Gloucester query crucial scrum penalty

Date published: November 1 2014

Gloucester coach John Muggleton described his side’s narrow 28-27 defeat to Exeter Chiefs as ‘difficult to swallow’.

Gloucester coach John Muggleton described his side’s narrow 28-27 defeat to Exeter Chiefs as ‘difficult to swallow’.

The penalty try decision against Gloucester with two minutes to go swung the lead back in Exeter’s favour, before Aled Thomas narrowly missed a last-ditch penalty to win the game.

“A penalty try is a terrible way to lose a game,” said Muggleton.

“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 full-time… it 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.”

Exeter coach Ricky Pellow was generally happy with the performance of his side, even if they fell short in certain areas during the first half.

“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,” said Pellow.

“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.

“We’ve been on the end of those results where we have lost with the last play of the game.”