Glasgow Warriors V Scarlets
Glasgow Warriors boosted their hopes of qualifying for the European Champions Cup quarter-finals, as they claimed a resounding 43-6 victory over Scarlets at Scotstoun.
A 6576 crowd saw man of the match Taqele Naiyaravoro run in a hat-trick of tries, whilst James Malcolm, Duncan Weir and Tim Swinson also crossed for Gregor Townsend’s side in an impressive performance.
Despite last week’s match with Leinster being postponed, Glasgow showed no early signs of rustiness, with a big hit from Simone Favaro early on pleasing the Scotstoun faithful and Naiyaravoro breaking through at will.
It got even better for the Warriors, as Duncan Weir found a gap in the Scarlets defence to touch down, before converting his own try to give Glasgow a 7-0 lead after eight minutes.
The visitors got their first points of the afternoon through a Steven Shingler penalty on 11 minutes, but Glasgow were looking dangerous in attack, with only desperate Scarlets defence preventing a second try for the Warriors.
Naiyaravoro thought he had scored a sensational try on 22 minutes, having brushed aside six would-be tacklers on his way to the try line. However, the referee controversially said that the Warriors winger had stepped on the touchline, and ruled out the score.
Despite almost constant pressure in the Scarlets half, handling errors prevented Glasgow from extending their lead until the 39th minute, when Weir kicked his first penalty of the game to give the Warriors a 10-3 lead at the break.
The Scarlets narrowed the gap at the start of the second half, as Steven Shingler added another penalty, leaving the score at 10-6.
Glasgow were continuing to pile on the pressure, and were rewarded with their second try on 52 minutes. Good work from the forwards allowed James Malcolm to cross for a try to mark a memorable first start for the club. Weir added the conversion to give his side a 17-6 lead.
Just moments later, the Warriors were in again. Having been denied in the first half, there was to be no stopping Naiyaravoro this time as he shrugged off three attempted tackles to run in from 30 metres for Glasgow’s third try. Finn Russell, on for Weir, converted the try, taking the score to 24-6.
Both sides were now looking to move the ball at every opportunity. Stuart Hogg did extremely well to prevent a Scarlets try at one end, whilst only last-ditch defence from the Welsh side prevented another Warriors score.
In search of their fourth try and a bonus point, Glasgow treated the Scotstoun crowd to a classic try. A good offload from Sean Lamont allowed Peter Horne to make inroads into the Scarlets half, before Russell produced an inch-perfect cross-field kick into the arms of Naiyaravoro to allow the big winger to touch down. Russell added the conversion for good measure, and Glasgow had a 31-6 advantage.
With just seven minutes to go, Naiyaravoro intercepted a Scarlets pass on the halfway line, and ran in for his third – and Glasgow’s fifth – try of the match. Despite Russell missing the conversion, Glasgow led by 36-6 and were playing some superb rugby.
Not content, the Warriors finished with yet another try. A darting break and inside pass from Grayson Hart looked to have sent Leone Nakarawa in for a score, before he was dragged down just short of the line. However, replacement Tim Swinson was on hand to pick up and dive over for the try. Russell’s conversion took the final score to 43-6, sending the Warrior Nation home happy.