A dreary game played out in dire conditions in which Glasgow were lucky to come away with the result that gets their European campaign back in business.
The writing was on the wall from the very first touch – DTH Van Der Merwe knocking on straight from kick off in the driving Welsh rain. The Scarlets scrum put heavy pressure on Glasgow (as every pack seems capable of this season) but it was Glasgow who came away with the first 3 pointer – Russell knocking over a routine kick after a cynical trip on Tommy Seymour.
Scarlets recovered well from this and spent most of their time in the Glasgow half with a series of impressive kicks pinning Glasgow back. It seemed that whenever the Scarlets looked likely to score they managed to butcher it with a knock on or lost line out, though it must be said that the Glasgow defence was at times brutal, Favaro in particular putting in a number of punishing hits.
Glasgow got another chance to add to the scoreboard as Aled Thomas committed the second cynical offence of the evening, knocking the ball back whilst laying on the floor. He was banished for 10mins and Russell knocked the kick over via the left upright.
Glasgow struggled for possession against the 14 men, and the loss of Johnny Gray at 35 mins for a head injury assessment did not help. The half petered out with much huffing and puffing from both teams but no real quality to speak of.
Half-time: Scarlets 0-6 Glasgow
The second half kicked off in dry conditions, with both teams starting to move the ball around. Even Leone Nakarawa got in on the act with a lovely offload to Lamont. Normal service was resumed however as much ball juggling and fumbling resulted in Mike Blair being absolutely battered by DTH. Blair left the action, replaced by Grayson Hart.
Finally, Glasgow got some territory and after a brilliant mauling effort the penalty went to the Scots. Russell knocked it over with ease and at 9-0 it looked like Glasgow should start to pull away in the final 20 mins.
Unfortunately the issue of indiscipline reared its ugly head again as it has done on a number of occasions this season. First Lamont went to the bin for a silly scoop back whilst on the floor (consistency after the Thomas card in the first half) which resulted in 3 points for the Scarlets.
Only 3 minutes later Favaro found himself being asked to leave for 10 also, although the official’s suggestion of a ‘late hit’ was a bit unjust when he was clearly going for the charge down. A touch clumsy and only a penalty in my mind but down to 13 men, Glasgow had it all to do.
Things got even more perilous for the Scotstoun men when Hart took leave of his auditory senses, ignoring a clear shout from Russell for a high ball and taking a smash in the head for his error of judgement. A clear case for a HIA and whilst this was performed, Lee Jones came on to cover at scrum half.
Glasgow did well to cope as 13 men, with only the initial 3 points from Lamont’s indiscretion being conceded right until Favaro was due to return when the splintering Glasgow scrum gave Thomas the chance of another 3 points.
The Welsh no.10 delivered, making it 6-9 with 13 minutes to play.
Really that was the end of the excitement, with the only noteworthy action coming on 75 mins as Glasgow were penalised for not rolling away. This gave Thomas the opportunity to level the scores but with the rain back his 40m kick sailed wide. Glasgow held on for the final 5 minutes to secure a vital 4 points.
SRBlog Man of the Match – The official MotM was Alex Dunbar, and whilst the centre was a rock in defence, I personally thought Simone Favaro or Fraser Brown deserved the award. Brown was secure in the lineout all night and carried well and Favaro was a monster in defence. His yellow probably swayed the decision against him but an abrasive night from the Italian back row.
Scarlets: Michael Collins; Steffan Evans, Gareth Owen, Hadleigh Parkes, DTH van der Merwe; Aled Thomas, Gareth Davies; Rob Evans, Emyr Phillips (capt), Samson Lee; Jake Ball, Maselino Paulino; Lewis Rawlins, Jack Condy, Morgan Allen.
Replacements: Ken Owens, Wyn Jones, Rhodri Jones, George Earle, Tom Price, Aled Davies, Steve Shingler, Harry Robinson.
Glasgow Warriors: Tommy Seymour; Taqele Naiyaravoro, Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Sean Lamont; Finn Russell, Mike Blair; Alex Allan, Fraser Brown, Sila Puafisi, Leone Nakarawa, Jonny Gray (capt), Rob Harley, Simone Favaro, Josh Strauss.
Replacements: Shalva Mamukashvili, Gordon Reid, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson, Ryan Wilson, Grayson Hart, Duncan Weir, Lee Jones.