Exeter v Glasgow reaction: Franco Smith draws positive from frustrating defeat

Head coach refuses to criticise referee for chalking off late Euan Ferrie try

Euan Ferrie's late try which would have secured a famous win over Exter Chiefs at Sandy Park was controversially disallowed by referee Pierre Brousset. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Euan Ferrie's late try which would have secured a famous win over Exter Chiefs at Sandy Park was controversially disallowed by referee Pierre Brousset. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

FRANCO SMITH has refused to criticise referee Pierre Brousset’s decision to disallow Euan Ferrie’s late try which would have secured a statement win for Glasgow Warriors in their Champions Cup pool clash against Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park this afternoon .

With the clock in the red, the  22-year-old Warriors flanker latched onto a scuffed clearance from home No 8 Ross Vintcent and barged over the line. If the score had stood, the visitors would have gone 22-19 ahead with the conversion to come. But amid howls of protest from the home side, Brousset belatedly opted to refer the incident to the Television Match Official, who concluded that Ferrie had let go of his bind at the preceding scrum and was therefore offside when he gathered the ball.

“I’m not going to criticise the decision,” said Smith. “We shouldn’t have been in that position, but the fact we didn’t give up … I’m going to take the positives from that.

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“It’s always difficult there – has the No 8 detached before he picked the ball up to kick? Was the scrum over when the ball was visible? There are a lot of difficult things, but we have got to accept the decision and it shouldn’t have come down to that.

“We’re obviously disappointed with the final result, but I thought there were a lot of good things that we can take away from the game,” he added. “The guys showed some real good effort, and that’s what we asked from them. It’s difficult to come and play a very good team here.

“The disappointment sits in the result but we had some other gains and other objectives achieved which we are proud of.”


“I definitely felt there were a lot of opportunities for us to take the game away from them in the early part of the game. The ball bounced over our head, George Horne uncharacteristically dropped the ball and there were other line breaks we just didn’t finish.

“But hats off to what they did. It wasn’t what we didn’t do, but what they did do in the second half. They’re a proud team playing at home, they kept on knocking on the door and eventually we gave in with a try on the edge and a good kick to convert it.

“Close, but no cigar as they say.”

Smith also drew comfort from the performance of a handful of young and inexperienced players.

“We brought in Alex Samuel and Gregor Hiddleston. All the young guys who were involved, we didn’t want to just explain to them what it takes to win at this level or at Test match level going forward. They have to experience it so that when they’re back training or back in the conditioning room, they know what’s needed and how it feels,” he said.

Warriors play their final Champions Cup pool match at home against Toulon next Friday night, and could finish anywhere between third or last in the table. They need to be in the top four to progress to the last 16 of the Champions Cup, while a fifth place finish will see them drop into the second-tier Challenge Cup, and sixth would mean their European involvement is over for the season.

“Hopefully we won’t be last! We’re going to give it everything. Toulon beat us last year, which for us was a really disappointing game. We’re looking forward to going back at them this week,” said Smith.

Jack Dempsey is in the frame to return from a fractured bone above his eye for next week’s match, and Smith indicated that a few other recent absentees could also be involved.

“There are a couple of things we have to look at,” he said. “Kyle Steyn is showing his face again, Facundo Cordero is looking good. It’s a short turnaround but I have a little bit of cards up my sleeve.

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter said:  “The end was a little bit farcical. It was always going to get disallowed if it was looked at by the TMO, because there were three or four offences there, I would say.

“The big decision wasn’t turning the try over, it was going to the TMO. Once that happened it was pretty straightforward. It didn’t take a long process to work through that there was something going on there.”

Exeter v Glasgow: heartache for Warriors as late try is chalked off

About David Barnes 3817 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Glasgow had the early nine minutes with the points score against Exeter. That initial sent off 10 minutes off against Exeter’s No.8 Greg Fisilau. But that may be up be reported today to a red card on Fisilau – a head-on-head knock against Duncan Weir on the Glasgow stand-off.

  2. The end of the match was incredibly frustrating and Warriors probably very hard done by. But the focus should be on mistakes elsewhere that cost the game by inexcusably simply handing over possession. We scored a great try in the second half but then immediately failed to deal with the restart (how many times is that a Scottish team repeated failing?) and didn’t get out our 22 until after Exeter scored! And then with about 8 minutes to go we got a penalty just outside our 22, kicked it to about the Exeter 10m line and then from line out messed up the driving maul and turned the ball over. We then again didn’t get the ball back until after Exeter had scored the winning try. There’s no way Leinster or Munster would have lost that game as they simply wouldn’t have made those errors and that’s the material difference!

  3. It’s to late to matter now but I look at the clip above and for me Horne then Fagerson tackle the Exeter no8 as he lifts the ball, stopping him kicking it out and before Ferrie even moves, but they both look loosely bound to me throughout, at least Ferrie has a left hand on the shirt of his team mate as the ball is kicked and well after the lift. The two number 9’s fell over each other. The Exeter front row had hands on the floor so a Glasgow penalty?. Maybe McKay should have just held on to the pass? in the first place. Not sure where 3 or 4 offences took place Mr Baxter?.

  4. Baffling decision at the end but some real positives.
    Hiddleston was a revelation on hos debut.We’ll be seeing a lot more of this young man I’m sure.
    Fagerson (M) was vey impressive after his injury.
    Perhaps Tuipolotu at 13 for Scotland with Redpath (or Hutchison) inside him.Huw Jones on the bench covering wing,FB and centre?
    Good performance though and certainly showed a lot more “dog” than Edinburgh later on.

  5. One of the things I like about Franco is that he is magnanimous in defeat. He doesn’t criticise the officials, he acknowledges the team that one and he focuses on what he can control ie his teams performance and what he can change and they can do better. Baxter on the other hand “there were so many scrum infringements that it was always going to be disallowed when referred to the TMO”

    Gutted we lost but it was a heroic effort with several players putting their hands up for inclusion when we lose the other half of our team to the 6Ns.

    Our defence is also so much better than it was a couple of years back.

    Looking forward to the rest of the season!

    • SRU needs to keep Franco Smith in Scottish rugby for a very long time. He is a gracious and very astute coach who has never hidden from the fact that part of his role at Glasgow requires to bring through young Scottish talent. We saw this yesterday with some top performances from the younger guys which will be as pleasing to Gregor Townsend as it is to Glasgow supporters. I would love to see Smith in charge of Scotland when Toonie decides to step down.

  6. Ramblings- simply to many things went awry, call it a bad bounce, knock ons, wee bit unlucky whatever but had 3 or 4 of these. Tremendous defence and Glasgow are a proper team, Jones doesn’t like being on the wing. Weir had his best game for ages but still stands too deep. Thompson????? That it wasn’t a red card baffles me, direct head on head no mitigation. Rowe reminded me of Darcy Graham, praise indeed. With Dempsey, Steyn, Canciellari back soon looking good

  7. Excellent performance from Glasgow, Hiidlestone had an excellent debut, very poor decision at end denying a .edited victory.
    Glasgow a very well coached team
    As for you centre predictions Hutchinson won’t even be in the squad, I’d have Redpath Tuipulotu

  8. Good to see young guys blooded I thought Hiddleston had a superb Debut. The bounce did not go our way – we are still in it if we beat Toulon next week and with where they sit, they won’t care, so may field the ‘B’ side. However for 6N Hutchinson and Redpath look to be the favourites for 12 and 13.

    • It wasn’t the ‘bounce’ it was deeply corrupt reffing as per usual….. Rugby league is miles ahead of union with basic objectivity

    • While both Redpath and Hutchinson should undoubtedly be in the 6N squad, both are primarily distributing 12s so both in the starting line up is a bit unbalanced. So can see Redpath and Tuipulotu as 12 & 13. Shame Jones has had to cover the wing as probably costing him a starting place but his versatility, especially as FB cover, will be a useful asset. McDowall also deserves some kind of role and probably fits at 13 more naturally than either Redpath or Hutchinson. Steyn’s return may be just a bit too late to the wing/centre hybrid spot. Sad to say that Edinburgh won’t be impacted in midfield come 6N – great choices for back 3 but they desperately need some new talent at centre.


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