Glasgow Warriors 29-20 Scarlets

Glasgow Warriors 29-20 Scarlets

A dominant display from the pack and 24 points from Brandon Thomson saw Glasgow Warriors earn a deserved 29-20 win over the Scarlets at Scotstoun

Despite losing Alex Allan to a red card early in the match, the 14-man
Warriors were more than good value for the win as a resolute display in front
of a passionate home crowd saw Dave Rennie’s men emerge victorious under the
floodlights in Glasgow’s west end.

It was the
visitors that struck the first blow, Rhys Patchell on target with a penalty to
give his side a 3-0 lead after seven minutes.

Glasgow soon
responded, with Brandon Thomson unerring from the tee with 13 minutes on the
clock after a Scarlets transgression at the breakdown.

The game’s
major incident arrived on 18 minutes, a decision that incensed the Warrior
Nation as Alex Allan was shown a red card by referee Frank Murphy after a
collision in midfield. The call left the home side playing with 14 men for over
three quarters of the match, and with a major challenge in front of them.

If the
Warriors felt any trepidation at the task in store, it was far from obvious.
The introduction of Oli Kebble into the front row resulted in an immediate
penalty to the hosts, Thomson on target from 40 metres to give his side the
lead on 21 minutes.

Glasgow – far from playing the long game – were beginning to express
themselves. Superb handling in midfield set Robbie Nairn racing free down the
touchline, the young winger covering 40 metres to break into the Scarlets’ 22.
A further surge from Kebble took the Warriors to within five metres, before
Scarlets’ second row Lewis Rawlins was sent to the sin bin for a professional

From the
resulting penalty, the hosts took full advantage. Kicking to the corner instead
of for the posts, a clean lineout win set up position to attack the Scarlets’
line. It was eventually left to Thomson to find the gap and touch down, the
South African converting his own try to give his side a 13-3 advantage on the
half-hour mark.

That sparked
the Scarlets into life, with last season’s beaten finalists pressing for a
score before the break. The Warriors defence stood resolute in the face of the
oncoming attack though, and when some outstanding counter-rucking presented
George Horne with turnover ball, the scrum-half’s pass to Niko Matawalu saw the
Fijian sprint from 22 to 22, relieving the pressure to a chorus of delighted
home fans as the referee’s half-time whistle soon followed.

Yet the hosts knew that they would need to keep their standards high in the face
of the expected onslaught from the visitors. The start to the second half,
therefore, was the stuff of dreams for the Warrior Nation. Chris Fusaro’s
turnover inside his own half allowed the ball to be spun wide to Ruaridh
Jackson, who chipped into space. The bounce may have beaten the Glasgow
full-back, but Nick Grigg was following up at pace to gather and race home for
a try on his 50th cap for the club. Thomson was on target once more,
and Glasgow led 20-3 just three minutes into the half.

It almost
got even better for the home side from the very next phase of play, as Nairn
thought he had crossed for a try-of-the-season contender following some
intricate handling involving Horne, George Turner and Scott Cummings. The score
was ruled out by the TMO, however, Cummings’ pass to Horne in the build-up
having been deemed to have travelled forward.

To compound
the blow, the visitors then crossed for their first try of the evening,
exploiting the overlap to send Jonathan Davies over out wide. Patchell’s
conversion drifted wide, though, leaving the score at 20-8 to the hosts.

Thomson brought
a measure of composure to what had been a manic start to the half on 50
minutes, kicking his third penalty of the game to extend his side’s advantage.

their numerical disadvantage, the Glasgow pack was dominant. Kebble and Siua
Halanukonuka’s scrummaging prowess earned their side a penalty, which allowed
the Warriors to establish themselves in the Scarlets’ 22 once more. A solid
five minutes of phases followed, with the forwards’ power eventually earning a
penalty in front of the posts. Thomson once more dispatched the kick with
aplomb, taking the score to 26-8 to the home side.

There was to
be no let-up from Rennie’s men, as they continued to monopolise possession. A
high tackle from Scarlets replacement Tom Phillips saw the back-rower become
the second Scarlet of the evening to be shown a yellow card, yet this time the
Welsh outfit would be the next to score. An interception from Davies saw the
British and Irish Lion run fully 80 metres, before two long passes sent Steff
Evans over in the corner. The conversion was missed, with Glasgow’s lead at 13
points going into the last 10 minutes.

The Scarlets
now had their tails up, and brought themselves back to within a converted try
with five minutes remaining. A searing break from Patchell and sharp handling
saw Clayton Blommetjes dive over, with Patchell converting to make it 26-20 to
Glasgow and ratchet up the pressure on the home side.

Yet once
more Thomson had the answer. When the Scarlets found themselves punished for
holding on to the ball, Glasgow’s fly-half made no mistake to seal a 29-20
victory, a win that was roared to the rafters by the Scotstoun faithful on the
full-time whistle.

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