Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Glasgow Warriors 40-16 Cardiff Blues

Dave Rennie
Glasgow Head Coach Dave Rennie - pic © ALASTAIR ROSS | Novantae Photography

Having struggled to put Cardiff away earlier in the season, Glasgow hosted the Welsh region at Scotstoun looking for a perfect 10 from 10 in the Pro 14 this season. Glasgow welcomed back Peter Horne and Alex Dunbar from Scotland duty, as well as Ryan Wilson who on this occasion was not given the captaincy of the side. This honour fell to Calumn Gibbins, emphasising the trust that Dave Rennie now has in the latest Scotstoun fans favourite.

It was Cardiff who had the early running, with a penalty right from kick off giving them a 3-point lead. The opening try was not far behind, with Glasgow looking like they had left their senses deep in the Scotstoun sheds. Five minutes in saw a ten point lead for Cardiff and Glasgow looking very shaken.

Any suggestion of this being an easy fixture had been promptly dispatched, so it was a relief when the ever-impressive Sam Johnson grabbed the Warriors first points on the 20-minute mark, with the leadership team having turned down a number of kickable penalties. His try, which came from a pinpoint cross kick from Horne was easily converted to bring the gap back to 3 points.

Nigel Owens was the man in charge for this one, and a number of ‘interesting’ decisions seemed initially to go the way of the Welsh side (Assistants and TMO were Scottish to be fair) but the game was to turn on its head on the 30-minute mark.

Cardiff had extended their lead with another Jarrod Evans penalty, and had won another penalty in their own half from the restart when Nigel and the team went to work, looking at a dangerous hit from the prop Taufa’ao Filise on George Turner. The Scot departed for an HIA, and did not return, leaving James Malcolm possibly the only fit hooker for Glasgow this weekend. Filise also permanently departed, with a red card shown by Nigel. By the letter of the law he had no choice, and to be fair it was a serious hit.

I am glad that Owens and Pascal Gauzere last week are leading by example on the ‘it doesn’t matter what the other player is doing i.e. falling/slipping, if you smash someone in the face with your shoulder you are off’ front.

Glasgow immediately capitalised, with Alex Dunbar getting the touchdown after great work from Gibbins to chase another cross kick. Horne converted to give a 14-13 lead to Glasgow which they took in at half time.

Half-time: Glasgow 14 – 13 Cardiff

Cardiff started the second 40 as they had the first with an Evans penalty taking them back into the lead but Glasgow came roaring back.

A repeat infringement yellow for Olly Robinson made it 15 against 13 in the player count, and Glasgow got their third try with Ruaridh Jackson at the end of a queue of Warriors to score in the far corner. Horne again made easy work of an otherwise ridiculously hard conversion, making it 21 – 16 to the home side. At this point the East Stand, chanting for the bonus point, welcomed the arrival of George Horne and Niko Matalawu.

The bonus point was secured on 62 minutes, when more pressure from the Warriors forwards saw them camped out on the Cardiff line. Scott Cummings came up agonisingly short and it was left to new boy Sam Vunisa, who is definitely in the ‘physical’ category of back row, to crash over.

Game over, job done. Horne again converted to make the score 28-16 with 15 minutes to play.

Glasgow had been efficient, if not spectacular in this one, but they finished up with a late flourish to send the crowd home with a smile.

First Leo Sarto got his standard issue try, which was well deserved given the hard yards that the giant Italian wing had put in. Horne finally missed a kick, but not to worry as thanks to the mercurial Matalawu, he would have another shot a minute later. Niko fielded a kick in his own half, looked left, right and then promptly decided that he could of course score himself.

A perfect chip over the top of the tiring Cardiff defence and his usual lucky bounce and the Fiji Weegie was under the posts, celebrating with the adoring Scotstoun fans. No other side can give Niko the freedom to play like he does, and yet again as a Warriors fan we are so lucky to have him in our ranks. One final kick from Horne, and a job well done. The fact that we can say that it was the ‘worst of our bonus point wins’ this year is an indication of the confidence and swagger that Glasgow are playing with.

Next up Montpellier x 2 with Big Vern at the helm and then our pals from across the M8 for the 1872 festivities. Can Edinburgh stop the unbeaten run?

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)

Attendance: 7,351

SRBlog Man of the Match:  The sponsors award went to the suitably moustached Ruaridh Jackson, who was solid in defence, dangerous in attack and directed play as a 2nd 10 when needed. Whilst Jackson was great, I am going to plump for Siua Halanukonuka, who in his 60 minutes was absolutely everywhere, including a solid set piece (when up against 8). He looked to shift the ball when required as well, which is a great sign for a prop within Rennie’s brand of ‘E-Numbers Rugby’. Other mentions go to Alex Dunbar who was solid, and both Hornes.

9 Responses

  1. History question. Has any side in the Pro 12/14 ever won their first ten league games? Just wondering if this is unprecedented.

  2. Scotland lost to the All Blacks, as did Cymru . It will be different when Cymru get their best side out mind you. Halfpenny is not Hogg but Williams, Evans and North will be a tough back three for you lads. With Davies in the centre, it is Cymru’s match to throw away. Don’t get excited about Jeremy Guscott . He will turn on you before the England match. He does this with Cymru every year. Talks us up to drop us hard and if we win he says he predicted it all. Come on lads , a good autumn does not make the spring a sure thing. You will be made very welcome in Caerdydd.

    1. I think we are pretty sure we will beat the welsh by around 20-25 points daihard, we were missing around half of our first choice and still pushed nz to the wire, they comfortably beat yous, we destroyed aus with record win , yous got humiliated by them, yous scraped pass a poor SA side and and cheated to beat a tier 2 Georgia, i know their has been talk off replacing italy for georgia but i think this could well apply to wales in the coming years, on top of that we have a coach who is passionate to lead his country over working for lions, Gatland and friends prefer to coach lions over wales.

      1. Daihard, please don’t think we are all as dismissive of the Welsh team as BlueThistle.

        Given current form, and injuries to key players such as Warburton, Davies and Ball, Scotland probably go into the 6N game as slim favourites. But to talk of 20-25 point winning margins, and Wales being replaced by Georgia in the 6N is unnecessarily provocative and ill-informed.

  3. In the days before television money dictated the format and timings of the 6N games, there was an annual pilgrimage by supporters to each of the competing nations rugby citadels. A Welsh choir would arrive in our village a week before the Murrayfield match, give a series of performances, then go off to Edinburgh for the match. The dominance of TV has deprived us of being close to the game and mixing with other supporters, so diluting that rugby community spirit. What do we get in exchange? Far too many so called pundits talking drivel. I’d much rather spend half time chatting to the folks about me in the stadium. Our game does not suffer from the more unfortunate habits of the football crowds: let’s keep it that way. Daihard, you fly the flag for Cymru, I’ll carry the Saltire, but we are all part of a greater rugby community which is about much more than just what happen on the pitch.

    1. It’s nothing to do with TV.

      It’s down to the unions selling tickets in packages for both/all three home fixtures which means the majority of the tickets go to home fans. Demand hugely outstrips supply for 6 nations games.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion