Glasgow Warriors 34-10 Edinburgh
A scintillating performance saw Glasgow Warriors cut loose against their cross-country rivals at Scotstoun, as Dave Rennie’s men swept to a 34-10 victory over Edinburgh at a sold-out Scotstoun.
In front of 10,000 supporters in Glasgow’s west end, the
home side ran in four tries to secure a bonus-point victory to secure their
place atop Conference A to set up a last four clash with either Ulster or
Connacht on Friday 17 May.
Straight from the kick-off, Glasgow showed their intent to
get the job done. Immediate defensive pressure forced the visitors to concede a
lineout, before infringing at the set-piece to provide Adam Hastings with an
early opportunity for points. The fly-half made no mistake, handing his side a
3-0 lead after two minutes.
The home side was just getting started. In their final
regular season home game, the Warriors struck with a late contender for try of
the season. Sharp interplay between Hastings and Stuart Hogg on halfway freed
Niko Matawalu, whose offload sent Sam Johnson scampering away down the
touchline. The Scotland centre produced a sumptuous left-foot sidestep to leave
the covering Henry Pyrgos for dead, racing under the posts to leave Hastings
with a simple conversion for a 10-0 lead.
Simon Hickey got Edinburgh on the board on 12 minutes as the
New Zealand fly-half kicked his first points of the night with a penalty, yet
seven minutes later the capital outfit found themselves under their own
crossbar once more after another superb Glasgow score. With Edinburgh
struggling to break the defensive line, turnover ball saw Ryan Wilson spin the
ball to Hogg. The full-back’s pace, footwork and eye for a gap saw him blast
into open space, before feeding Ali Price for a 30-metre run-in. Hastings
converted, and the crowd was in full voice.
Scotstoun was rocking as the game approached the half-hour
mark, every Glasgow tackle and line break being roared on by a capacity crowd.
Hastings kept the scoreboard ticking over, as his second penalty took his side
to a 20-3 lead.
A near-perfect first-half for the home side concluded with
one last defensive set, as Hastings ripped the ball out of the hands of an
opponent 15 metres from his own try-line, Price’s kick into touch ending the
half to a cacophony of cheers from the Warrior Nation.
Knowing they needed to score next to maintain any hopes of
reaching the Heineken Champions Cup play-off, it was Edinburgh that came out of
the dressing rooms on the front foot. Yet their attempts to breach the Glasgow
defensive line were repelled time and again, with the Warriors pack to the fore
before Duhan van der Merwe was bundled into touch by the covering defence.
Having shown their defensive resilience, Glasgow then
reminded their visitors of their attacking prowess as the game approached the
hour mark. A rampaging burst from Matt Fagerson took the Warriors into
opposition territory, before Scott Cummings hit a terrific line to punch his
way into the 22. When the ball was recycled, Hastings floated a pass over the
top to Matawalu and the Fijian did the rest, bouncing off a tackle and touching
down with aplomb. After a lengthy delay following an injury to Pyrgos, Hastings
added the conversion from out wide to extend his side’s advantage to 27-3.
The hosts were in pursuit of a try bonus-point as the clock
ticked on, with Cummings cutting through and feeding George Horne before Hogg
found himself run out of contention as he chased a kick ahead.
On a night of spectacular tries, though, the bonus-point
score topped them all. George Horne’s dummy inside his own 22 opened up a gap,
through which the replacement scrum-half accelerated into open field. Faced
with the Edinburgh covering defence, Horne put boot to ball for Hogg to chase.
The full-back gathered superbly, before spinning a wonderful pass to Seymour
out wide for the coup de grace. Another conversion from the deadeye boot of
Hastings added some more gloss to a memorable score, and took the score-line to
34-3 with four minutes to play.
The visitors finally found a way over the whitewash on 78
minutes. Charlie Shiel showed impressive footwork and pace to take him in
behind the Warriors defence before passing to the supporting van der Merwe for
the finishing touch, Hickey converting well from the touchline.
Yet this was Glasgow’s night, as the Warrior Nation greeted the final whistle with a rapturous reception on an evening where their team showed exactly what Glasgow rugby is all about.