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Exeter secures spot in Champions Cup playoffs thanks to Wimbush's performance against Glasgow.
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Exeter secures spot in Champions Cup playoffs thanks to Wimbush’s performance against Glasgow.

Steve Borthwick may have his eye on a number of Exeter youngsters for his Six Nations squad but it was Henry Slade who proved the pick of the England hopefuls in a scrappy, controversial victory.

The Chiefs have secured a spot in the knockout round of the Champions Cup with one round remaining, thanks to Slade’s confident conversion of Zack Wimbush’s try and referee Pierre Brousset’s disallowing of Euan Ferrie’s try for Glasgow.

The Warriors put on a strong performance and it would be difficult to argue that they did not deserve the win. However, Brousset made the decision that Ferrie had broken his hold in the scrum prematurely in order to tackle Ross Vintcent, who was attempting to kick the ball out to end the match. Brousset then seized the opportunity and scored the winning point by collecting the loose ball and touching it down.

Exeter had struggled for large spells and their bright young things, including the winger Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, had been kept quiet for the most part. With Kevin Sinfield watching, Slade stood out for his composure, however, and the centre who was omitted from England’s World Cup squad dragged his side back into proceedings just as Glasgow looked on course to see out the match.

Given the unavailability of Owen Farrell, Manu Tuilagi, and Joe Marchant for the upcoming Six Nations due to different circumstances, it is likely that Slade will be included in the squad announced by Borthwick on Wednesday.

According to Exeter’s director of rugby, Rob Baxter, he is once again thoroughly enjoying the game. These exceptional performances are a result of his enthusiasm and ability to excel under pressure in his current role.

Pierre Brousset talks to players after disallowing the try of Glasgow Warriors’ Euan Ferrie

He is currently in excellent form, both in training and during games. It will be difficult to overlook him for upcoming England team selections, as he is performing admirably in all areas.

Unfortunately, Exeter was unable to maintain their 26-0 lead against Northampton in their previous match and it seemed to have affected their performance in the beginning of their latest game. However, credit must be given to Glasgow for their quick and precise start, as Josh McKay was denied a try due to an unlucky bounce of the ball.

Borthwick mentioned Greg Fisilau as one of the young players last week. However, he faced a challenging start here and was penalized for his involvement in a head-to-head collision with Glasgow’s Duncan Weir. As the fly-half was off for a head injury assessment, the scrum-half George Horne kicked a penalty to put Glasgow in the lead.

The initial try of the game was a result of Exeter’s own mistakes. Horne successfully executed a chip over the defenders, taking advantage of the gap in front of Ben Hammersley, who was playing as full-back. However, Ben’s attempt to handle the ball was unsuccessful as he ended up kneeing it into the hands of Kyle Rowe, who easily scored without any opposition.

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Exeter struggled in their lineout, but they were able to regain control through their strong scrum. The powerful push near the Glasgow line caused Weir to lose possession of the ball. After multiple close attempts, Jacques Vermeulen pushed his way through and scored for Exeter from a scrum.

Following a rough start to the second half, Glasgow managed to score an impressive try through their team leader, Sione Tuipulotu. This was made possible by a strong run by Scott Cummings and a well-executed pass from McKay. However, Exeter once again showed their strength near the goal line, with Dan Frost scoring this time.

Exeter remained five points behind after Slade’s unsuccessful conversion. Despite thinking they had tied the game when Wimbush scored in the left corner, Brousset determined that there was a knock-on in the lead-up.


Following a scrum near the Exeter goal line, there was a final play.

Source: theguardian.com