Glasgow bounced back from their Southern Kings horror-show to (insert anything other than “slay”) the Dragons , but some fans may agree with head coach Dave Rennie that the Warriors still have a “long way to go”.
The Warriors started with great intent and scored early. Inside two minutes, Huw Jones had just failed to collect Matawalu’s pass with the try-line beckoning after a lovely break from Hastings. Human cannon-ball Oli Kebble, showing some tremendous form after an injury-ravaged first season, was soon on hand to cross the white-wash for his first Warriors try in only the fifth minute. Hastings converted.
From the restart, Ryan Wilson rashly gave Dragons an easy shot at a 3-pointer when he entered a ruck, blatantly from the side. Further indiscipline from Harley and Kebble gave Arwel Robson another simple shot at goal.
Glasgow looked the far superior team on paper, and eventually that class took a foot-hold. After half an hour of them not scoring a point, they extended their lead with a great team try.
The multi-talented Mr Callum Gibbins acted as scrum-half from Jonny Gray’s line-out take and passed to Ali Price. Not wanting to be out-done in the passing stakes, Price delayed his own perfectly to an on-rushing Hastings. Price got hammered in the process, but Lee Jones finished off the move to cheer his team-mate up the park. Hastings – for the first time this season – missed the place kick.
Despite some profligacy and indiscipline, Glasgow went into half-time with a statistically deserved lead, but you sensed there was more in the tank.
Half-time: Glasgow Warriors 12–6 Dragons
The Glasgow lead was quickly extended after the break. All-star centre pairing Huw Jones and Alex Dunbar, yet to really click for Glasgow but a fixture in the national side, found gaps in the Dragons’ defence, and Dunbar off-loaded from the deck to Jones (of the Lee variety), for his second try of the night.
A brief flash-back to last week saw Ryan Wilson drop a pass from Hastings, and Adam Warren controlled the kick ahead to score for the Dragons as Huw Jones chased back. Jones’ challenge on the Dragons’ man caused Warren’s face to scrape along the Scotstoun astro-turf, leaving a rather sore reminder for the centre. But he’d have been happy with the score and the deficit was now down to only 4 points.
That within-a-score lead wasn’t to last long though. Huw Jones dummied and finished near the right corner for the bonus point try, and Alex Dunbar completed the try-scoring in the 78th minute after a very strong individual performance that bodes well for both men going into November.
A five-try, five-point, but not exactly five-star performance from the Warriors. With the territory and possession being heavily weighted in Glasgow’s favour, you would have expected a few more points on the board. The second half saw a big improvement, fewer handling errors and some good direct running from Jones and Dunbar. It was arguably Huw Jones best performance for the Warriors, but there aren’t too many highlights to compare with thus far, let’s hope he kicks on from here to deliver what we’ve seen from him in a Scotland shirt.
Referee: Stuart Berry (SARU)
SRBlog Man of the Match: Although he definitely put his hand up for the award again, Adam Hastings isn’t making a hat-trick of MOTM awards. Although his compatriot pinged him on the first two scrums, Oli Kebble, eventually won Mr Berry round to win a number of scrum penalties, and also contributed 10 tackles and a try.