Scarlets 3-45 Glasgow Warriors

Scarlets 3-45 Glasgow Warriors

A hat-trick from Kyle Rowe helped Glasgow Warriors to move up to second in the BKT United Rugby Championship this evening, dispatching the Scarlets to claim a 45-3 victory in Llanelli.

Gregor Hiddleston – for the first time in Glasgow colours -, Scott Cummings and Johnny Matthews also crossed the whitewash to ensure all five points would be coming home to Glasgow, a penalty try also adding to Franco Smith’s side’s tally.

With the Warriors looking to start quickly and contest across the field, early pressure would be converted into points inside the opening 10 minutes. After Tom Rogers was shown a yellow card with just three minutes on the clock for illegally taking out Josh McKay in the air, the visitors went to work. Swift handling sent Sebastian Cancelliere haring towards the try-line, and while the Scarlets scrambled to stop the attack on one wing, they were powerless to do anything when the ball was whipped across to allow Rowe to slide over in the corner. Weir added the extras, ensuring the full seven points would go up on the scoreboard.

The Scarlets quickly went in search of a response after being restored to a full complement of players, Tomi Lewis taking advantage of a loose ball on halfway to break into the Glasgow 22. Cancelliere’s try-saving tackle prevented the score, with the Scarlets having to be content with a penalty from Ioan Lloyd as Glasgow strayed offside in the defensive line.

Instead, the next try would be Glasgow’s and it would come in familiar fashion. With the Scarlets creaking under repeated phases of pressure in their own 22, a penalty kicked to touch allowed Hiddleston to tuck himself away at the back of the maul and score his first-ever professional try. Once more Weir added the extras, and Glasgow’s lead was 14-3 at the half-hour mark.

That would be the last act of scoring in the half, but not for the want of trying from those in black. Time and again Henco Venter’s carrying saw the big number eight crash through the gain-line, whilst Rowe was denied a second with the clock in the red thanks to some desperate scramble defence from the hosts.

The Warrior Nation weren’t made to wait long for the third try, however, as Glasgow pounced within 50 seconds of the restart. Brilliant pressure from Cummings saw the second-rower charge down the clearing kick, before showing great patience to regather and dive over. Weir converted, giving his side a 21-3 advantage.

Glasgow were now well and truly hunting the bonus-point, with George Horne denied by the TMO after a livewire break saw the scrum-half combine with Rory Darge and Max Williamson to take play over the whitewash. Instead, the bonus-point would arrive from a familiar source, as a close-range maul proved too powerful for the hosts to stop legally. A penalty try and a yellow card duly followed, with Glasgow now up 28-3 with 25 minutes to play.

The Scarlets found themselves down to 13 men as the game entered the final quarter, after Sam Lousi was shown yellow for a high shot on Horne as the Warriors counter-attacked. The Warriors took full advantage immediately, as Matthews rumbled his way over for his 14th try of the season. The conversion split the uprights from Weir’s boot, taking the score to 35-3 in Glasgow’s favour.

Not content with one try during Lousi’s time in the sin bin, the Warriors made it a quickfire double by crossing again just four minutes later. Whilst the maul would this time be stopped short, quick ball from Jamie Dobie allowed Stafford McDowall to pick out Rowe with a 25 metre pass, sending the winger over for his second of the night. Weir’s conversion this time struck the upright, leaving the score at 40-3 inside the final 10 minutes.

There was still time for a final flourish from those in black, as the Warriors capped off a successful evening in west Wales with a seventh and final try. After hounding the Scarlets into an error with the clock in the red, a set-piece play was executed to perfection, Tom Jordan slicing through before sending Rowe over for his hat-trick score with the final play of the match. The conversion drifted wide, but the travelling Warrior Nation were in no mood to linger on the final kick.

A bonus-point win secured and a top-two place in the standings assured at the end of Round 13; attentions now turn to Europe, and Friday night’s trip to London as Harlequins await in the Investec Champions Cup.

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