Glasgow Warriors 21-10 Hollywoodbets Sharks

Glasgow Warriors 21-10 Hollywoodbets Sharks

Three first-half tries gave Glasgow Warriors a 21-10 victory over the Hollywoodbets Sharks at Scotstoun this evening, on a night that saw the club celebrate raising over £41,000 for Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity to date this season.

Scores from George Horne, Max Williamson – in a Player of the Match-winning performance – and captain Kyle Steyn secured the victory for the Warriors, who solidify their position in the top-two of the standings after Round 14.

With the purple pyrotechnics still lingering around Scotstoun, Franco Smith’s men were determined to set the tone early under the Friday night lights. Muscular carrying early on from Sione Tuipulotu and Henco Venter took the Warriors within touching distance of the whitewash, only for the Sharks to survive in the shadow of their own posts.

The visitors were powerless to do anything about the night’s opening score, however. Superb work at the lineout saw Glasgow drive fully 15 metres towards the try-line, and when the penalty was awarded Horne was quickest of mind and foot to take a quick tap and dive over next to the uprights. The scrum-half added the extras for good measure, giving his side a 7-0 lead after 11 minutes.

Roared on by a sold-out Scotstoun, the home side were looking to keep the tempo high at any opportunity. An electrifying break from Kyle Steyn took the Warriors from 22 to 22, whilst the midfield tandem of Tuipulotu and Stafford McDowall were giving no quarter in defence.

It was from defensive pressure that Glasgow would strike for the second time, as a midfield turnover and swift hands from Johnny Matthews and Tuipulotu allowed McDowall to kick downfield. With Boeta Chamberlain forced to carry over his own line at the expense of a scrum, the Glasgow pack went to work. Advantage in hand, the dancing feet of Facundo Cordero and the carrying of Jack Dempsey took the Warriors to within five metres, before Williamson was on hand to steam onto the latter’s offload and crash over. Horne converted, and Glasgow led 14-0.

Stung by their hosts, the Sharks duly set about applying phase after phase of pressure in the Glasgow 22 as they sought a response before the break. With Scott Cummings in the sin bin after one too many penalties against the Warriors, the visitors eventually made their pressure tell, Dan Jooste touching down despite pressure from the Fagerson brothers. The conversion drifted wide, making it a 14-5 scoreline as the game approached half-time.

The final word of the opening stanza would come from those in black, however, as the Warriors finished the half on the front foot. Once more Horne’s speed of thought would be the catalyst, the scrum-half’s quick tap penalty and flat pass sending Tuipulotu on a charge for the line. Whilst the centre was stopped short, Steyn’s sublime angle saw the skipper collect Horne’s pass and dive under the crossbar, the conversion making it a 21-5 advantage as the half-time whistle sounded.

Now in search of a fourth try and a valuable attacking bonus-point, the Warriors started the second 40 minutes at the same tempo they had finished the first. Dempsey’s carrying and offloading almost send Horne clear, whilst Cordero and Steyn were busy looking for work at every opportunity.

Against the run of play, however, it was the Sharks who were next to trouble the scorers. With advantage in hand, some speculative offloading allowed Ntuhuko Mchunu to finish in the corner. Once more the conversion drifted clear of the uprights, leaving the scoreline reading 21-10 in favour of the Warriors with 53 minutes gone.

With the Sharks pushing for a route back into the match and the Warriors searching for the bonus-point score, it was perhaps no surprise that each side continued to meet the challenge of the other head-on as the clock wound down. Jamie Dobie and Cordero came the closest of anyone to registering a final flourish, the pair combining to come within a couple of metres of the fourth try only for Siya Masuku to scramble in defence.

Whilst the fifth match point may have eluded the Warriors, a 23rd consecutive regular-season home victory in the BKT URC keeps Smith’s men in the hunt for a top-two berth – a trip to Scottish-Italian Shield counterparts Zebre Parma next weekend awaits, as the race for the top eight continues.

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