An error ridden Warriors display put a dampener on what was a momentous night for the Glasgow side.
In their first match at their new home, the Warriors failed to treat the sizeable crowd with a victory as the Scarlets ran out 18-13 winners.
The loss leaves Townsend’s men with just 1 losing bonus point from two games ahead of a visit to reigning league champions, Ospreys next week.
Despite a promising start to the game, the Warriors faded as the match progressed allowing Scarlets to dominate proceedings prompting Glasgow’s captain Al Kellock to admit after the game “We’re not where we need to be. I’ve said before that our previous achievements have got us our own stadium and what we do this season will earn it. So far, we’ve not earned it.”
Before kick off the teams ran out onto the pitch and were accompanied by the loud crack of fireworks. Unfortunately for the home crowd, the Warriors failed to deliver a thunderous performance and within two minutes, Scarlets had a chance to silence the raucous home crowd. They failed to do so though when Rhys Priestland missed the target from a 40 metre penalty.
After six minutes, Ruaridh Jackson did what Priestland couldn’t when he launched the ball between the sticks from 37 metre Glasgow penalty.
Warriors responded to the vocal backing provided by the supporters and after going 3-0 in front, they charged forward with Van der Merwe rampaging through the Scarlets defence before being brought down short of the try line.
With 17 minutes played, Warriors had a chance to double their lead but Jackson badly skewed his penalty wide in what turned out to be a treacherous night for both sets of kickers.
Despite having to defend for the most part of the first 30 minutes, Scarlets scored the first try of the match. Glasgow stopped an attack in their twenty two before seeing their counter attack immediately defended by the Welsh side who spread the ball wide to Aaron Shingler who was able to cross the line.
Joy turned to anguish for Shingler though when he was sent to the sin bin following a high tackle on Peter Murchie just four minutes after putting his side into a 5-3 lead.
Both kickers showed inconsistency with Priestland missing the conversion attempt from the try and Jackson failing to slot the penalty following Shingler’s dismissal.
As the half neared a close, Warriors began an attack from the half way line but a misplaced pass allowed Scarlets to counter. The away side kicked the ball forward with Andy Fenby leading the chase before the winger touched down.
Warriors responded though through Ruaridh Jackson who kicked between the sticks on the stroke of half time to draw the Warriors closer to Scarlets points tally.
Half time- Glasgow 6-10 Scarlets
Having edged Warriors within four points of the Scarlets total, Jackson was replaced by Duncan Weir at the break.
Despite a dismal first half performance in front of the posts, Rhys Priestland nabbed three points early in the second half after the Warriors were guilty of infringing at the ruck.
Weir’s first duty after coming on was to gain three points but the Cambuslang boy agonisingly hit the post.
Glasgow were made to rue Weir’s missed penalty and conceded a try when the Scarlets quickly shifted the ball wide during an attack allowing Welsh winger George North dived over.
Priestland again failed to gather the extra two points on offer and Warriors found themselves 18-6 down midway through the second half.
In the remainder of the second period, Warriors continued to probe and torment the Scarlets defence with the Scotstoun crowd proving to be the 16th man in their last dash charge for points.
With less than five minutes remaining, Chris Cusiter scored the first Glasgow’s first try at their new ground after a slick attacking move and a well-timed pass from Peter Horne. Duncan Weir added the extras but it wasn’t enough to level the score-line leaving the Glasgow Warriors contingent thoroughly frustrated at the final whistle.
Full time- Glasgow 13-18 Scarlets
After the match a despondent Al Kellock rued Glasgow’s basic errors and said: “Too many mistakes killed us. Scarlets didn’t need to do much. We gifted them tries.
“Our set pieces were far better than they were last week but we didn’t put them under nearly enough pressure when they had the ball.
“We were easy tonight. We didn’t make ourselves hard to play against. Scarlets won’t be thinking that they played really well.
“It’s two games in so we’re not panicking too much yet but certain things definitely need sorted.”
Man of the Match – Liam Williams
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Peter Murchie; 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 DTH van der Merwe; 10 Ruaridh Jackson(Duncan Weir), 9 Chris Cusiter; 1 Ryan Grant(Gordon Reid), 2 Pat MacArthur(Dougie Hall), 3 Moray Low, 4 Tom Ryder, 5 Al Kellock (CAPTAIN), 6 James Eddie(Angus McDonald), 7 John Barclay, 8 Ryan Wilson.
Substitutes: 17 Mike Cusack, 18 Gordon Reid, 19 Angus Macdonald, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Henry Pyrgos, , 23 Peter Horne
Scarlets 15 Liam Williams; 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Andy Fenby; 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Tavis Knoyle(Gareth Davies); 1 Rhodri Jones, 2 Matthew Rees, 3 Deacon Manu, 4 George Earle, 5 Richard Kelly, 6 Aaron Shingler, 7 Johnathan Edwards, 8 Rob McCusker (CAPTAIN)