Glasgow Warriors 35-21 Vodacom Bulls
Glasgow Warriors turned in a powerful performance in both attack and defence in front of the Warrior Nation this evening, outmuscling the Vodacom Bulls to earn a 35-21 win at Scotstoun.
Tries from Player of the Match Matt Fagerson, Sebastian Cancelliere, George Horne, Josh McKay and Scott Cummings earned Glasgow the full five points, sending the crowd home with smiles on their faces.
Straight from the kick-off, Glasgow’s intent to run was clear. Cancelliere’s early line break was followed by an opening salvo from McKay, the full-back’s burst into the Bulls 22 causing the visitors to concede the penalty.
It was from that penalty that the Warriors struck for the game’s opening score. A well-worked lineout move sent Fraser Brown to within inches of the line, before the pack’s patience paid off. It would be Matt Fagerson who would power over the line for the try, George Horne adding the conversion for a 7-0 lead.
The Warrior Nation were still celebrating Fagerson’s score when their side doubled up with a superbly-executed score. Sublime footwork from Sione Tuipulotu saw the captain offload to Richie Gray, who in turn shipped it on brilliantly to Brown. The hooker’s pass to Cancelliere was perfectly timed, the Argentinian flyer racing over for his first try at Scotstoun. Horne’s conversion made it 14-0, with just 11 minutes on the clock.
Out of nothing, however, the Bulls would strike back as the opening quarter drew to a close. A loose ball was swept up by Cornal Hendricks, whose pass sent full-back Kurt-Lee Arendse over in the corner. Chris Smith converted well from the touchline, and the South African side were back within a score.
That wouldn’t be the case for long, though. Once more, it was the Warriors back-line that ignited the Scotstoun atmosphere – excellent interplay from Tuipulotu and McKay sent Cole Forbes into the Bulls 22, with the visitors conceding a penalty that was dispatched to the corner by Tom Jordan. The power of the pack proved too much for the Bulls to handle, Scott Cummings firing over from close range for a try that, allied to Horne’s conversion, restored Glasgow’s 14-point advantage.
Defensively, too, the hosts were putting on a clinic. Cummings in particular was making mincemeat of the Bulls mauling game, whilst a bulldozing clear-out from Zander Fagerson earned both a turnover and a roar of approval from the East Stand.
Momentum was fully with the Warriors, and it would be converted into the coveted bonus-point with three minutes left in the half. It would arrive in some style, to boot; Horne would do it all on his own, darting through a hole on halfway and scampering into the Bulls 22. Despite being floored as he looked to round the cover defence, the scrum-half had the presence of mind to release, get back tohis feet and scramble the final few yards for a mesmerising score. Converting his own try for good measure, the scoreline read at 28-7 to the home side as the teams headed back to the changing rooms.
A change of ends did nothing to alter the momentum of the match, with Tuipulotu leading from the front with a pinpoint 50-22 just two minutes into the second stanza to get the crowd on its feet.
Scotstoun was rocking, and the Warrior Nation would rise to acclaim their side’s fifth try on 47 minutes. Defence would again prove to be the catalyst, as a brutally efficient turnover allowed Jordan to thump the ball downfield for Cancelliere to chase. The Argentinian’s tackle allowed the supporting pack to fire through for another turnover, before Jordan’s lofted ball over the top sent him on a path for the corner. It wold be the simplest of tasks for him to feed the supporting McKay for the score, the full-back diving under the posts in front of the East Stand to make the conversion a simple one for Horne.
Unaccustomed to being outmatched physically, the Bulls once more came back at the Warriors. With both Horne and Elrigh Louw in the sin bin after a scrap, the visitors would eventually cross for their second score. After seeing successive short-range mauls repelled by Cummings and company, a tap penalty saw Bismarck du Plessis find enough of a gap to touch down. Smith added the extras to narrow the gap, taking the score to 35-14 to Glasgow on the hour mark.
The Warriors were in no mood to back down, however, with Cancelliere in particular looking lively at every opportunity. A world-class cover tackle would see the Argentinian deny Stedman Gans in the corner, before having a second try ruled out by the TMO after winning the race to a George Turner hack ahead.
Instead, the final word would belong to the Bulls. It would take them multiple phases inside the Glasgow 22, but Janco Swanepoel would eventually dive over for a try with 90 seconds to play. Morne Steyn would add the extras, but a final defensive effort from the Warriors would see the final score sit at 35-21 to the hosts.
A statement with and without the ball, then, for Glasgow Warriors – a South African double-header now awaits.