Glasgow Warriors 17-13 Cardiff Rugby

Glasgow Warriors 17-13 Cardiff Rugby

Glasgow Warriors roared back from a half-time deficit to claim a valuable 17-13 victory over Cardiff at Scotstoun this evening, as first-ever club tries for Max Williamson and Lucio Sordoni kept the Warriors firmly in the top-four of the BKT United Rugby Championship standings.

In conditions that could generously be described as challenging, it was the visitors who struck first under the Friday night lights. After referee Frank Murphy penalised the Warriors for going off their feet at the ruck, Tinus de Beer made no mistake from 35 metres, giving the Welsh outfit a 3-0 lead after as many minutes.

With rain coming down in horizontal sheets and the wind swirling around Scotstoun, neither side was able to get into a fluid rhythm. Jack Dempsey was looking lively on his first BKT URC appearance since November, whilst both Kyle Steyn and Sebastian Cancelliere were finding space in an otherwise resolute Cardiff defence.

The visitors would once again be the next to trouble the scorers though, taking their chance from the tee on just their third visit to Glasgow territory. Once again de Beer was the man to take advantage, navigating the wind to split the uprights on 26 minutes to make it 6-0.

That penalty was seemingly the catalyst for the visitors to enjoy a purple patch in possession and territory, making the most of the wind at their backs to pin Glasgow in their own half. Rhys Carre and Teddy Williams went close as Cardiff pressed for an opener, Glasgow’s defence holding firm initially.

Cardiff would get their try on 31 minutes, however. Mason Grady’s line break and some impressive offloading given the conditions would send Ben Thomas over in the corner, de Beer converting to make it 13-0, a lead the visitors would hold until the interval despite phase upon phase of Glasgow pressure to end the half.

With the Warrior Nation urging their team forward in search of a response and the wind now at their backs, though, it took Glasgow just three minutes of the second half to click into attacking gear. Advantage in hand, Jamie Dobie’s instinctive blindside break and offload sent Steyn racing into the Cardiff 22. With Cardiff in retreat, Williamson’s superb line saw the big man collect Dobie’s pass and crash through two attempted tackles for his first professional try, Duncan Weir converting to narrow the deficit to six points.

It was a deficit that was wiped out entirely on 51 minutes, as Glasgow’s power game once again proved too much for their visitors. A scrum penalty kicked to touch allowed the pack to go to work, as Jack Dempsey and Johnny Matthews led the charge towards the try-line. In the end it was Sordoni who made the crucial final carry, the Argentinian’s first try in Glasgow colours – allied to Weir’s conversion – giving his side a 14-13 lead.

De Beer had the chance to restore Cardiff’s advantage from the tee on 58 minutes, only for the South African to strike the upright from 35 metres after Glasgow were penalised for holding on.

Instead, it was Weir who would extend his team’s lead with 12 minutes to play, punishing Cardiff for an indiscretion at the breakdown to make it 17-13 as the Warrior Nation raised the volume once more.

Just two minutes later, that volume would be raised even further as the Warriors thought they had crossed for their third try, Josh McKay’s pass and Matthews’ offload sending Steyn over the whitewash. The TMO deemed the initial ball from McKay to have gone forward, however, chalking off the score to the disappointment of the Scotstoun faithful.

Despite a late rally from the visitors, though, the Warriors would see out proceedings as the rain began to fall once more. A victory ground out in challenging conditions sees Franco Smith’s men keep pace at the top of the BKT URC standings; another Welsh opponent awaits next weekend as the Scarlets lie in wait in Llanelli.

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