Glasgow Warriors 37-10 Bath
Glasgow Warriors made a statement in their opening match of the 2014/15 Champions Cup, mixing a rapier-sharp attack with resolute defence to claim a 37-10 victory over Bath at Scotstoun.
Bennett crossed for two of the club’s five tries in front of the Warrior Nation,
on an afternoon that displayed all that is celebrated about Glasgow rugby.
Scotstoun bathed in sunshine, the Warrior Nation could scarcely have asked for more
perfect conditions for running rugby. Yet the early exchanges were dominated by
the boot as both sides looked to suss the other out, George Ford’s
fourth-minute penalty giving Bath an early lead.
first venture into Bath territory, though, the Warriors struck with aplomb.
Swift hands from a midfield scrum allowed Tommy Seymour to make the initial
incision, before good interplay from the Glasgow pack took the hosts to within
15 metres. It was then left to Bennett to provide the cutting edge, running a sublime
switch line off Duncan Weir to crash over under the posts. Weir himself
converted, and the Warriors led 7-3 after 10 minutes.
lasted for all of 90 seconds, however. A swirling high kick from Ford evaded
the clutches of Stuart Hogg, with Jonathan Joseph on hand to scoop up the loose
ball and race home from 25 metres. With Ford adding the extras, the visitors
led by three once more.
the Warriors were happy to rely on their patented style of attacking play. A
trademark offload out of a three-man tackle from Leone Nakarawa sent Seymour
scampering into the Bath 22, with the visitors conceding the penalty in their
attempts to scramble back. The indiscretion was punished from the tee by Weir,
and the scores were level after 18 minutes.
Weir penalty nudged Glasgow in front on 23 minutes, before the Warriors
delivered a Scotstoun sucker-punch. After denying Bath a try at one end, the
Warriors crossed for a score of their own at the other. Seymour’s soaring take
of Henry Pyrgos’ box-kick gave Glasgow the perfect field position, before the
ball was whipped across the field to Sean Maitland. The British and Irish Lion
showed superb strength to provide the finish under pressure from Joseph and
Anthony Watson, Weir’s conversion drifting wide to leave the scoreboard reading
18-10 to the home side.
second try was a sucker-punch, the third was a hammer blow. A quick tap from
Pyrgos from a free-kick caught the Bath defence sleeping, with Hogg delivering
the scoring pass to Seymour for the simplest of finishes in the corner. The
conversion attempt sailed wide, but with a 23-10 half-time lead Glasgow were in
no mood to complain.
There was no
let-up from the Warriors at the start of the second stanza; a powerful surge
from Adam Ashe, another sublime offload from Nakarawa and a perfectly weighted
grubber from Hogg had the Scotstoun faithful applauding a score from Chris
Fusaro just two minutes after the restart. Yet referee Jerome Garces had other
ideas, ruling out the score for a knock-on from DTH van der Merwe in the
clearly in no mood to relinquish their grip on proceedings; the tactical nous
of Pyrgos and Weir ensured that the home side remained firmly in control, with the
Warriors pack carrying with menace at every opportunity.
Yet Bath continued
to exert pressure on the Glasgow defence, as the English side looked for a way
back into the match. Indeed Stuart Hooper was a matter of inches away from
touching down on 55 minutes, with only Euan Murray’s timely intervention
denying the Bath captain.
There was a
sense that the next score would be crucial, and it duly arrived on 65 minutes.
To the delight of the Warrior Nation it was to go the way of their side; a
turnover from Tim Swinson recovered possession for Glasgow on halfway, before
replacement scrum-half Niko Matawalu injected some trademark flair into
proceedings. A step, a kick off the outside of the boot and some assistance
from Maitland and Bennett allowed the Fijian to dive over in the corner, Weir
converting with the aid of the left-hand upright for a 30-10 lead.
10 minutes remaining, came the icing on the cake. An inside ball on their own
22 saw the Warriors send Mark Bennett racing through a gap, the centre linking
up with van der Merwe to take play over halfway. Faced with Rokoduguni as the
covering defender, the Canadian’s grubber kick ahead was calmly regathered by
Bennett in the in-goal area for a try confirmed by the TMO. Another successful
conversion from Weir took the score to 37-10, and the result was well and truly
the Warrior Nation continued to roar their side’s every action until the final
blast of referee Garces’ whistle. A famous European victory secured, then, and
a bonus-point victory to kick-start their Champions Cup campaign – all in all,
a successful afternoon for Glasgow Warriors.