Franco Smith's Warriors run riot in Glasgow
MATCH REPORT: Glasgow Warriors bounced back from their opening-round defeat to Benetton with a 52-24 bonus-point victory over Cardiff at Scotstoun.
A hat-trick of touchdowns from the home team during a 10-minute period with an extra man midway through the first half saw Glasgow build up an unassailable lead.
But it was not all good news for Franco Smith as he took charge of his first home fixture, with Scotland flanker Rory Darge forced off with a serious-looking leg injury early in the match.
Cardiff was leading 7-0 through an early Josh Adams try and Jarrod Evans conversion when Thomas Young was yellow-carded for side entry at a ruck on his own line in the 21st minute.
Fraser Brown, Cole Forbes and Matt Fagerson all then scored in quick order, with George Horne slotting all three conversions from tricky positions wide on the right to make it 21-7.
Warriors then had to endure a spell a man down when stand-off Tom Jordan saw yellow for a high challenge on Adams, and an Evans penalty two minutes later following a ruck offence narrowed the gap by three points.
But the Warriors were not prepared to let the numerical disadvantage slow their progress.
The home team finished the first half with a flourish when scrum-half Horne dived over from close range to claim the four-try bonus point.
Cardiff started the second half brightly with a try from a line-out maul by Kristian Dacey, but that was as good as it got for Dai Young’s side.
Warriors marched straight back upfield to score try number five when Zander Fagerson surged under the Cardiff posts.
The visitors lost replacement centre Uilisi Halaholo to the sin bin for a high tackle on Brown just two minutes after he came off the bench, and Warriors scored straight after the penalty was kicked to the corner, with Brown claiming his second from a line-out drive.
Warriors thought they had scored again when Jordan went over on the left, but the try was chalked off for a forward pass earlier in the move.
It was a temporary hold-up for Warriors, and there was no doubt that the next try would stand when Jack Dempsey broke through the middle and sent Tom Gordon over.
Liam Belcher scored a consolation for Cardiff with 10 minutes to go, but Warriors had the last word with a Stafford McDowall charge-down try.
Player of the Match
Horne was relegated to fringe player status last season under Danny Wilson, but new head coach Smith has delivered a vote of confidence by picking him ahead of Ali Price for the first two games of this season, and the scrum-half grabbed his opportunity here with zip in attack and composure when required.
Play of the match
Warriors’ second try was an absolute peach, with the hosts launching the attack from their own 22 straight off the restart following the first try. Every member of the backline was involved at least once, with Sione Tuipulotu and Sebastian Cancelliere, in particular, making good ground, and Forbes finishing brilliantly.
For Glasgow Warriors
Tries: Brown 2, Forbes, Fagerson 2, Horne, Gordon, Da Re
Cons: Horn 6
Tries: Adams, Dacey, Belcher
Cons: Evans 2, Priestland
Glasgow: 15 Cole Forbes, 14 Sebastian Cancelliere, 13 Sione Tuipulotu, 12 Stafford McDowall, 11 Kyle Steyn (captain), 10 Tom Jordan, 9 George Horne, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Rory Darge, 6 Matt Fagerson, 5 Richie Gray, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Jamie Bhatti.
Replacements: 16 George Turner, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Lucio Sordoni, 19 Jean-Pierre du Preez, 20 Sintu Manjezi, 21 Thomas Gordon, 22 Ali Price, 23 Domingo Miotti.
Cardiff: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Aled Summerhill, 13 Mason Grady, 12 Max Llewellyn, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 James Ratti, 7 Thomas Young, 6 James Botham, 5 Seb Davies, 4 Josh Turnbull (captain), 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Rhys Carré.
Replacements: 16 Liam Belcher, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Keiron Assiratti, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Uilisi Halaholo.
Referee: Chris Busby (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Finlay Brown (Scotland), Ru Campbell (Scotland)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)