Cardiff Blues V Glasgow Warriors
Glasgow Warriors travelled to Cardiff off the back of two wins against Connacht and Leinster to face the Blues at the BT Sport Arms Park.
In perfect conditions for running rugby Cardiff started brightly and won an early penalty inside the Warriors 22 after several waves of attack and Wales international Gareth Anscombe dually converted to give the home side an early lead.
Cardiff Blues won another penalty seven minutes later which they kicked to the corner. From the resulting line-out deep inside the Warriors 22 Glasgow pushed the Cardiff maul back, but the home side continued to press and several phases later won another penalty in front of the posts. Anscombe kicked it to give the Blues a 6-0 lead after 13 minutes.
Day quickly turned to night and following a loose ball Cardiff turned defence into attack and put a lovely kick over the Warriors defence, which Rory Clegg managed to get back and defend, but he was forced over his own line by a number of onrushing Cardiff players.
From the scrum five metres out the ball came out to Rey Lee Lo who knocked on relieving the pressure on the Warriors defence.
The first try of the game wasn’t far away and it was the home side who got it. After a long period of possession Alex Cuthbert went over under the posts which Anscombe converted to give the Blues a 13-0 lead.
Glasgow hit back with a try of their own after good build-up play through the backs and Peter Horne sent Stuart Hogg in for a try in the corner. Rory Clegg managed to slot the conversion from the far touchline to bring the Warriors right back into the game, trailing 13-7 after 29 minutes.
A minute later Glasgow were almost in for their second try. The Warriors drove forward inside the Cardiff 22 but a long pass out to the far touchline was knocked on which allowed Cardiff to clear.
Glasgow got their second try after 33 minutes when Peter Horne managed to break a tackle to score under the posts following a number of phases of attack. The Warriors were handed possession following a mistake by the Blues and Rory Clegg’s conversion gave Glasgow a 14-13 lead five minutes before the break.
A penalty for the home side right on half-time gave them one last chance to attack and they tapped it with not enough time to kick for the line-out. After a long period of possession the home side got their second try of the game through centre Rey Lee Lo in the corner, which was converted by Anscombe to give the Blues a 20-14 lead at the break.
After five minutes of the second-half the Blues won a penalty which they kicked to the Warriors 22 and from the resulting line-out the home side broke some tackles and were almost in for a third try. But the Warriors defended well and the Blues were penalised for holding on, which allowed Glasgow to clear to touch.
A Glasgow penalty on their 10 metre line allowed them to kick their way further up field and this time the visitors had a line-out just outside the Cardiff 22. A driving maul took them inside the 22 and after some lovely play by the backs scrum-half Ali Price managed to break some tackles and dive over for Glasgow’s third score of the game. The conversion by Clegg was unsuccessful so the Blues now led 20-19.
The game continued to move from end-to-end with both teams having periods of possession. A number of changes were made midway through the half and Mark Bennett made his first appearance since winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics.
A forward pass by the Blues after 62 minutes on halfway handed possession back to the Warriors. After a long period of possession Hogg broke into the Cardiff 22 but the home side defended well as Glasgow continued to go through the phases but the move eventually broke down.
When Tim Swinson picked up a knock he was replaced by prop Alex Allan, who took his place in the back-row.
With five minutes remaining both teams continued to press for a winning try but it was a penalty from the Blues with two minutes remaining which gave them a 23-19 victory in an entertaining encounter with Glasgow returning to Scotland with a losing bonus point.