Glasgow Warriors V Dragons Rugby
Glasgow Warriors returned to winning ways in the GUINNESS PRO12, running in four tries in a 29-15 win over the Newport Gwent Dragons. Taqele
Chris Fusaro, Zander Fagerson, Junior Bulumakau and Simone Favaro all touched down for Gregor Townsend’s men, in a match which also saw Taqele Naiayaravoro make his much-awaited debut for the club and Alex Dunbar return from injury.
The Warriors were dealt an early blow, as Pat MacArthur was forced off with an arm injury to be replaced by Fergus Scott after just two minutes.
After 12 minutes, the home side put pressure on the Dragons resulting in Glasgow being awarded a penalty. Rory Clegg continued from where he left off last time out against Munster, making no mistake with the kick at goal to give Glasgow a 3-0 lead.
The Dragons fans were in fine voice, and their team was willing to throw the ball around to try and find a way round the Glasgow defence. However, robust tackling from the Warriors kept the Welsh side at bay until the 23rd minute, when Dragons captain Rynard Landman crashed over for the evening’s first try after good work from his forward pack. Jason Tovey added the simple conversion, and the Dragons led 7-3.
Glasgow’s first try arrived four minutes before the interval. A terrific break from Alex Dunbar saw the Warriors set up shop in the Dragons 22. After recycling the ball and being awarded a penalty, the resulting maul saw Chris Fusaro bundle his way over the line for the score. Clegg’s conversion restored his side’s three point advantage.
There was drama on the stroke of half-time, as Naiyaravoro was shown a yellow card on debut for taking out Aled Brew in the air. Tovey kicked his second penalty of the evening to level the scores 10-10 at the break.
Naiyaravoro returned to the action with the scores still deadlocked, with Gregor Townsend opting to make two changes. Simone Favaro replaced try-scorer Fusaro to make his competitive debut for the club, whilst Mike Blair came on in place of Grayson Hart at scrum-half.Alex Dunbar
The former British Lions number nine made an immediate impact, setting up Glasgow’s second try of the evening. A clever kick through was regathered by Blair, before the ball was worked wide to Naiyaravoro. The Australian international was dragged down just short, but Blair quickly fed the ball onto Zander Fagerson, who touched down for his first try for Glasgow. Clegg was on target with the conversion to give his side a 17-10 lead.
Alex Dunbar was withdrawn after an hour with the Scotstoun crowd clearly glad to see the Scotland centre back to full fitness. He was replaced by Junior Bulumakau, with Naiyaravoro shifting inside to the centres to accommodate the former Army winger.
Simone Favaro became the second Glasgow player to be sin-binned by referee Gary Conway, with the Italian flanker penalised in his own 22.
They were made to pay for that mistake just minutes later, as Bulumakau scored Glasgow’s third try with some sublime footballing skills. Once again, the try was created by Mike Blair, as his box-kick into space wrong-footed the Dragons defence, with the Fijian flyer hacking the ball ahead before diving over to score. Clegg’s conversion drifted wide, leaving the score at 22-10.
However, the Dragons hit back almost immediately, as quick ball was worked wide for Ashton Hewitt to exploit a large gap in the Warriors defence. The conversion from Tovey hit the post, with the scores remaining at 22-15.
Greg Peterson was introduced to the Scotstoun crowd as he made his debut for the club. The American second row replaced Hugh Blake with five minutes to go, as Simone Favaro returned to the field.
The 6641 strong crowd were urging the Warriors forwards in search of a bonus point, and it arrived with the final play of the game. A rolling maul was driven over the Dragons try line, with Favaro capping off his eventful debut for the club with the crucial fourth try.
Clegg kicked his third conversion of the night to secure the victory for Gregor Townsend’s side by 29-15, ensuring the Warrior Nation went home with smiles on their faces.