Glasgow Warriors 27-10 DHL Stormers

Glasgow Warriors 27-10 DHL Stormers

An inspired Glasgow Warriors side overpowered back-to-back finalists DHL Stormers at Scotstoun tonight, as Franco Smith’s men booked a place in the final four of the BKT United Rugby Championship with a 27-10 victory in front of a raucous Warrior Nation.

Tries from Sebastian Cancelliere, Henco Venter and Ross Thompson, allied to a flawless kicking performance from a Player of the Match-winning George Horne, saw the Warriors book their spot in the semi-finals, a trip to Munster now in store in seven days’ time.

With the fixture billed by many as the tie of the weekend, the match immediately lived up to the pre-match pyrotechnics as both sides looked to play and stretch the defence at every opportunity. It was the Warriors who had the first clear-cut opportunity 10 minutes in, as turnover ball and swift handling sent Cancelliere clear up the touchline. His inside ball evaded the onrushing Horne by a fingertip, however, but the Warrior Nation were in full voice.

Glasgow’s willingness to play from anywhere was in full evidence after Manie Libbok pulled a penalty attempt wide, a quick 22 springing Kyle Steyn into space. With the forward pack following their captain’s lead and charging through tackles time and again, the concession of a penalty by the visitors allowed Horne to open the scoring from the tee, giving the Warriors a 3-0 lead with 20 minutes gone.

Libbok would send another penalty wide of the uprights just 90 seconds after Horne’s effort, with the Glasgow line speed making life difficult for the visitors in attack to boot. Sione Tuipulotu and Rory Darge led one such defensive charge, the duo working in tandem to force the error from the hands of Hacjivah Dayimani.

It was Horne who was next to trouble the scorers, the scrum-half making no mistake with his second attempt of the night from 40 metres to double his side’s advantage as the game approached the half-hour mark.

That would be how the scoreline would remain at the interval, a goal-line stand from the Warriors holding out the visitors in front of the West Stand to a roar of approval from the Scotstoun faithful – and from the Glasgow replacements.

Fully aware of the importance of the next score, the Warriors began the second stanza with the same attacking impetus with which they had tackled the first. A slaloming Steyn beat countless defenders on a counter-attacking dart from his own 22, whilst a Huw Jones line break had the Warrior Nation on their feet five minutes after the restart.

The physicality was relentless from both teams in an increasingly hard-fought encounter, with neither side willing to give a single millimetre with the tie on the line. Stormers captain Salmaan Moerat was shown a yellow card with 55 minutes on the clock, his head-high clearout on Nathan McBeth earning the second-rower 10 minutes on the sidelines.

Instead, however, it was the visitors who struck for the opening score of the night. Good handling in midfield sent Warrick Gelant through a gap, the full-back’s scoring pass to Ben Loader deemed flat by referee Chris Busby as the winger dived over in the corner. Libbok’s conversion attempt from the touchline went astray, though, leaving Glasgow’s lead at 6-5 as the match entered the closing quarter.

Glasgow’s response was immediate, swift and ideal. A dropped ball at the restart gave the Warriors field position, before a dancing Tuipulotu burst into the Stormers 22 and fed Cancelliere. Faced with a lot to do, the Argentinan flyer produced a magical finish to send Scotstoun ballistic, Horne adding the extras for a 13-5 lead.

Back came the Stormers once more as Moerat prepared to return to the field, as Paul de Wet sniped over after repeat phases of pressure inside the Glasgow 22 just moments after coming off the bench. Libbok’s troubles from the tee would continue, however, striking the upright with his simplest kick of the night to leave the score at 13-10 to the hosts with 14 minutes to play.

Yet as they had done all evening, the Warriors rose to the challenge when it mattered most. Whilst George Turner was denied a try on his 100th appearance by a Stormers infringement at a driving maul, the Glasgow pack went to work with advantage in their back pockets. The final carry would come from Venter, the back-rower’s first try in Glasgow colours bringing an explosion of noise and fervour from the Warrior Nation that had barely subsided by the time Horne had knocked over the conversion.

There was still time for one final flourish, and a popular one at that. With the Stormers looking to play from behind their own try-line with the clock in the red, Venter’s charge down of Jean-Luc du Plessis’s chip fell kindly for Thompson, the replacement fly-half falling on the ball for a try on his 50th appearance at Scotstoun. Horne’s conversion put the final touch on a flawless display with the boot, the final scoreline reading 27-10 in favour of the home side.

One hurdle down, now on to the next – a trip to Thomond Park and a showdown with top seeds Munster now awaits next Saturday night.

Spread the word

Newsletter Sign-up

Sign up to our newsletter today to receive the latest updates, content and releases from Glasgow Warriors.