Glasgow Warriors 40-7 Dragons

Glasgow Warriors 40-7 Dragons

Glasgow Warriors returned to BKT United Rugby Championship action in style at Scotstoun this evening, running in six tries to claim a 40-7 victory over the Dragons to mark the club’s first Origin Round in style.

A brace apiece for Josh McKay and Stafford McDowall, the latter in a Player of the Match-winning performance, and a first try for the club for both Ben Afshar and debutant Facundo Cordero saw the Warriors move up to second in the standings after 10 rounds of play.

It took the Warriors just 30 seconds to set Origin Round alight; rising superbly to take a high ball, McKay turned on the afterburners with immediate effect. The full-back burst through the attempted challenge, before stepping the final two defenders and diving over in front of the East Stand. Ross Thompson added the extras for a 7-0 lead as the party got started in style.

The Warrior Nation were still celebrating the first try when the second followed just 90 seconds later. Swift hands saw Tom Jordan feed McDowall, and the centre duly splintered the defensive line, racing over from the 22 for a score that – allied to the conversion from Thompson – gave Glasgow a 14-0 lead with just three minutes on the clock.

Glasgow were in the mood, and were now looking to attack at every opportunity. Jordan’s charge saw the centre almost break clear from first phase, whilst Angus Fraser – on as a blood replacement for Johnny Matthews – almost provided one of the unforgettable Scotstoun moments for Jamie Dobie by dummying two defenders and bouncing off a third before an offload that was a fingertip away from being the assist of the season.

A third try was coming, and it would arrive from a familiar source. Once again Glasgow’s interplay in the back-line would prove too much for the visitors to handle, as McKay glided over for his second – and his team’s third try of the night. Thompson converted, handing his team a 21-0 lead at the interval.

The Warrior Nation was clamouring for a bonus-point, one their side duly delivered four minutes into the second stanza. Henco Venter’s line break and offload freed the supporting Jordan, the centre timing his pass to perfection to Afshar on his outside shoulder. Over went the scrum-half with a grin as wide as the Clyde as he touched down for his first try in Glasgow colours, Thompson converting for a 28-0 lead.

Determined to give their supporters reason to cheer, the Dragons thought they had finally found a route through the Glasgow defence on 54 minutes, as Matthew Screech made phase upon phase of possession inside the 22 count for the visitors. However, the Television Match Official intervened, citing obstruction on the Glasgow defence and chalking off the score.

The visitors would eventually get their try with 16 minutes to play, once again stringing phases together to stretch the Glasgow defence. In the end it was replacement Will Reed who took the scoring pass, sliding over on the damp surface to get the ball down. Angus O’Brien converted from out wide, taking the score to 28-7 in Glasgow’s favour.

Undeterred, Franco Smith’s men went right back on the offensive. Euan Ferrie’s deft hands set McDowall free in the wide channels, the captain in turn linking up with the supporting Jamie Dobie. Only some last-ditch scramble defence from the Dragons would deny the hosts, before a try-saving tackle on Jordan forced the ball to be spilled in contact.

The fifth try was soon delivered, however, as one of the club’s newest Warriors marked his debut in style. Strong work from McDowall and Oli Kebble at close quarters gave Duncan Weir the platform to pick out a sublime 25-metre miss pass, handing Cordero the simplest of finishes in front of the West Stand. The conversion would float wide, but Glasgow’s lead stood at 33-7 as the match entered the final 10 minutes.

It would almost be a spectacular double for Cordero straight from the restart, as the winger latched on to Sean Kennedy’s chip over the top and slipped the ball to Weir to send Glasgow from 22 to 22. Whilst the Argentinian couldn’t control the return pass in the following phase – despite a spectacular effort with the boot -, the Warrior Nation were in full voice.

With five minutes to play, a sixth try was delivered in clinical fashion. After a scrum penalty was dispatched to the corner, a set-piece move worked to perfection saw Johnny Matthews slip the ball inside to McDowall and send his captain over for his second score of the night. Weir added the extras, making it 40-7 to the hosts under the Saturday night lights.

That would prove to be the final score of the night, as the final whistle was meted with the Warrior Nation rising to applaud their team on a result that moves Franco Smith’s men up to second in the BKT United Rugby Championship, as well as capping off a memorable Club of Origin night at the home of the Warriors.

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