Glasgow Warriors 31-10 Ospreys

Glasgow Warriors continued their winning start to the 2017/18 Guinness PRO14, securing a bonus-point 31-10 victory over the Ospreys at Scotstoun.Alex Dunbar scoring the first of his two tries

A brace of tries from man-of-the-match Alex Dunbar ensured that Dave Rennie’s first home match in charge of the Warriors would yield maximum points, with Leonardo Sarto and Adam Ashe also crossing in front of a capacity crowd of 7531.

In glorious conditions, returning British and Irish Lion Finn Russell got proceedings underway, with the Scotstoun crowd in fine voice.

The Warriors immediately made their intent to attack clear, exerting sustained pressure in the Ospreys 22 in the opening five minutes. The visitors’ defence held firm, though despite strong carrying from the likes of George Turner and Scott Cummings.

With the Welsh side growing into the game, it was then the turn of the Glasgow defence to be tested. It was the physicality of the Warriors defence, however, that led to the game’s opening try on 15 minutes. A hit in midfield allowed Alex Dunbar to gather the loose ball, with the centre charging home from halfway to score near the posts. Russell added the extras, and the home side led 7-0.

Just moments later, the fly-half extended his side’s lead, kicking a penalty after the Ospreys were penalised for offside. However, the men from Swansea hit back almost immediately, full-back Dan Evans cutting a line through the defence to score under the posts. Sam Davies made no mistake with the simple conversion, leaving the score at 10-7 after 22 minutes.

Davies had the opportunity to level the scores on 24 minutes, but the Welsh international pushed his penalty from halfway to the left of the uprights. The Ospreys were continuing to pressurise their hosts into mistakes, though, allowing them to dictate territory and possession.

Yet despite the Ospreys pressure, Glasgow held firm, with impressive defensive line speed keeping their visitors at bay. Rory Hughes and Zander Fagerson caught the eye with some crowd-pleasing tackles, with the home side eventually clearing their lines through Russell.

Peter Horne on the attack in the bonus point win over the Ospreys

With time up at the end of the first-half, referee Marius Mitrea awarded the visitors a penalty following an indiscretion at the ruck by the Warriors forwards. Davies was on target with the kick, and the sides were level at 10-10 at the break.

The Warriors almost had the perfect start to the second half, as Callum Gibbins’ offload saw Rory Hughes sent clear, with the winger only denied a try by Keelan Giles’ last-ditch tackle.

Hughes was almost in again a couple of phases later, Ruaridh Jackson’s kick agonisingly just out of the Scotland international’s reach, whilst another kick through from Jackson almost saw Dunbar claim his second of the match.

The Warrior Nation sensed a breakthrough, and it arrived on 52 minutes. With referee Mitrea awarding the home side a penalty, Russell’s quick tap saw him break into the Ospreys 22, before offloading to Gibbins. The former Hurricane was dragged down a metre short, but had the presence of mind to pop the ball up to replacement Leonardo Sarto, who touched down for the try. Russell’s conversion gave his side a 17-10 lead, to the delight of the home crowd.

Glasgow were now on top, and claimed their third try on the hour mark. Adam Ashe read Sam Davies’ pass to perfection, intercepting the ball before showing good pace and a powerful fend to sprint over from inside his own half. From in front of the posts, Russell’s conversion extended the lead to 24-10.

With the home side looking for the bonus point and the weather ideally suited to running rugby, the Warriors were throwing the ball around at every opportunity. After Ospreys second row Bradley Davies was sent to the sin-bin after taking Tim Swinson out in the air, the fourth try finally arrived with three minutes remaining. Henry Pyrgos’ flat pass found Dunbar, who powered over the line from 10 metres out to cap a man-of-the-match performance. Russell was again on target with the conversion, taking the final score to 31-10 in the home side’s favour.

The final whistle was greeted with delight by the Scotstoun faithful, with their team preserving their 100% record so far this season. The Warriors now travel to Cardiff in seven days’ time, as they look to continue their unbeaten run.

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