Warriors finish pre-season with convincing win over Canada 'A'

Glasgow Warriors concluded their pre-season preparations in style, as a youthful side were too good for Canada ‘A’ at Bridgehaugh.George Horne and Nick Grigg celebrate a try at Bridgehaugh

In what was an impressive display, the likes of George Horne and Matt Fagerson came to the fore as the Warriors ran in nine tries to win 63-0, with eight different players getting their name on the scoresheet.

In front of nearly 2000 people at the home of Stirling County, Glasgow, through Hagen Schulte’s kick-off, got the game underway in the shadow of the Wallace Monument.

With a number of new faces on show, it was perhaps unsurprising that one of them was to register the first score. After Glasgow had recycled the ball through a number of phases in the Canadian 22, Fijian scrum-half Nemia Kenatale burrowed over from close-range on his first appearance for the club. Schulte added the conversion, and Glasgow led 7-0 after as many minutes.

Unfortunately, a knock sustained in the act of scoring forced Kenatale’s debut to be curtailed, with George Horne taking his place.

The second try arrived soon after, and it was a popular one with the Bridgehaugh crowd. A spilt ball from Canada on halfway allowed Fraser Lyle to break away. The centre took contact and offloaded superbly to captain Peter Murchie, who in turn fed Nick Grigg to allow the former Stirling player to race over under the posts to leave Schulte with a simple conversion.

Glasgow’s pack was on top and on 14 minutes, a rolling maul allowed James Malcolm to touch down for the Warriors’ third try. Schulte converted from a tricky angle to give his side a 21-0 lead.

Canada were looking to play an expansive game of rugby as they searched for a way back into the match. However, they were almost undone by a Junior Bulumakau interception, the Army winger just knocking on as he tried to gather the ball.

The Canadians were undeterred, though, and enjoyed a good spell of pressure in the Glasgow half. Despite this, it was Glasgow who came closest to scoring, breaking from deep with a flowing move before being held up over the Canada try-line.

That sparked a frantic end to the half, with each side breaking the line and throwing the ball wide at every opportunity. In the end, it was left to Horne to snipe his way over for Glasgow’s fourth try deep into added time, Schulte converted to leave the half-time score at 28-0 in favour of the Warriors.

The second forty minutes began where the first had left off, with both sides probing to try and find a gap in the other’s defence. Once again, it was Glasgow who scored first, as Matt Fagerson’s strong carry saw him barrel over the line. Schulte was once again on target with the extras, taking the score to 35-0.

After a raft of tries earlier in the game, the Warrior Nation were made to wait until the 67th minute for their next score. A lovely one-two between Cammy Fenton and Horne saw the former crash over for his first try in a Warriors jersey. Horne continued Glasgow’s perfect record from the tee by adding the conversion, extending the advantage to 42-0.

Josh Henderson was the next to cross the Canadian whitewash, as the replacement fly-half was the man to benefit from Rory Hughes’ footwork and offload out wide to touch down. From the touchline, Horne bisected the uprights to add the extra two points.

Glasgow continued to threaten, with Kelly the man to finish off a set-play from a scrum inside the Canada 22 for their seventh try. Once again, Horne was successful with the conversion, taking Glasgow’s lead to 56-0.

There was to be time for one more score, and it arrived courtesy of Horne. The replacement scrum-half capped a fine all-around performance by tracking Henderson’s line break to receive an inside pass and dive over under the posts for his second try of the night. With the last kick of the game, he converted his own score, leaving the final score at 63-0 in favour of the Warriors.

With an impressive performance and some clinical finishing, the result sends Glasgow into the 2016/17 GUINNESS PRO12 season in the best manner possible as they prepare for the trip to Connacht this weekend.

Speaking exclusively to glasgowwarriors.org after the game, Nick Grigg said: “Before the game we set the goal that the last 20 minutes would be Warrior time, and we made sure we didn’t concede a point then. We didn’t concede a point at all, though, so the whole game was pretty much Warrior time!

“We’re equally happy with the nine tries and the clean sheet. I thought the new guys that came in from club rugby and the guys making their first appearance really stepped up, tried things that worked and got us those tries. We’re really happy on all fronts.

“I really enjoyed my first try for the Warriors. Big thanks to Peter Murchie for passing it to me, and all I had to do was run it between the sticks in the end. It was awesome to get my first try though.”

Written by
Craig Wright