Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Toyota Cheetahs 48 – 14 Glasgow Warriors

Dave Rennie
Glasgow Warriors Head Coach, Dave Rennie - pic © Alastair Ross / Novantae Photography

The Cheetahs raced away with this one, producing the kind of rugby that Gregor Townsend dreams of seeing in dark blue, as Glasgow were left shredded and strewn across the savannah for the buzzards to pick on.

The turbo-heeled home side opened the scoring within six-minutes rather fortuitously. Full-back Rhyno Smith charged through a gap in the Glasgow 22, his off-load to Henco Venter bounced off a mixture of him and Rory Hughes, and toward the Glasgow line. Referee Dan Jones called play on, and recently returned veteran Ruan Pienaar, a frequent thorn in Glasgow’s side from his Ulster days, picked up and waltzed over the try-line.

More Cheetahs pressure allowed Pienaar to extend the lead through a penalty, and although Glasgow were able to get themselves up the other end of the pitch from the restart, they lost Nick Grigg to injury in the process. There was no silver lining either, as the Glasgow maul was halted, the ball made unplayable, and possession gifted back to the Cheetahs.

Glasgow’s opening quarter had been sloppy, and from a handling error by Glenn Bryce, Cheetahs were awarded the scrum on halfway.

Glasgow got the shove on, but Pienaar managed to dig the ball out before the referee’s whistle sounded. His half-back partner Tian Schoeman made the first break, and when he wasn’t held in the tackle, he popped the ball up for hooker Joseph Dweba. Dweba still had a lot to do, but from 35m out he showed great acceleration, side-stepped Frisby with ease, and got Cheetahs half-way to their try bonus.

These two sides scored 163 tries between them last season, and Frisby, from seemingly nothing managed to get the Warriors onto the scoreboard with 10mins remaining in the half. Hughes kick through was hopeful more than anything, but Bruce Flockhart, on as a HIA replacement for Andrew Davidson, gave chase. Flockhart slid, and just as the ball looked set to graze the sideline, he got boot to ball, pushing it into the goal area where Frisby pounced.

Dweba then scored off the back of a maul for his second, although a penalty try was close to being awarded anyway, and although Glasgow found themselves in a similar position shortly after, Stewart’s line-out was stolen, and not for the first or last time either.

Half-time: 24-7

The half-time break did little to stop the slop. Matt Fagerson made a charging break through the middle, taking Glasgow up to the Cheetahs 10m line, where Glasgow were awarded a penalty.

I’m not sure what happened after that, but Glasgow must have tapped and went when the replay was still being shown, then proceeded to be turned over. Cheetahs cleared to touch, Steyn’s quickly taken line-out was aimed at Bryce’s shins. He knocked it on. This was honking rugby© at it’s peak honk. Nick Frisby seems to have taken the brunt of the blame, as he was then replaced by youngster Jamie Dobie.

The young scrum-half played a part as the Warriors tried to battle back, his well timed pass to Thomson allowed him to cut back against the drifting defence and find Nairn on the angle to reduce the arrears, but the Cheetahs struck back straight away to secure the bonus point.

Harley missed a tackle on Steenkamp, who galloped through the open paddock, and despite him being hauled down just short of the Warriors’ try-line, Rhyno Smith was there to take his pop for a simple score.

Junior Pokomela added another classy finish in the left-hand corner, Ruan Pienaar’s quickly taken penalty allowed Smith to get his second, and Glasgow were staring down both barrels of a ridicule rifle.

The 50-points drew ever closer for the Cheetahs, Sias Koen benefitting from more rampaging running from Rhyno Smith, and a benevolent touch judge who could have called William Small-Smith’s pass in the build-up forward, but Pienaar missed the conversion to leave Cheetahs on 48.

There may be a swathe of players away at the big show in Japan, but this was shameful stuff. There were still experienced heads out there, guys who have played international rugby even this year, but they were clueless. Set-pieces a disaster, four line-outs lost in the first-half alone, Huw Jones was anonymous, and even the most ardent Adam Hastings slater will have to admit that Brandon Thomson was simply dreadful.   

SRBlog MOTM: None of them. With just over 5mins remaining a graphic popped up showing that over 40 tackles had been missed, at a completion rate under 70%. That’s a team universally being dreadful.

Referee: Dan Jones (WRU)

11 Responses

  1. What’s going on with us? Is it a physche thing? Lynsey Sharp knocked our unexpectedly. Scotland don’t turn up. Warriors trump them both. FFS. What an embarrassment. Missed tackles at one every two minutes. Can’t even catch a feckin ball. Lots of times. What a chance to shine. Half the team were being called for the World Cup. Farcical. Intrigued to hear others in case I missed something, again.

    1. You missed the fact our penalty touch finds went out in goal and landed infield giving possession back to them. With Pienaar at the helm in the rare atmosphere of the HighVeld I expected Glasgow to lose, but not like that. It redefined honking rugby taking it to a new low, it was stonking honking rugby.

    2. Nope, don’t think you missed anything. Appalling from Glasgow. We don’t seem to want to the basics. Lineout a shambles, scrum dismantled, falling off tackles.

      I know the game was at altitude but much like Scotland, we looked shattered. I thought it wasn’t a bad side.

  2. One positive = Dobie looks an exciting prospect. You would never know he was playing schoolboy rugby earlier this year – some of his teammates were to-day!

  3. Over the last few years I’d generally consoled myself with at least Scottish Pro rugby’s club games strong and Scotland win at home and win well. Did I go to bed on Hogmanay last year and wake up in 2011?

  4. Missed line-outs , knock ons , missed kicks to touch , 41 ish missed tackles. Ridiculously poor passing. A horrible display from Glasgow. However The Cheetahs did look seriously good going forward, 2o Glasgow players unavailable & it was the 1st game of the season.

    Dobbie looked very promising


    Re Samoa v Scotland – I hope GT & the boys are watching the game on now – replicate what Argentina are doing, I’d pick Toolis as he’s our best line-out catcher

  5. Nick Frisbee and Brandon Thomson just don’t look up to that level. So many poor performances. Weak tackling. Huw Jones looks a shadow of his former self.

  6. We only expected Glasgow to be competitive because the 2nd or 3rd XV have performed so well many times in the past. With 20 plus players missing and the Cheetahs having just won the Currie Cup and the altitude being made worse by this being the first game it was always going to be a very tough game.

    On the other hand there are a lot of worrying points. Frisbee has been a huge let down, Thomson is nowhere near good enough to play Rennie’s game and Swinson and Harley look old, underpowered and easily beat in the line out. Bryce and sadly Hughes aren’t good enough. These players have the look of Solomons era Edinburgh.

    Losing players to Scotland is part and parcel of the set up and we have to accept that the SRU don’t have the money to bring in a 9, 10 or 15 at the standard of the league. Glasgow need to bring through fresh blood which means playing Davidson, McDonald, Flockhart, Gordon, Smith, Dobie, McDowall and Nairn when possible and putting some old warhorses out to pasture.

    1. Looking at the Cheetahs they didn’t have a forward older than 27 and had an average age of 24 in their 14 forwards.

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