Warriors fight back to slay Dragons
MATCH REPORT: Glasgow Warriors bounced back after last weekend’s frustrating away loss to Benetton by producing their sharpest performance of the Danny Wilson era, beating the Dragons 33-14 at Scotstoun.
Two Dragons tries in the final quarter gave the scoreline a complexion that did not properly reflect the extent of the home team’s superiority.
Warriors fired out of the blocks, but inaccuracies at key moments meant it was not until the 15th minute that they made their dominance count on the scoreboard.
The opening try was scored by centre Sione Tuipulotu – the home side’s Australia-born Scotland international – who burst through midfield following a solid line-out drive from Wilson’s men.
The Dragons rallied briefly but could not put Warriors under any real pressure.
Warriors extended their lead on 26 minutes with a brilliant try for Kyle Steyn, following a sweeping attack featuring new boys Josh McKay and Sebastian Cancelliere, then an inch-perfect cross-field kick from Ross Thompson.
It looked like Warriors were going to claim try number three when Dempsey nipped up the side of a ruck then sent Ali Price into acres of space, but George Turner could not quite gather the scrum-half’s chip ahead.
That meant the Warriors had to wait until the last minute of the half before they struck again, with the home pack shoving their guests off their own scrum ball, and Dempsey rampaging home from 35 yards on a number-eight pick-up.
The Dragons showed a bit more resolve in the second half, and an excellent chip-and-chase from Sam Davies had Warriors in trouble, requiring an excellent, try-saving tackle from McKay.
Warriors weathered that mini-storm and while a huge hit by Josh Lewis on Cancelliere stopped a promising Glasgow attack in its tracks, there was no halting the home team when Dempsey sniffed out another gap at the edge of a ruck and carried deep into the Dragons 22, leading to the bonus-point try scored by Price a few phases later.
The Dragons struck back with a try through hooker Ellis Shipp, converted by Sam Davies with 14 minutes to play.
The home side soon responded through a Johnny Matthews try, and although the Dragons got a second consolation try through Mesake Doge, the game was over as a contest.
For Glasgow Warriors
Tries: Tuipulotu, Steyn, Dempsey, Price, Matthews
Cons: Thompson 4
Tries: Shipp, Doge
Cons: Davies 2
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Josh McKay, 14 Sebastian Cancelliere, 13 Kyle Steyn, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Cole Forbes, 10 Ross Thompson, 9 Ali Price, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Rory Darge, 6 Ryan Wilson (captain), 5 Richie Gray, 4 Rob Harley, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Johnny Matthews, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Murray McCallum, 19 Lewis Bean, 20 Kiran McDonald, 21 Jamie Dobie, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Nick Grigg.
Dragons: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 Jonah Holmes, 13 Aneurin Owen, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Rio Dyer, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Dan Babos, 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Ollie Griffiths, 6 Harri Keddie (captain), 5 Joe Maksymiw, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Leon Brown, 2 Ellis Shipp, 1 Aki Seiuli.
Replacements: 16 James Benjamin, 17 Josh Reynolds, 18 Mesake Doge, 19 Joe Davies, 20 Huw Taylor, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Josh Lewis, 23 Adam Warren.
Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Ben Blain (Scotland), Dunx McClement (Scotland)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)