Glasgow Warriors 37-23 Toyota Cheetahs

The Cheetahs may not have fancied a night in Glasgow given the weather on Friday night but you wouldn’t have known it from a spirited opening ten minutes that saw a long range try put them into an early lead and unsettle the vocal Scotstoun crowd.

A nice delayed pass from Adam Hastings – who was reaching into his bag of tricks all night but looked an assured presence at standoff – put Niko Matawalu into a gap and allowed the Fijian to carve his way through the Cheetahs defence.

The weather was foul and it looked like there were moods to match with George Horne and Lee Jones both involved in a bit of unnecessary niggle before almost combining when Horne broke the line and then chipped diagonally for Jones to chase. Sadly all he managed was flailing boot as it bounced touchwards.

Tim Swinson

Tempers flare during Glasgow Warriors vs Toyota Cheetahs –
pic © ALASTAIR ROSS | Novantae Photography

Glasgow did get the next score from a chip and chase but it was Ruaridh Jackson who regathered his own kick to touch down.

A Hastings penalty put the Warriors into the lead, but a near suicidal crossfield kick-pass from Niko inside his own 22 gave the Cheetahs enough presence to kick one back going into the sheds.

Half-time: Glasgow 15-10 Cheetahs

Lee Jones didn’t last long into the second half, going off with a suspected head knock just minutes in. Things got worse for Glasgow soon after as Chris Fusaro was penalised for unbinding from the scrum and Cheetahs fly-half Nial Marais popped a penalty over from the half-way line to make it a two point game.

The third Warriors try was awarded when Siua Halanukonuka emerged from a pile up with the ball after sustained pressure in the Cheetahs 22. Hastings only just missed a tricky conversion but Glasgow were starting to look comfortable.

Despite all the tries they struggled to really pull away from a tenacious Cheetahs side until late on; Marais pinned them back with another penalty. The lively George Horne was having an excellent game and scored the bonus point try just inside an hour after a back door offload from Niko put Sam Johnson – who looked strong just back from injury – in behind the defence before passing to his scrum-half.

George Horne

George Horne breaks free to score for Glasgow- pic © ALASTAIR ROSS | Novantae Photography

But the Cheetahs kept going, fullback Clayton Blommetjies scoring just minutes later after some nice offloading from the hefty men in orange. Yes Glasgow had a bonus point but there were only 4 points in it.

A further Hastings penalty eased the lead back out before Glasgow produced the best of the bunch, Nick Grigg streaming down the left wing before popping inside to Henry Pyrgos (on for Horne) who had some jinking to do to get clear of the defenders and touch down. Every time the Cheetahs looked like they might string something together as the game came to an end, Grigg or the excellent Tim Swinson would charge directly into their midst with the direction Rennie has been seeking all season.

Grigg almost had a just reward with a try on the death but was called back by referee George Clancy so he could yellow card Cheetahs captain Francois Venter.

Grigg would probably have been happy with the result anyway.

Referee: George Clancy (IRFU)

SRBlog Man of the Match: Nick Grigg was quieter in the first half, but his direct running, nice angles and almost Hamish Watson-like ability to stay upright in the face of five or six tacklers were too much for the Cheetahs in the second. Half backs Horne and Hastings, Swinson and Matt Fagerson all had good games too.

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29 comments on “Glasgow Warriors 37-23 Toyota Cheetahs

      • Finn Andrews on

        He has got to be in the Scotland squad for the summer, can easily see him slotting in with Russell, even more so if Hastings gets capped, I don’t think we should be rushing these guys like we have previously suggested but I think it would be a good idea to get them some game time for Scotland.

        It is however reassuring (having been at the game) that even when Glasgow have so many players (17, not all playing) in the Scotland squad that they can still put out a team with the quality that we had last night, a few seasons ago the international windows were killing us, now it looks like we are going from strength to strength.

    • Blake Westwood on

      Finn Andrews couldn’t agree more. George Horne, Jamie Ritchie, Matt Fagerson, Magnus Bradburry, Scott Cummings and Blair Kinghorn should all be going on the summer tour. I more than anyone am against chucking in someone who is not ready for international rugby too early but these guys have proven this season they are some of the best Scottish players in their positions and age is just a number.

      I am a huge admirer of both Luke Crosbie and Darcy Graham however would leave the pressure of representing Scotland for another year or two as they just haven’t had enough game time for Edinburgh. Crosbie who stands 6 foot 6 inches tall is not only a gigantic beast with all the physical to attributes to be a top 6 or 7 but also has almost-winger like pace which makes him such a great attacking threat which he proved with an incredible 60+ meter run with the ball to score a try against Leinster last week and Darcy Graham looks like that quicky, skiddy, creative winger we’ve been crying out for so long. Just leave these guys alone for a year or two and they will soon be top-level international players.

      • RuggersB on

        Crosbie looks a fantastic prospect. Big strong guy who puts himself about and can play good rugby… great pace for a big guy. Id have him on summer tour to begin his development for test level.

      • Scrummo on

        Bradbury, Crosbie, Ritchie and the two Matts: Smith and Fagerson are the future of our backrow for sure. I don’t think we’ll be lacking for powerful carriers in the future. Cummings and Carmichael look like cracking prospects in the second row too with Hunter-Hill just needing a chance to shine as well.

