Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Pellow critical despite success

Ricky Pellow would not let the late penalty try which gave Exeter an LV= Cup victory over Gloucester mask a less than impressive performance.

The Chiefs' defence of their first major silverware in their 143-year history started with a 28-27 victory - thanks to a late penalty try converted by Ceri Sweeney.

Exeter's skills coach Pellow said: " It was really pleasing to get the win with the penalty try - but we are not going to run away from the fact that the first half wasn't where we want to be.

"Individually and collectively we were just off it and to be fair to Gloucester they came at us and outworked us.

"We reset at half-time, talked about what was going to get us back in the game and what we needed to do.

"In the second half the guys did it - not for the whole second half but in patches - and when you are within six points going into the final stages, we knew that we could push through with it."

He continued: " We've been on the end of those results where we have lost with the last play of the game.

"The guys defended really well and got us in a strong position to finish it off. We weren't on our game in the first half at the set piece so to finish it off that way was really pleasing.

"There are some things that we need to talk and put to bed but we will host Bath next Saturday really excited about another new challenge - another west country derby - and another result there would put us in good stead going back into the Premiership."

The sides went into the break level at 10-10 with centre Adam Hughes' 80-metre interception try converted on the stroke of half-time by Sweeney, adding to his earlier penalty with a strong wind at his back.

Gloucester had dominated the play in the opening 40 minutes but their only reward was a close range try from number eight Gareth Evans, converted by fly-half Aled Thomas to add to his opening penalty against the elements.

Centre Bill Meakes and prop Yann Thomas added second-half tries for the visitors with fly-half Thomas adding both conversions and landing a penalty. The Chiefs replied with a touchdown from wing Fetu'u Vainikolo and the converted penalty try plus a Sweeney penalty.

Gloucester's defence coach John Muggleton said: "A penalty try is a terrible way to lose a game.

"You could say that they dropped a scrum in the middle of that series of penalties and the referee called it a slip.

"Perhaps that is looking at it with Cherry and White eyes - its a shocking way. Then to have the ball hit the post and bounce out after seems to be the history of the teams here when it is very close.

"It was very difficult to stomach that defeat because we played enough footie and made enough breaks to win the game but the reality of the situation is that we didn't. We have to learn from that, learn to finish them off.

"We had a plan to run the ball and get round the corner to make them fold because we didn't think they were too good there. But it all comes down to their interception try on half-time.

"The penalty count in the second half was completely different than that in the first half and for some of the same things. We needed to manage our field position and not have back-to-back penalties."


From Belfast Telegraph