Gwalia Lightning 36 – 19 Glasgow Warriors
It wasn’t to be for Glasgow Warriors in Cardiff today as Gwalia Lightning moved to the top of the table following the match.
The Lightning crossed for six tries to secure a bonus point win, with Number 8 Gwennan Hopkins, wing Catherine Richards, half-backs Carys Hughes, Sian Jones and prop Abbey Constable, all crossing for tries. Wales Test full back Nel Metcalfe slotted over three conversions for the home side.
Flanker Holland Brogan scored a first half try for the Warriors with Aillie Tucker crossing for a brace of tries deep into injury time.
In a bruising and abrasive opening, both sides defences held sway until the home side took the lead on quarter of an hour when Number 8 Gwennan Hopkins split the visitors defence to cross for the try. Full back Metcalfe added the conversion to make it 7-0.
Gwalia Lightning stretched their lead after another period of pressure when a deft grubber by fly-half Carys Hughes put wing Catherine Richards over in the corner to give the Welsh side a 12-0 lead midway through the first half.
Glasgow then enjoyed a sustained period of pressure and flanker Holland Bogan crashed over for the visitors to haul the Scots back into the content and to make it 12-5.
Fly-half Hughes then crossed for the home side’s third try after some slick handling in a sweeping attacking move to make it 17-5 at half-time to the Lightning.
After the break, Gwalia started the second half as they finished the first and caught Glasgow out with an attack stopped just short of the visitor’s line after resolute defensive work by the visitors.
But the Lightning weren’t to be denied and Wales prop Abbey Constable crossed for her try from short-range.
Hopkins then crossed for her second try with what is becoming a trademark barnstorming charge off the back of a scrum to stretch the home side’s lead.
Scrum half Jones then get in on the act with a try from a quick tap penalty before the Warriors replied with two late tries by replacement prop Tucker deep into injury time. The first following a yellow card for a Gwalia player and the second after sustained pressure and another flurry of penalties by the Welsh side.
Speaking after the game, Head Coach Chris Laidlaw said “I’m really proud of the effort of the player group to keep fighting after a tough spell just after half-time.
“We showed that when we can get entries into the opposition 22, we are effective and can convert pressure into points. I thought there was some great attitude in our defence and we look forward to building on that over the new few weeks.”
Glasgow Warriors now face the Irish outfit Wolfhounds at home on Saturday 13 December. Laidlaw said “We know that we need to keep working hard at developing our game to continue to grow on and off the field.
“I thought our set piece functioned well today so with that platform we need to try and use that to continue applying pressure to the opposition and launch our attack.
“We will take the positives from this week and look forward to getting back to Scotstoun on Tuesday as we prepare for our first home game next weekend against a strong Wolfhounds outfit.”