Dragons Rugby V Glasgow Warriors
Glasgow Warriors travelled to Rodney Parade in Newport for their GUINNESS PRO12 Round 5 match with the Dragons.
In perfect conditions the match started at a high tempo with both teams looking to make an early impression and the Dragons were awarded the first penalty of the evening after four minutes on the Warriors 10 metre line. But after opting to go for the points kick Nick Macleod’s early effort drifted wide of the posts.
Both teams had spells of possession looking for an early breakthrough and a Warriors quick penalty after eight minutes took them to within five metres of the Dragons line where they were awarded another penalty. This time Finn Russell stepped up and stroked the ball through the uprights to give the visitors a 3-0 lead with almost 10 minutes played.
The Dragons had a great opportunity to score the opening try of the game but as they closed in on the Glasgow line several phases of heroic defending kept the home side out and the Warriors eventually managed to win possession back and clear.
Moments later a clever cross-field kick by Finn Russell almost made its way to Tommy Seymour on the right wing but there was a knock on and Dragons had the put-in at the scrum to relieve the pressure.
Glasgow were awarded a penalty deep inside the Dragons half after 17 minutes which Russell kicked to the corner but the ref penalised the visitors at the line-out and the Dragons were able to clear once again.
A penalty to the Warriors after 24 minutes inside the Dragons half gave them the chance to increase their lead from the tee and Russell took the opportunity well from the far touchline making it 6-0 to Glasgow.
After 27 minutes the visitors were awarded another penalty, this time on halfway, and Russell kicked to touch with the Warriors now inside the Dragons 22. From the resulting line-out Glasgow kept the ball in the forwards and drove 20 metres to open the scoring through hooker Corey Flynn, who was making his first start for the club. Russell kicked the conversion to move Glasgow ahead 13-0.
Fraser Brown was shown a yellow card after 33 minutes for what was judged to have been a tackle with no arms and Nick Macleod kicked the resulting penalty to make it 13-3 to the Warriors.
Glasgow were awarded a penalty inside the Dragons 22 just two minutes later which Finn Russell lined up in a very similar position to his successful conversion. Once again the Scotland stand-off made no mistake and the Warriors led by 13 points once again.
The second-half started with a penalty to the home side and they kicked it long to touch giving them an attacking opportunity inside the Warriors 22. The Dragons went through the phases and eventually Sam Hobbs crossed the whitewash to give the home side their first try of the evening. The successful conversion made the score 16-10 to Glasgow.
A second try from the hosts this time through Jack Dickson after Glasgow lost the ball inside their own half brought them to within one point of the Warriors and the successful conversion pushed them ahead 17-16.
The Warriors pushed for a second try and from outside the Dragons 22, a dummy and good footwork by prop Alex Allan allowed him to break through the Dragons defence to score under the posts. The conversion by Russell moved the visitors ahead once again with the score now 23-17 to the Warriors.
With 56 minutes gone Glasgow rung the changes with Pat MacArthur replacing Corey Flynn at hooker, Leonardo Sarto coming on for Rory Hughes on the wing and Ali Price replacing Henry Pyrgos at scrum-half.
Two minutes later Rory Clegg came on with Mark Bennett going off for a head injury assessment, with meant Russell moving to centre and Clegg in at stand-off. That move was then made permanent.
With 16 minutes of the game remaining Canadian international prop Djustice Sears-Duru came on to make his Glasgow debut replacing Alex Allan in the front-row and a few minutes later D’arcy Rae replaced Sila Puafisi.
On 67 minutes the Dragons were awarded a penalty and decided to kick for touch giving them an attacking line-out on the Warriors 22. The home side went through the phases but D’arcy Rae did well in defence to force a knock-on. From the resulting scrum Glasgow kept the ball in hand and went through a couple of phases before winning a penalty which allowed them to clear to touch.
With nine minutes remaining Matt Fagerson replaced Lewis Wynne in the Glasgow backrow and moments later Robert McAlpine came on to make his debut, with the Warriors looking to close the game out.
Finn Russel got the opportunity to put the game beyond the hosts with a penalty with two minutes remaining and from in front of the posts he coolly converted to stretch their lead to 26-17.
That was the end of the scoring and the Warriors left Wales with four points ahead of next weekend’s trip to Parma to face Zebre.