Glasgow 19-9 Scarlets: Returning Ruaridh Jackson in fine form as he kicks Glasgow to win

ALTHOUGH they exhibited the current Scottish trait of not being able to put their opponents away when clearly the better side, Glasgow did quite enough to win this RaboDirect PRO12 match at Firhill.

A try from prop Jon Welsh and 14 points from the boot of Ruaraidh Jackson ensured victory over Scarlets and moved the Warriors into third place in the league.

The Welsh team went home without even a bonus point and frankly they didn’t deserve it.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Both sides were missing their internationalists, although Glasgow were able to recall Graeme Morrison. As if he had a point to prove, the centre went on to put in a man-of-the-match showing.

Much interest centred on Jackson’s return from a hamstring injury and, although the young internationalist was rusty at first, he came good.

“My body has taken a few knocks and it feels weird to be playing again,” said Jackson, “but it’s great to be back. I found my feet in the second half and hopefully I can now carry that on.”

It was dishonours even for the two goalkickers early on when Scralets’ Dan Newton narrowly missed a penalty from 24 metres before Jackson did the same from a similar distance.

Scarlets could not get out of their own half, however, and, when their forwards piled over at a ruck, Jackson punished the visitors with the three-pointer from just outside the 10m line.

With captain for the night Graeme Morrison making yards over the gain line each time he got the ball, Scarlets were resorting to illegality to stop Glasgow attacks. After 19 minutes, Jackson had the chance to put his side further ahead but failed with a penalty from the half-way line, the ball dropping well short.

The home pack were dominating but Jackson thoroughly blotted his copybook after 23 minutes when he took a throw-in to himself deep in his own 22 and then found that he was completely isolated, conceding the penalty in front of goal which Newton kicked.

That the Glasgow stand-off seemed nervy was a concern for the home fans at this point, but worry of a very serious nature surrounded Scarlets loose-head prop Iestyn Thomas who received lengthy medical attention before being stretchered off wearing a neck brace in the 29th minute. He had collided with Rob Verbakel entirely accidentally, and had to be replaced by Rhodri Jones.

The new arrival’s first action was to concede a penalty at a five-metre scrum won by David Lemi’s clever run and chip. Glasgow realised the Welsh scrum was rocking, and opted to take the scrum again. Jon Welsh burrowed over for the try at the subsequent ruck with the unfortunate Jones and his colleagues in disarray. Jackson goaled the conversion but, two minutes later, he missed an easy chance for a further three points when Scarlets once more committed a ruck offence. Glasgow were clearly superior, but Jackson’s waywardness off the kicking tee meant they reached half time leading only 10-3.

There had been some juicy individual contests all across the pitch, with Glasgow scrum-half Henry Pyrgos, who has just signed an extended contract, coming out on top against Gareth Davies largely due to an excellent kicking performance.

Scarlets came out for the second half looking considerably more pepped up and immediately running more directly. They soon had a huge rumbling move that came to within a few metres of the Glasgow line only for Morrison to down what looked like three men single-handedly, forcing the concession of a penalty which Jackson cleared upfield.

A searing break by Lemi followed up by Chris Fusaro saw Glasgow deep in their opponents’ 22. Morrison almost barrelled over, but the ball broke to Andy Fenby who was clear all the way to Aberfoyle, only for referee Owens to call him back for an earlier offside.

Jackson kicked the penalty to move Glasgow ten points clear, but after 54 minutes, Newton pulled three back with a penalty.

Newton made it 13-9 with a penalty just before the hour mark, but suddenly the Glasgow forwards had men in numbers in the opposition 22 for the first time in the half and Scarlets conceded a penalty at a ruck which Jackson goaled. After 70 minutes, Liam Davies failed to release the ball when thumpingly tackled by Forrester and Jackson’s straightforward penalty kick put Glasgow 19-9 ahead with ten minutes to play.

“We had worked on our defence,” said Warriors coach Sean Lineen, “but it was a little bit frustrating that we did not get another try or two, though you can’t fault the guys for their efforts tonight.”