Warriors break their duck against 14-man Scarlets
PRO14 MATCH REPORT: Glasgow Warriors picked up their first win of the 2020/21 season, as they overcame 14-man Scarlets 20-7 in an eventful game at Scotstoun.
The hosts led 10-0 at the end of a cagey first half and Scarlets’ chances of getting back into the game received a hammer blow when Sam Lousi was sent off for a dangerous tackle two minutes after the restart.
Ryan Wilson crossed for Glasgow’s second score but the Warriors endured a nervy final 20 minutes after Samson Lee’s try, ending the game with 13 players after two late yellow cards.
It was an unexpectedly slow burner at Scotstoun as two often fluent sides took time to find their rhythm early on.
Both sides were guilty of giving away regular penalties when on the attack to disrupt their momentum, with fine work at the breakdown by each pack keeping the game scoreless in the opening exchanges.
Adam Hastings initially spurned an opportunity to break the deadlock when he sliced a penalty wide after 20 minutes but he made no mistake from a similar position nine minutes later to put his side 3-0 up.
The Scotland international’s next effort just lacked the legs to go between the sticks but Glasgow stayed on the front foot and extended their lead seven minutes before the break.
Wing Ratu Tagive made the initial break down the left and the hosts worked smartly through the phases to give Oli Kebble the opportunity to bundle over from two metres out.
Hastings added the extras to put Warriors 10-0 up and Scarlets were unable to make any inroads before the break despite a couple of notable opportunities.
Leigh Halfpenny, fresh from his record-breaking nine penalties against Munster last weekend, surprisingly sent a presentable kick wide before the determined Warriors defence kept Scarlets at bay as they launched another attack in the final minute of the half.
The second period was still in its infancy when the Welsh side were reduced to 14 men, with Lousi paying the price for a reckless high tackle on Tagive which ended the Glasgow wing’s afternoon.
The hosts immediately made their man advantage count as Ryan Wilson crashed over from close range, and their lead stood at 20 points when Hastings converted before adding a penalty.
Scarlets, who conceded a healthy lead against 14 men themselves last week, refused to lie down as they looked to put the boot on the other foot.
Glenn Delaney’s men got themselves on the scoreboard on 59 minutes when Lee crowned his 150th appearance for Scarlets with a try, throwing a neat dummy before touching down.
Halfpenny nailed his conversion from the touchline and Scarlets were then indebted to Steff Evans’ try-saving tackle on Tommy Seymour to keep their hopes alive.
Richie Gray came off the bench to make his 50th appearance but was quickly yellow carded following an infringement at the line-out to set up a grandstand finale with both sides down to 14.
When Nick Grigg followed Gray into the sin-bin shortly afterwards, Scarlets suddenly had a man advantage with nine minutes to play.
The visitors had chances in the closing stages but squandered a good position from an attacking line-out five metres out before Evans couldn’t quite ground the ball in the left corner as Scarlets slipped to a second straight defeat.
Play of the Day
A dummy from a prop forward is always a welcome sight and Samson Lee was on hand to provide it to get his side on the scoreboard at Scotstoun.
He looked up to assess his options before deciding he was better placed to himself – a decision which proved justified as he crashed over.
It was a fine way to mark his 150th appearance, though the final score would have made it a bittersweet occasion for the Welsh international.
Player of the Match
Glasgow needed their pack to stand tall in an anxious finale and lock Rob Harley did just that.
A nuisance at the breakdown throughout, Harley was in the thick of the action and was integral to helping his side close out the victory.
For Glasgow Warriors
Tries: Kebble, Wilson
Cons: Hastings 2
Pens: Hastings 2
Red card: Sam Lousi (Scarlets, 42)
Yellow cards: Richie Gray (Glasgow, 69), Nick Grigg (Glasgow, 70)
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Huw Jones, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Stafford McDowall, 11 Ratu Tagive, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Ali Price, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Tom Gordon, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Rob Harley, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown (Captain), 1 Oli Kebble
Replacements: 16 George Turner, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 D’arcy Rae, 19 Richie Gray, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 George Horne, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Niko Matawalu
Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny; 14 Tom Rogers, 13 Jonathan Davies (captain), 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Josh Macleod, 6 Blade Thomson, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Wyn Jones.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Phil Price, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 James Davies, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Steff Hughes.
Referee: Frank Murphy
Assistant referees: Ben Blain, Hollie Davidson
TMO: Andrew McMenemy