Thursday 18 October 2018

Baxter hails Exeter's grit after Glasgow spurn lead

Baxter: Delighted to open with a win. Photo: Simon Galloway/PA
Baxter: Delighted to open with a win. Photo: Simon Galloway/PA Sportsdesk

Exeter boss Rob Baxter hailed a "vital" victory for his team as the Chiefs began their Champions Cup campaign with a 24-15 win over Glasgow.

In doing so, the Aviva Premiership champions ended Glasgow's unbeaten start to the season and set themselves up nicely for a Pool 3 clash in Montpellier, while the Scots host Leinster next Saturday.

"We've got the four points, we've got the win in the first round, which is vital," rugby director Baxter said.

"We didn't get out of the blocks as well as Glasgow did, but we have come through, got the win and denied them anything out of the game.

"That gives us a great foothold in the Pool, and now we have got eight days to recharge ourselves emotionally and physically to go out there (to Montpellier) and perform all over again.

"The really important thing is to make sure we are not chasing too hard after the first two rounds."

Glasgow had surged 10 points clear early on through a Tommy Seymour try, plus a Finn Russell conversion and penalty.

But the Chiefs, unbeaten at home in all competitions since last December, wiped out the deficit when prop Harry Williams and lock Jonny Hill claimed tries during a dominant spell, with fly-half Gareth Steenson converting both.

And Glasgow, who lost international hooker Fraser Brown to injury early in the action, were ultimately defeated despite wing Lee Jones' 44th-minute touchdown as a Steenson penalty and No 8 Sam Simmonds' late converted touchdown saw Exeter home.

Glasgow head coach Dave Rennie confirmed that Brown had suffered a knee injury just four weeks before Scotland begin their autumn series against Samoa at Murrayfield.

"Fraser got a knock a couple of minutes earlier," Rennie said. "He tried to soldier on. It is a knee, we are not sure about the severity of it.

"They (Exeter) played a lot of territory and choked us down our end of the field. They did it well.

"We are disappointed not to get any points tonight. We put a lot of effort out there, and we fell short."

Irish Independent

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