Stuart Hogg was denied a last-minute winner against former club Glasgow as his 50-metre penalty hit the bar but a pulsating 31-31 draw edged Exeter into the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals.
The Gallagher Premiership leaders needed only a point to secure top spot in Pool Two and the teams shared eight tries and sixty-two points at Scotstoun.
They move on to twelve points ahead of their final game at Sale next weekend and have slim hopes of reaching the last eight as one of the three best runners-up.
The teams were level at the midway stage after Exeter bounced back from conceding two tries inside the opening eight minutes and Warriors were ultimately grateful for Niko Matawalu’s try and a brilliant conversion from Adam Hastings to level the scores – although they thought they had won it before Sam Johnson had a try disallowed.
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Warriors made a flying start, Brown releasing Tommy Seymour to cross inside the first minute. Gibbins soon gave away a penalty which allowed Joe Simmonds to get the visitors off the mark but Glasgow moved further ahead when Jones used Seymour outside him to dummy and burst through.
Hastings added his second difficult conversion but Warriors gifted their opponents a way back in when Johnson’s pass was intercepted by Nic White just inside his own half and the Australian scrum-half had a free run to the line.
Hastings added a penalty but the game turned when Gibbins shoulder-charged Jacques Vermeulen in a ruck and caught him in the head with his arm. The French match officials delivered the yellow card after studying video footage and the Chiefs quickly made their numerical advantage count as they drove for the line and Matt Kvesic emerged to touch down.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 11, 2020
Exeter went ahead for the first time following some purposeful possession play. Jack Nowell made some good ground before Vermeulen went over. With Gibbins back on, the hosts hit back quickly. Hogg spilled from the restart and his former team-mates piled on the pressure. Hastings set up George Horne after a dummy, hand-off and offload, and the fly-half levelled with his boot immediately before the half-time whistle.
Glasgow nearly scored again in the opening minute after Kyle Steyn plucked Hastings’ crossfield kick out the sky and laid the ball out wide, but Jones could not collect with the left flank empty. Worse was to follow for the centre when he kicked forward following a loose Exeter pass and only had to pick up the ball 10 metres from the try line. However, he fumbled and knocked on.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 7, 2020
Exeter regained the ascendancy and Brown paid the price after four infringements in quick succession as Glasgow defended desperately on their line. Kvesic made it count quickly again as he crossed following the penalty in the 55th minute. Glasgow hit back seven minutes later when replacement winger Matawalu got the crucial touch in the corner following a lineout maul. Hastings produced a brilliant conversion into the wind.
The hosts thought they had gone ahead eight minutes from time when Sam Johnson took Rob Harley’s inside pass to score but, after a big-screen examination, Hastings was penalised for a forward throw after taking two players out with a looping pass out wide. Exeter survived some late pressure which was ultimately relieved by a penalty on the halfway line and Hogg almost stole the show.
– Press Association
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