Glasgow Warriors.
With just pride to play for Glasgow Warriors raced out of the blocks at Scotstoun, with scrum-half Peter Horne releasing Scotland fullback Stuart Hogg to score the opening try after the hosts tore apart the Exeter Chiefs defence with less than two minutes on the clock.
England back row forward Sam Simmonds drew Exeter Chiefs level at 7-7 on the cusp of half-time after a gruelling first period that saw the visitors denied several times, before they finally burrowed over the whitewash.
In a classic Champions Cup affair the match came alive in the second half, with winger Tommy Seymour and flanker Matt Fagerson crossing in two tries in as many minutes courtesy of some remarkable running rugby from Glasgow Warriors.
It seemed like Exeter Chiefs' hopes were well and truly dashed, but with just 14 minutes on the clock, they offered a resilient riposte as flanker Don Armand forced his way over the line and centre Ian Whitten was quickly over in the corner moments later as the men in pink drew with seven points of Glasgow Warriors.
Glasgow Warriors defence was tested throughout the afternoon and proved strong enough to pass as they closed out the final 10 minutes without conceding to ensure Exeter Chiefs join them in leaving the competition at the end of the pool stages.
For Glasgow Warriors:
Tries: Hogg, Penalty try, Seymour, Fagerson
Cons: Russell 3, a penalty try does not require a conversion
For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries: Simmonds, Armand, Whitten
Cons: Steenson 3
Yellow card: Nic White (Exeter Chiefs, 52 - cynical foul, deliberate knock-on)
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Finn Russell, 9 George Horne, 8 Adam Ashe, 7 Matt Smith, 6 Matt Fagerson, 5 Jonny Gray (captain), 4 Rob Harley, 3 Siua Halanukonuka, 2 George Turner, 1 Jamie Bhatti.
Replacements: 16 Grant Stewart, 17 Alex Allan, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Greg Peterson, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Ali Price, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Lee Jones.
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Gareth Steenson (captain), 9 Nic White, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Don Armand, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Moray Low, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Toby Salmon, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 Tom Hendrickson.
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Cyril Lafon (France), Vincent Blasco (France)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)