Champions Cup – Late Drama As Slade Secures Another Comeback Win For Exeter Chiefs

 

Exeter Chiefs overcame Glasgow Warriors 19-17, securing their spot in the Round of 16, despite having been down for most of the match, with Slade kicking the match-winning conversion following a late try from young replacement Zack Wimbush.

There was still time for late drama, with the TMO and referee ruling out what would have been a stunning match-winning try for Glasgow Warriors with the clock in the red.

After a tight first half, Glasgow Warriors led 10-7 with a penalty from scrum-half George Horn proving the difference.

Horn kicked the crucial points after ten minutes, with Number 8 Greg Fisilau sent to the sin bin for a poor tackle on fly-half Duncan Weir.

The scrum-half was also involved in the game’s opening try; he dinked the ball over the Exeter Chiefs defence, and it fell into the hands of wing Kyle Rowe after his opposite number Ben Hammersley was unable to control the ball with his feet. Rowe raced away to score and Weir, back from his HIA, converted.

But Exeter Chiefs struck back with the clock in the red. After a sustained period of pressure, flanker and Man of the Match Jacques Vermeulen forced himself over, Slade kicking the extras to send the hosts in just three points behind.

Glasgow Warriors then struck first in the second period, with centre Sione Tuipulotu finishing off an extraordinary flowing move from the visitors, with Weir converting to restore the United Rugby Championship club’s 10-point lead.

But the hosts would not be subdued, and Dan Frost forced himself through the defence to dot down for an unconverted score to set up an enthralling final 20 minutes.

Replacement wing Wimbush levelled the scores with a 76th-minute try, and that set the scene for Slade to once again take the headlines as he kicked another pressure conversion.

Glasgow Warriors thought they had produced some late drama of their own to snatch the win with a late try from Euan Ferrie, who had pounced on a lose ball following a scrum on the hosts' five metre line.

But after consultation with the TMO, the referee determined Ferrie was not bound to the scrum and the score was chalked off, handing Exeter Chiefs yet another comeback win in the Investec Champions Cup.

The Gallagher Premiership side will close out their Investec Champions Cup Pool 3 campaign at Aviron Bayonnais next week, while Glasgow Warriors will face RC Toulon in a crucial match in Scotland.

Scorers:
Exeter Chiefs: Tries: Jacques Vermeulen, Dan Frost, Zack Wimbush. Conversions: Henry Slade (2).
Glasgow Warriors: Tries: Kyle Rowe, Sione Tuipulotu. Conversions: Duncan Weir (2). Penalty: George Horne.

Teams:

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Tom Wyatt, 14 Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Rory O’Loughlin, 11 Ben Hammersley, 10 Harvey Skinner, 9 Tom Cairns, 8 Greg Fisilau, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Ethan Roots, 5 Lewis Pearson, 4 Rus Tuima, 3 Ehren Painter, 2 Jack Yeandle (captain), 1 Alec Hepburn. Replacements: 16 Dan Frost, 17 Nika Abuladze, 18 Josh Iosefa-Scott, 19 Matt Postlethwaite, 20 Ross Vintcent, 21 Stu Townsend, 22 Joe Hawkins, 23 Zack Wimbush.

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Josh McKay, 14 Huw Jones, 13 Sione Tuipulotu (captain), 12 Stafford McDowall, 11 Kyle Rowe, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 George Horne, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Matt Fagerson, 6 Ally Miller, 5 Alex Samuel, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Gregor Hiddleston, 1 Oli Kebble. Replacements: 16 George Turner, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Lucio Sordoni, 19 Richie Gray, 20 Max Williamson, 21 Euan Ferrie, 22 Ben Afshar, 23 Tom Jordan.