Tight contest in Gloucester ends in defeat for Warriors

Warriors left Kingsholm frustrated in their second pre-season fixture as they were beaten 33-19 by a Gloucester team who defended well and soaked up a lot of first-half pressure.Ryan Wilson in action against Gloucester

Had Glasgow turned their first-half dominance into points the tie would have been over by the break, with the hosts having limited possession as Warriors mounted attack after attack.

However, the Premiership side scored four second-half tries to come out on top.

The first-half was an all-Scottish affair, with competition for international places taking centre stage as Henry Pyrgos and Alex Dunbar came up against their international teammates, Greig Laidlaw and Matt Scott.

Warriors started brightly but it was Gloucester through Scott who drew first blood, intercepting a Peter Horne pass on halfway to run in unchallenged with Laidlaw adding the extras from the tee.

Had Henry Pyrgos’ penalty attempt two minutes later not crept wide, the score line would have been much more representative of the early stages, with the Warriors having spent the majority of the opening 10 minutes in Gloucester’s 22.

The home side’s rush defence and hard tackling was effective and disruptive for the majority of the first-half as the Warriors enjoyed the lions share of possession and territory, but were unable to find their way through the wall of Cherry and White.

Just as it looked as though the first-half efforts were going to go unrewarded, Gloucester wing Charlie Sharples was shown a yellow for a deliberate offside and from the resulting set piece Alex Dunbar charged down a Laidlaw clearance before composing himself to dot down ensuring it was all square at the break.

Townsend introduced a few fresh pairs of legs at half-time and new Namibian lock Tijuee Uanivi made an immediate impact, latching on to a Pyrgos offload to charge towards the Gloucester line. Dragged just short, possession was quickly recycled and Peter Horne dotted down in the corner.

From that point on Gloucester began to dominate and Laidlaw made amends for his earlier mistake by diving over after good work from his forwards before standing up to convert from out wide to make the score 14-12.

Sean Lamont runs at the Gloucester defenceBoth sides emptied their large benches and Gloucester’s substitutes made an impact. Matt Scott’s replacement Andy Symons dragging in the Warriors defence before popping off to full-back Tom Marshall who had a clear run in.

Laidlaw left the pitch to a rapturous applause from the home fans and his replacement Callum Braley was next on the score sheet. Good work again from New Zealander Marshall left Warriors’ defence scrambling and the scrum-half converted a simple two on one to make it 26-12

Glasgow refused to concede defeat and lovely hands in midfield found Sean Lamont running a good line that dissected the hosts with Rory Clegg converting. making it a one score game. However as Warriors pushed to level, more Gloucester offloading created space and they used an overlap cleverly at the death to free Elliot Creed meaning the tie finished 33-19 to the hosts.

Speaking to glasgowwarriors.org, Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: "It was a really good workout. We had a lot of set-pieces in their half in the first-half, so to see how defences shape up and to see what we did with the ball with a lot of opportunities close to their try line was really positive.

"There were some really good aspects in the first-half, particularly our set-piece went well, I thought our contact work was really good, we just didn't score the points when we had those chances near the try-line.

"The second-half started with a fantastic try but the twenty minutes after that was really disappointing as we allowed Gloucester to get back into the game, really though our ill-discipline and we made a few mistakes defensively which we'll be working to put right."

Starting Line-Ups

Gloucester Rugby

15. Tom Marshall, 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Matt Scott, 12. Billy Twelvetrees, 11. Henry Purdy, 10. Billy Burns, 9. Greig Laidlaw (capt); 1.Yann Thomas, 2. Richard Hibbard, 3. John Afoa, 4. Joe Latta, 5. Mariano Galarza, 6. Ross Moriarty, 7. Matt Kvesic, 8. Ben Morgan

Glasgow Warriors

15. Rory Hughes. 14. Leonardo Sarto, 13. Alex Dunbar, 12. Sam Johnson, 11. Sean Lamont, 10. Peter Horne, 9. Henry Pyrgos (capt); 1. Gordon Reid, 2. Corey Flynn, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Greg Peterson, 5. Scott Cummings, 6. Rob Harley, 7. Fraser Brown, 8. Ryan Wilson