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Glasgow fans left in disbelief at the Warriors lack of luck as bounce of the ball costs three tries and possible finals place

By Tom Vinicombe
Scotland midfielder Huw Jones couldn't catch a break in Glasgow's Champions Cup match with Exeter. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

In a match where a combined eight tries were scored, it seems like Glasgow and Exeter’s drawn Champions Cup fixture is being talked about for everything except the actual scores.

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The Glasgow Warriors, who raced out to a 14-3 lead off the back of tries to outside backs Tommy Seymour and Huw Jones, were eventually made to play catch up with an Exeter Chiefs side that will now fancy their chances at completing an unthinkable double, winning the English Premiership as well as securing a first every Champions Cup title.

The game ended 31-31, ensuring that Exeter will qualify for the knockout stages of the European competition while Glasgow will be left licking their wounds after suffering two home defeats in a row.

The biggest talking point out of the match has been the quality of refereeing (or lack thereof), with Glasgow fans, in particular, lamenting Romain Poite’s performance in the hot seat.

The other matter that has Glasgow fans riled up is the sheer lack of luck the Warriors had when it came to the bounce of the ball.

Continue reading below…

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On three separate occasions, Glasgow players would have had almost unimpeded runs in to score tries had the bouncing ball not thwarted their attempts.

Part-way through the first half, Glasgow fly-half Adam Hastings threaded an angled grubber through while hot on attack in Exeter’s 22 for wing Kyle Steyn to run onto – but the ball lurched up at the last second, which forced Steyn to have to stop in his tracks. The Exeter cover defence may have been able to get fingertips onto Steyn if the ball had popped into his arms, but a simple dive would’ve seen Glasgow touch down for their second try of the match.

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In the second half, it was Huw Jones – who otherwise had an excellent game – who was made to look like a fool.

First, with the game tied up at 24-all, Steyn made an excellent break into Exeter’s half and put a kick through for Jones, past the oncoming defence. Luck wasn’t on the centre’s side, however, as the ball stayed low to the ground and Jones fumbled the pick-up.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7MrUjCg32X/

Then, with the scores still locked up, Jones hacked forward a dropped Exeter pass and again found himself faced with an undefended tryline  – if only he could pick up the ball.

Instead, the ball took turn after turn but wouldn’t sit up for the Scottish midfielder and Jones was left holding his head in his hands after again knocking the ball forward while attempting to gather it up.

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Three almost certain tries, three opportunities that went begging.

Fans were quick to take to Twiter to express their disbelief at the horror luck the befell Glasgow, who will now be relying on the PRO14 for some silverware.

Here’s how the fans reacted:

https://twitter.com/MccreadyGraham/status/1216045547775234048

https://twitter.com/maxtrail1/status/1216085369952751616

https://twitter.com/vadersjester/status/1216059057934622720

Coach Dave Rennie, who likely won’t have another shot at the Champions Cup due to taking up a role with the Wallabies at the end of the season, lamented his side’s bad luck after the match.

“We just couldn’t get the ball to sit up,” Rennie told BBC Scotland.

“I think we had four clear opportunities if it had sat up. We created a lot of opportunities. We’re proud of the effort, frustrated as well.

The Warriors will play their final match of the tournament against Sale next weekend. If the stars align perfectly then there’s a minute chance that Glasgow could still find themselves in the playoffs, but chances are that their Champions Cup will come to an end in a week, regardless of the result.

WATCH: The Barbarians opened their doors to RugbyPass ahead of their most recent clash with Wales.

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Shaylen 2 hours ago
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If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

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Jon 8 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

This is a bit dramatic for me, I think the Rebels and Force cultures would be very strong, and if a player is chosen from either, you can be confident they are in a good head space and ready. Whether they quite have the technical or tactical foundations of the other two states is where one would way their risk of selection. I see no need for Schmidt to worry about that risk in this squad. The main reason I could see a predominance of players from Brumbies and Reds, is simple cohesion. What might the coaching group make of what’s lacking in the Tahs, and to a lesser extent Rebels and Force’s, franchise? Certainly sides (players) that are running irish plays like we saw from that lovely McDermott long ball with have a head start. I hope the players can continue it at International level. Really liked what I saw of Wright (don’t know player focus and just hadn’t seen a lot of him anyway) in that game, can see him being a glue in a Wallaby side too. A with the similar worry of selecting players like Ryan, I think it unfounded to worry so much about forward balance at the moment. Including both Wright and Skelton in the same lineout is not going to lose you games gainst Wales. Nor will any unknown weakenss Wales might find in Ryan be exploited to any great extent. It is the perfect time to introduce such a young player. What other shortcuts might Schmidt want to make now, just a year out from hosting BIL? When Gamble came on the scene I thought he had a Pocock ability to break game apart along with performing the role of a openside well. I would be very keen to drop Leota/Hooper for Gamble, and in your squad make up, include Uru as a lock. Did you forget to remove Vunivalu from your team? Would you have Meafou in your squad if you could?

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