That’s the Glasgow Warriors we’ve been waiting for. Where have they been all season?
An incredible performance from what was considered a makeshift side, produced equal amounts of attacking flair and defensive ferocity, in an enthralling rugby match.
Sam Johnson’s excellent try in the opening three minutes, a
combination of patient controlled forward play culminating in the “right to go
wide” and clinical backs play, set the tone for what was to be an open affair
with some fantastic attacking rugby.
“Big Horne”, who I have oftened criticised at stand-off, but looks so much better in the role if he has his brother alongside him, was next to cross the try-line.
Benetton centre Tuisava had given away a cheap penalty for
side-entry at a ruck, and once Horne Sr kicked deep into the Benetton 22, a
lovely delayed pass from Horneito off the back of a maul, let Steyn draw two
defenders with his run, and just as he had with Johnson’s try, Steyn passed
well out of the tackle, and Tuisava could not stop Horne Sr getting over the
Benetton’s maul has been a potent weapon for them recently, and once they gained field position through successive penalties, Hame Faiva reduced the deficit.
The home side then started to press on, but the Warriors’ defence held firm, George Turner particularly impressing, until Benetton knocked-on just metres from the line.
A moment of magic between the Horne brothers sent the prolific “Horneito” in under the sticks, but as the half drew to a close, Benetton crumbled Glasgow’s scrum, repeatedly, on their 5m line.
Aki Seiluli got sin-binned after the concession of a fourth
penalty, and Braam Steyn crossed with the last play of a tremendous first-half.
Half-time: Benetton 12 – 19 Glasgow Warriors
Whilst still down to 14-men Glasgow were under the cosh in the opening stages of the second half, and a redemptive try-line hit by Kebble, forced Benetton’s Steyn to spill the pill on the line.
The Warriors inexperienced flankers, Bruce Flockhart and Tom Gordon, had played extremely well, and a wonderful line-break by Flockhart saw him charge towards the line.
Who else would be there on his shoulder, but Horneito, to
finish the job, and the bonus point try. That’s him on 826 tries in 4 matches
now. Just ask Kevin Millar.
Benetton were playing some nice stuff too, but apart from at the set-piece, Glasgow had defended impeccably well, and it took a wonderful try finished by Antonio Rizzi to reduce the deficit to a converted try, at 19-26.
Another excellent Flockhart break into the Benetton’s 22 should perhaps have been dished out to his right, as Horneito sniffed his 9780th try since last Tuesday,
A horrible looking injury to Nick Grigg had seen him stretchered off in a neck brace (we wish him well), but a splendid looping pass from his replacement Glenn Bryce allowed Niko Matawalu to jink in and seal the deal – he’d better have done; he had Johnson in acres of space to his left for an easier run-in.
Further gloss was added to the score when Andrew Davidson intercepted Tavuyara’s pass, and that finished off an absolutely superb game of rugby, containing the attacking flair and defensive line-speed we recognise with the Warriors.
During periods of pressure, some heroic try-line defending when Benetton had advantage slowed the home-side’s inroads into the game as they sought to fought back.
For example, Grigg made one remarkable try-stopper on Ioane on a free-play, and although Benetton would eventually score, it slowed momentum and ran the clock down until the half-time regrouping period.
Referee: Nigel Owens (RWU)
SRBlog Man of the Match: Had he not conceded penalties for popping in up the scrum, George Turner would be in for a shout.
The vintage engine-room of Harley and Swinson, rumbled on nicely, but, predictably, it’s George Horne.
He’s the best scrum-half in Scotland. Box-kicking and passing is on par with his contenders, he snipes better, and he runs the best support lines in the game, because he has excellent game awareness.
Instinctively good players, such as him and Russell are, should start together if you want to be the fastest team in the world.
“Horneito” won’t learn top-level international experience sitting on the bench.