Glasgow Warriors 34-19 Dragons

A powerful display from the pack spearheaded a five-star showing from Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun this evening, as Dave Rennie’s men claimed a 34-19 victory over the Dragons to continue their pursuit of a playoff berth.

Four of the home side’s five tries on the night came courtesy of the forwards, with Jamie Dobie claiming the man-of-the-match award on his first start for the club.

Dobie would perhaps have been hoping for a more straightforward introduction to life in the Glasgow number nine shirt, however. The teenager’s first pass of the evening was picked off by opposite number Rhodri Williams, who raced fully 70 metres to dive over for the opening score with just a minute on the clock. Sam Davies added the extras, and the Dragons led 7-0.

Yet Dobie and the Warriors were unfazed by the imperfect start. A booming kick from a turnover saw Ratu Tagive and Dobie combine to win a scrum 10m from the Dragons line before a penalty allowed Pete Horne to kick for the corner. From there, the forward power from the Warriors proved too much for the Dragons as Tim Swinson crashed over from close range. Horne added the extras, and the game was tied once more.

With an even game being played largely between the respective 22s, it took until the 25th minute for the next score to arrive. An altercation involving Oli Kebble and Lloyd Fairbrother saw the pair dispatched to the sin-bin, with referee Sean Gallagher awarding the penalty to the home side. Another kick to the corner from Horne saw Grant Stewart driven over by the pack, with Horne on target from the tee once more.

The Glasgow fly-half then added a penalty on the half-hour mark to extend his side’s advantage, as Glasgow began to assert themselves on proceedings. Indeed there could have been a third try just before the break, Aki Seiuli denied a first try for the club by the TMO following a double movement from the loose-head.

It didn’t take long after the break for the Warriors to find themselves on the front foot once more. Again it was Seiuli who provided the catalyst, flipping a terrific offload to Tagive. The winger was dragged into touch before grounding, much to the dismay of the Scotstoun faithful.

The Warrior Nation didn’t have to wait long for try number three, however. Pinned on their own 22, it was Dobie that provided the creative spark; the scrum-half burst through a seemingly invisible gap to scamper up to halfway, before his perfectly weighted kick and a dogged chase from Tagive forced the Dragons to concede the lineout.

From that lineout, the Glasgow pack went to work. A maul that began life outside the Dragons 22 ended an unstoppable run to the line with Stewart piling over for his second score of the night, as the Glasgow supporters roared their approval. Horne’s conversion drifted wide, but the home side had some breathing space.

Yet despite the Warriors beginning to dominate the territory and possession stats, it would be the Dragons that struck next. Fly-half Davies snaked his way through a gap in the defensive line, before a couple of quickfire offloads saw Williams dart under the posts for his – and the Welshmen’s – second try. Davies made no mistake from right in front, leaving the score at 22-14.

The game was opening up despite the less-than-ideal conditions, and the crowd sensed something special wasn’t far away. It duly arrived on 65 minutes; Chris Fusaro was the man to make the critical incision, with the flanker bursting into the 22 before offloading to Seiuli. The prop, stumbling and under pressure from the cover defence, fed the ball on to the supporting Dobie. Coolly as you like the number nine stepped the last man before feeding Huw Jones, with the centre racing over for his fourth try in three meetings with the Dragons. The conversion drifted wide, but with a bonus-point secured the Warrior Nation weren’t in too much of a mind to notice.

Once more, though, the Dragons served notice that they weren’t in any mood to go quietly. When Nick Frisby’s attempted box-kick was charged down, Ashton Hewitt was on hand to gather and race over untouched from 15 metres, reducing the arrears to eight points once more.

The final word on the night would belong, somewhat fittingly, to the Glasgow pack though. With time in the red and Josh Reynolds in the sin-bin following a series of offences from the visitors, the driving maul took centre stage for a final flourish. It was Mesu Dolokoto who provided the finishing touch, as the Fijian was driven over for his third try in two club appearances. Horne added a brilliant conversion to add the coup de grace, sending the Warrior Nation home with a smile on their face.

live commentary 7:35 PM Saturday 22 Feb 2020

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Kick-off 7:35 PM

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