Warriors secure home Semi-Final
PRO14 REPORT: Glasgow Warriors ensured they will have a home Semi-Final in the PRO14 Final Series after blowing away Edinburgh in the first half to triumph 34-10 at Scotstoun Stadium.
Tries from Sam Johnson and Ali Price, plus ten points from the boot of Adam Hastings, saw Dave Rennie’s side race into a commanding 20-3 lead at the break.
Further tries from Nico Matawalu and Tommy Seymour after the restart then made the result safe for Glasgow as they finished the regular season at the summit of Conference A with 16 wins.
Warriors will now host the winners of the Semi-Final Qualifier between Ulster and Connacht for the chance to reach the Guinness PRO14 Final in their own city.
Edinburgh started the game knowing they would retain possession of the 1872 Cup no matter the result, having beaten Warriors twice already in the PRO14 this season.
But the stakes were even higher for the meeting at Scotstoun Stadium as Richard Cockerill’s side knew they needed at least two points in their quest for Champions Cup rugby next season.
With Benetton already securing the last Final Series spot in Conference B earlier in the day with a victory over Zebre, the best Edinburgh could do was finish in fourth.
They got off to the worse possible start, though, and found themselves 10-0 down inside eight minutes after Johnson score the game’s opening try for Warriors.
After Hastings gave his side a 3-0 advantage from the tee, Matawalu beat his tackler before offloading to Johnson, who side-stepped Darcy Graham to go under the sticks.
Former New Zealand U20 captain Simon Hickey got Edinburgh on the scoreboard for the first time, but the visitors suffered another blow when Dougie Fife was sin-binned.
And Glasgow took advantage of the extra man almost immediately after a sensational counter-attacking move ended with Stuart Hogg putting Price through for the try.
Hastings once against converted the extras before adding a penalty from around the 10m line on the half-hour mark to give the Conference A leaders 20-3 ahead at the interval.
Edinburgh made an encouraging start to the second half as they battered away at the Glasgow line after the restart, but they were unable to breakthrough the hosts’ defence.
Warriors then made the result safe just before the hour mark, with Matawalu crossing in the corner after benefitting from a brilliant long looping pass from Hastings to dot down.
Hastings maintained his excellent form from the kicking tee to add the extras, leaving Edinburgh with a mountain to climb to get the two points they need to pip Scarlets to fourth.
And any faint hopes Edinburgh had of getting something from the game were dashed when Hogg latched on to a George Horne kick before feeding Seymour for Glasgow’s fourth try.
Replacement scrumhalf Charlie Shiel stormed down the blind-side and stepped Hastings before offloading to Van der Merwe as Edinburgh grabbed a consolation – but it was too little, too late.
For Glasgow Warriors:
Tries: Johnson, Price, Matawalu, Seymour
Cons: Hastings 4
Pens: Hastings 2
Try: Van der Merwe
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Stuart Hogg; 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Kyle Steyn, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Niko Matawalu; 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Ali Price; 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Tom Gordon, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown (captain), 1 Jamie Bhatti,
Replacements: 16 Grant Stewart, 17 Alex Allan, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Tevita Tameilau, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 George Horne, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Rory Hughes
Edinburgh: 15 Darcy Graham; 14 Dougie Fife, 13 James Johnstone, 12 Chris Dean, 11 Duhan van der Merwe; 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 John Barclay, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 WP Nel, 2 Stuart McInally (captain),1 Pierre Schoeman,
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Rory Sutherland,18 Simon Berghan, 19 Callum Hunter-Hill, 20 Magnus Bradbury, 21 Charlie Shiel, 22 Jason Baggott, 23 Mark Bennett
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Lloyd Linton (Scotland) David Sutherland (Scotland)
TMO: Neil Patterson (Scotland)