Saturday, December 4

Champions Cup winners Exeter kick off defense with record win over Glasgow | Sport


It has been the shortest honeymoon period in club rugby history, but Exeter just picks up where it left off in October. Last season’s winning doubles have already won their first three Premiership games and marked the first game of their Champions Cup defense with their highest margin of victory in Europe.

If the Chiefs didn’t always reach stratospheric heights on a rainy and stormy afternoon, they had too much horsepower for Glasgow, who could at least say they were victims of friendly fire. Jonny Gray and Stuart Hogg used to be key players on their squad, but these days it is the English champions who are reinforced by their presence.

The two Scotland internationals made the roster, but perhaps the most prominent people involved were in the stands. While the terrain was sparsely populated, this was the first time Exeter supporters were allowed to watch since March.

They witnessed a typical dismantling of the opposition that went blank everywhere, including the scoreboard. With a greasy ball and slippery ground conditions that didn’t help, Glasgow also had to cope with the loss of its fly half Peter Horne and hooker George Turner to head injuries at a point in game history at the that such events cannot be cheerfully dismissed as minor. details.

It did nothing to reduce the feeling of a significant disparity in quality between the teams, regardless of the weather. When Jonny Hill and Luke Cowan-Dickie, two fit members of England’s successful fall team, continued as replacements in the second half, it further emphasized the gulf in class and the standards Exeter now aspires to.

Glasgow was staring down the canyon almost from the start, despite occasional efforts by French referee Matthieu Raynal to even the competition by ignoring numerous ruck infractions.

By the time their first successful drive brought the first attempt for Sam Simmonds, the Exeter forwards had already passed over the visitor line once and were clearly licking their lips.

Simmonds can’t be wrong right now and the European Player of the Year picked up another man of the match award to add to his bulging portfolio.

His brother Joe is right up there with him in terms of consistency and the latter’s conversion from the outside, perfectly nestled in the breeze, was as good as the goal kicks.

The day Gray was almost as influential and once he added Exeter’s second try, the only surprise was that the home team only led 14-0 at interval. It didn’t matter, an enchanted Hogg slipped by after a loud outburst from Olly Woodburn before Exeter really got things going. Jack Yeandle, playing well enough to keep Cowan-Dickie out of the starting lineup, ensured that the bonus point was safely gathered well ahead of time and additional attempts by Woodburn and Hill hardly flattered the team. local.

With Joe Simmonds’ laser-guided boot contributing all six conversions, he sets up a riveting game in Toulouse on Sunday against opponents who were memorably defeated in Devon in the delayed European semi-finals this fall. The “double double” is a long way off, but Exeter seems like a team that has developed a taste for the good life.

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There may come a time when all the hard work and tireless effort catches up with you, but there are few signs of it right now. Most telling of all, perhaps, was the mutual enjoyment on the faces of players and fans when the team was finally able to walk and greet real human beings after a huge victory.

All clubs have been desperate to welcome their fans, but for everyone associated with the Chiefs it was a particularly warm and fuzzy gathering. “I was very excited when the guys came out and received such warm applause,” said coach Ali Hepher, confirming that his team is now hungry for more.

“Going to France is a fantastic opportunity to put ourselves to the test. As a coach, you worry about last season’s hangover and the guys have taken their foot off, but now we’re seeing an extra level of confidence. They know how to win matches and deliver, and their inner belief has grown to a new level. It means we can move on and chase more trophies. “


www.theguardian.com

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