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Glasgow Warriors 29- 13 Cardiff Blues – Warriors go top

Graeme Morrison and Rob Harley - © Al Ross
Graeme Morrison and Rob Harley - © Al Ross

A mercurial second half performance from Flying Fijian Niko Matawalu guided Glasgow to another bonus point win against Cardiff Blues at Scotstoun this evening, sending Gregor Townsend’s men to the top of the RaboDirect PRO12.

Matawalu grabbed two tries as the Warriors scorched back from 13-10 down at half-time to claim a fifth consecutive bonus point – a PRO12 record – while there were also tries for Peter Horne and Duncan Weir, who was faultless from the kicking tee.

In a poor first half, the Warriors struggled to get a foothold in the match with impressive stand-off Rhys Patchell running the show for the visitors. He kicked a penalty to add to the conversion of Wales squad member Josh Navidi’s try.

Horne’s try – a facsimile of his solo score against Northampton – kept the hosts in touch at the interval, aligned with five first-half points from the boot of Weir, further enhancing his claims to start against Wales next weekend.

HALF-TIME: Glasgow Warriors 10-13 Cardiff Blues

The second half was a completely different story for the visitors, who were thoroughly blown away by the rampant Warriors in a manic 20 minute spell.

Matawalu crossed for a quick-fire double before Weir capitalised on a massive overlap to canter over under the posts. Weir added two further conversions before being replaced just after the hour by Scott Wight.

As attention turned back to the international arena next weekend, a number of Warriors staked their claim for a starting berth against Wales next Saturday. Kellock and Weir were outstanding for an hour, while Moray Low impressed off the bench, and Alex Dunbar must be pushing Max Evans for a place among the replacements. Wilson continues to impress at the back of the scrum especially with Denton picking up a knock against the Scarlets.

However, on Friday night it was all about the Warriors, who sit top of the league for the first time this season and seem well on course for a home semi-final.

FULL-TIME: Glasgow Warriors 29- 13 Cardiff Blues

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Byron McGuigan, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Peter Horne, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Niko Matawalu, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 John Barclay, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Al Kellock (c), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Gordon Reid.
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Ofa Fainga’anuku, 18 Moray Low, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 James Eddie, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Scott Wight, 23 Graeme Morrison.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj, 14 Owen Williams, 13 Richard Smith, 12 Gavin Evans (c), 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Alex Walker, 8 Luke Hamilton, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Rory Watts-Jones, 5 James Down, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Tafufa’ao Filise.
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Tamba Petru, 19 Macaulay Cook, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Cory Allen.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

Attendance: 3807

RaboDirect PRO12 man of the match: Josh Strauss (Glasgow Warriors)

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion