Scarlets V Glasgow Warriors
Glasgow Warriors lost out on their return to Guinness PRO12 action, the Scarlets coming out on top 26-14 at Scotstoun
The Warriors got off to a great start, the front-row of Alex Allan, Pat MacArthur and D’arcy Rae winning a penalty in just the third minute at scrum time.
Stand-off Rory Clegg took the long range penalty attempt and he had the distance to make the score 3-0.
Winger Rory Hughes then got his hands on the ball for the first time since his injury lay-off, but a few phases later the Warriors were penalised and Scarlets stand-off Dan Jones kicked a good penalty of his own to make it 3-3.
That was in the seventh minute and then Warriors centre Nick Grigg, who signed a new deal earlier this week, then had a good break after Allan had done well to recover a dangerous situation.
The break into the Scarlets 22 certainly warmed up the crowd and in the 15th minute the supporters were back on their feet.
That was when fellow centre Sam Johnson, who also signed a new deal this week, kicked through and chased.
He was impeded by Jones who, after referee George Clancy checked with the TMO, was yellow carded.
A superb lineout drive from the Warriors then made good use of the man advantage and the first try of the night came.
It was some textbook maul play which forwards coach Dan McFarland will have been delighted with and hooker MacArthur was credited with the score.
He also scored in the last Guinness PRO12 match against the Cardiff Blues in January.
The conversion was missed, but it was 8-3 as the game entered the second quarter.
The Scarlets were next on the scoreboard, some nice play from the Welsh side eventually seeing the Warriors defence outfoxed and winger Tom Williams going over.
That was in the 23rd minute and Williams also converted to make it 10-8 to the away side while they were still a man short.
Jones then returned to the fray in front of a crowd of over 7,100 as the Warriors tried to regain the advantage once again.
And they did just that in the 27th minute when the Scarlets were caught offside and Clegg kicked the penalty from in front of the posts to make it 11-10.
This game continued to edge one way and then the other though and as the half hour mark approached a simple penalty from Jones made it 13-11 to the Scarlets
And worse was to come for the Warriors before the break when some good phases of play by the Scarlets saw back-row James Davies go over for their second try.
That was in the 39th minute and when Jones converted from out wide it made it 20-11 to the visitors at the interval.
The Warriors knew they needed a big 40 minutes in the second half and began brightly, Nick Grigg doing his best to spark things with a couple of good breaks, but they remained nine points down.
James Malcolm and Sean Lamont then replaced Pat MacArthur and Lee Jones as the game approached the last half hour.
Soon after, with Johnson picking up a knock, Richie Vernon made a long-awaited return from injury in the centre.
Clegg then kicked a 45 metre penalty and the Warriors were just six points behind at 20-14.
With 26 minutes to go Jones kept up his good form with the boot to kick a third penalty of his own.
Tongan international Sila Puafisi then came on for D’arcy Rae at tighthead prop before young back-row Lewis Wynne entered the fray for Chris Fusaro.
As the last 20 minutes began second-row Brian Alainu’uese then had a good break to excite the crowd and then referee George Clancy took a look at some possible foul play by the Scarlets.
Despite what many home supporters thought, no card was produced, and it was only a penalty.
Jamie Bhatti, who regularly turns out for Melrose in the BT Premiership, then made his home debut at loosehead prop with Grayson Hart coming on at scrum-half.
There was a lot of endeavour coming from the hosts, but heading into the last 10 minutes the Scarlets had good field position and soon after they were awarded a kickable penalty.
Replacement Aled Thomas, on his 100th appearance, did the job and at 26-14 up the Welsh side looked set for an away win.
With just a couple of minutes to go, Hagen Schulte made his Warriors debut off the bench.
Things finished 26-14 though and the Warriors will look to put the result behind them and focus on the challenge of Ulster away next weekend.