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Glasgow fight back to beat Cardiff

URC REPORT: Glasgow Warriors fought back from a 0-13 half-time deficit to claim a hard-fought 17-13 home victory over Cardiff and move joint top of the United Rugby Championship.

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The Welsh side arrived at Scotstoun as underdogs after winning just three of their previous 11 matches but – with the aid of a strong wind behind them – they bossed the scoreboard in the first half, with Ben Thomas’s try the highlight.

However, Glasgow took full advantage of the turnaround, with forwards Max Williamson and Lucio Sordoni both scoring their first tries for the club as they moved level with Leinster at the summit.

With the inclement conditions wreaking havoc, two Tinus De Beer penalties – in the fourth and 27th minutes – got the visitors up and running.

Glasgow, who were without a string of internationals after the Six Nations, were struggling in the face of a ferocious gale, but their defence did well to hold up the visitors after they had got over the line on the half-hour mark.

However, Cardiff did get the ball down just moments later when centre Thomas burst through to apply the finish after a brilliant flowing move involving Thomas Young, Ellis Bevan and De Beer, who proceeded to add the extras.

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The interval represented a turning point. Glasgow got themselves up and running in the 43rd minute when lock Williamson found a lovely angle and darted over, with Duncan Weir converting.

Two minutes later, Cardiff were held up over the line for a second time and it proved pivotal as Glasgow edged themselves in front when prop Sordoni pushed over after a spell of pressure and Weir again converted.

The Welsh had a chance to get ahead once more on the hour but De Beer’s penalty came back off a post.

At the other end, Weir was on target with a 68th-minute penalty to open up a four-point lead. Glasgow thought they had put the game beyond their visitors three minutes later when Kyle Steyn finished off a lovely move, but it was chalked off for a forward pass.

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It made for a nervy finale, but Warriors held their nerve to see out a narrow victory.

Player of the Match

Fresh from being named Scotland’s Players’ Player of the Six Nations, loose forward Jack Dempsey was the most impressive player on show on a night of a wretched playing conditions. The No.8 brought energy to proceedings, carried the ball superbly and had some big defensive involvements to help his team dig out a slender victory.

Play of the match

Of the three tries scored in what was a war of attrition, Cardiff’s solitary touchdown was the most eye-catching of the evening. With 32 minutes on the clock, the Welsh side produced a swashbuckling move involving Thomas Young, Ellis Bevan and Tinus De Beer, and centre Ben Thomas burst through to apply the finish.

The scorers:

For Glasgow:
Tries: Williamson, Sordoni
Cons: Weir 2
Pen: Weir

For Cardiff:
Try: Thomas
Con: De Beer
Pens: De Beer 2

Teams:

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Josh McKay, 14 Sebastian Cancelliere, 13 Stafford McDowall, 12 Tom Jordan, 11 Kyle Steyn (captain), 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Jamie Dobie, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Matt Fagerson, 6 Euan Ferrie, 5 Alex Samuel, 4 Max Williamson, 3 Lucio Sordoni, 2 Johnny Matthews, 1 Nathan McBeth
Replacements: 16 Gregor Hiddleston, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Oli Kebble, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Ally Miller, 21 Henco Venter, 22 George Horne, 23 Duncan Munn

Cardiff: 15 Jacob Beetham, 14 Mason Grady, 13 Max Clark, 12 Ben Thomas, 11 Aled Summerhill, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Ellis Bevan, 8 Mackenzie Martin, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Ben Donnell, 5 Teddy Williams, 4 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 3 Will Davies-King, 2 Liam Belcher (captain), 1 Rhys Carré
Replacements: 16 Efan Daniel, 17 Rhys Barratt, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Seb Davies, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Matthew Aubrey, 22 Willis Halaholo, 23 Owen Lane

Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Mike Adamson (Scotland), Sam O’Neil (Scotland)
TMO: Colin Stanley (Ireland)

 

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