  1. pragmatic optomist on

    Good showing by Glasgow against a strong Cheetahs team. I couldn’t believe how easily ‘Nuke’ was robbed of the ball for the Cheetahs first try. The Glasgow cover (no cover on blindside) was caught napping. He made amends by scoring his first Glasgow try, but needs to be a bit more ‘barnacle like’ when holding on to the ball. Nico gave me palpitations as usual with his cross field kick, but he’s just ‘dangerous’ to everyone when he has the ball. Glasgow don’t seem to do ‘boring’ tries. Apart from Nukes try, the rest were all brilliant in horrible wet conditions.

  2. pragmatic optomist on

    The Glasgow line out was good last night with top marks to Malcolm and Cummings. The scrum also looked (apart from a couple of bad moments) strong against a big Cheetahs pack. Grigg is a difficult man to tackle and deserved his MOM, but also pleased for Johnson who looked very sharp considering it was his first game back. The results are much better than last year during the 6N. The different ‘who will play who’ permutations will start to become complicated. My concern is that it is a bit ‘loaded’ in favour of Leinster if they manage to get home advantage in the final. Really need Scarlets to finish above Leinster to ensure Leinster play away from home.

    • Scrummo on

      Thought Malcolm went well which is good to see. He’s looked like a guy who could go on to be challenging Brown to start at Glasgow for awhile without ever really asserting himself and if there is one position in the forwards that Scotland could do with some more depth at it’s hooker. Stewart looks like he’ll be challenging soon though as does Fenton at Edinburgh.

    • Niall B. on

      It’s sure to be Leinster first, unless Scarlets surprise them today. Just compare both teams’ remaining fixtures.

      17/2: Leinster (away)
      24/2: Ulster (home)
      3/3: Leinster (home)
      23-24-25/3: Munster (away)
      6-7-8/4: Glasgow (home)
      13-14-15/4: Edinburgh (away)
      28/4: Dragons (away)

      17/2: Scarlets (home)
      23/2: Southern Kings (home)
      3/3: Scarlets (away)
      23-24-25/3: Ospreys (away)
      6-7-8/4: Zebre (home)
      13-14-15/4: Benetton (home)
      28/4: Connacht (away)

      • TeamCam on

        Yep, I think Leinster will top conference B and probably win the final. Hopefully Edinburgh will make the play-offs at least, they’re looking increasingly good, and Ulster look to be in disarray.

      • Stuart on

        The fixtures for the season were very kind to Leinster to say the least….

        Both fixtures against Scarlets during the 6 nations. Ospreys and Glasgow away during international windows. The annual festive Irish carve up. First up to travel to SA and get that over and done with. A couple of home games to the Italians around the European knockouts. How fortunate.

      • Ade on

        Stuart, are you suggesting that the fixtures have been arranged to give Leinster an easy season, and by implication that there is significant corruption in the Pro14 administration?

        If so I hope you have taken your evidence to the appropriate authorities so that an investigation can take place followed by the subsequent criminal charges.

        Or are you just reading what you want into the fixture list?

  3. TeamCam on

    Interesting to see a fair bit of niggle between the teams tonight – are they our South African Munster? Of course it was disappointing, but entirely predictable, that Clancy only penalised Glasgow. That said, I was impressed when he marched Cheetahs back 10 for it a bit later. Also, Fagerson’s attempts not to comment further are hilarious.

    • Scrummo on

      I think the niggle was just them being South African and us having some players who don’t back down when faced with that sort of thing. Swinson in particular was the heartbeat of the team, always standing his ground and looking after his teammates, carrying hard into the line all night and putting in a couple of big hits that knocked the Saffers backwards, one of which led to a try I believe.

      Grigg as well showed Lee Jones the best way to put the Cheetah’s fly half back in his place with a bone ruddler.

      • Warks Scot on

        Never quite understood that some folk didn’t rate Swinson. Always gives 100%, has that bit of dog we always need & usually makes some hard yards carrying. If fit, in the top 3 or 4 Scottish 2nd rows for me. Only major downside is his age – probably wont be around for many more seasons. But let the national team take full advantage of his experience while we can.

      • Bulldog on

        Not everyone can appreciate what happens off the ball. I Swinston needs to stay fit for longer to get noticed again.

  4. Jamie on

    Horne and Hastings were both really good. They should be given as much game time as possible over the next few months as I think both will be first choice by next September.

  5. pragmatic optomist on

    If things go according to the plan in my head, it looks like a Glasgow home semi final against either Scarlets or Edinburgh. Although Edinburgh are looking good right now, I’m not sure they’re quite ready for a full Scarlets team in Llanelli for the quarter final. Shaping up to be Leinster playing the final at home yet again. (They beat Glasgow comfortably in the final last time, 4 years ago) Not sure I like ‘home finals’.

    • Southern Rob on

      I don’t understand why they don’t hold fire on deciding the venue for the final until the play off positions have been decided, then select a neutral venue – or choose somewhere like Parkhead or Hampden (or another football stadium in Italy or Wales or somewhere), which will always be neutral.

      I’m of the view that a final should always be at a neutral stadium.

      At least if Leinster get through then you’d hope they stick them in the away dressing rooms as a given!

    • Blake Westwood on

      If Edinburgh come 2nd in their conference which is more than achievable they will play either Cardiff or the Cheetah’s in their quarter final at home and should they win it they will set-up an all scottish semi-final with Glasgow. However finish 3rd which is the more likely scenario they will then have an away quarter final to munster and then an away semi to Scarlets/Leinster so coming 2nd is imperative for Edinburgh

  6. Clarkie on

    It’s the position we have the most talent & depth for Scotland but I really rate Grigg and Johnson in the centres, both are strong runners and mostly strong in defence, is Johnson a project player or already Scottish qualified? Would like to see both of them, Horne, Hastings and Matt Fagerson on the summer tour

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