Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier Herault Rugby
The Warriors ended their penultimate European group match with a 21-10 win over Montpellier at Scotstoun Stadium.
DTH van der Merwe scored a hat-trick, notching two tries in the second period and although the Warriors pushed for the bonus point fourth try, in the end it never came.
Gregor Townsend made three changes to his Glasgow staring line-up for the match, while Montpellier made wholesale changes to the team that started last weekend’s Top 14 defeat at Oyonnax.
In the Scotstoun sunshine, the Warriors started well but after Montpellier’s first attack they won a penalty and fired it between the sticks through Ben Lucas after seven minutes.
The Warriors looked in the mood to play their typical expansive style and after 13 minutes, they finished off a great move when Alex Dunbar offloaded to DTH van der Merwe.
Warriors’ top try scorer burst away from defenders to cross the whitewash, scoring his 36th try for the club.
Finn Russell then converted the touchdown to give the Warriors a 7-3 lead.
Montpellier, led by World Cup winning coach Jake White, were dangerous on the counter-attack and they crossed the try line with 18 minutes on the clock through captain, Thibaut Privat. The score was converted to give Montpellier a 10-7 lead.
With half an hour on the clock, the Warriors were desperate for tries and opted to run penalties. Montpellier were feeling the pressure and were indisciplined with Pat Cilliers, reducing them to 14-men.
Despite being down a man, Montpellier were resilient and made it until half-time without conceding, going in at the break 10-7 up.The second half started slowly but the crowd livened up after 53 minutes, following the introduction of the returning Mark Bennett, along with Henry Pyrgos and Fraser Brown.
From the following play, DTH van der Merwe burst through tacklers en route to touching down before Russell converted.
The Warriors could sense an opportunity and after Lucas Dupont was sin-binned, the Warriors desperately pushed for more tries.
After 69 minutes, DTH secured his hat-trick of tries, seeing space metres out, before darting through and touching down. Russell then converted, giving them a 21-10 lead.
The Warriors pushed for a fourth try but couldn’t manage to cross the whitewash again, ahead of next week’s trip to Bath