There is no certainty over whether fourth in Conference A will be enough to be in Europe’s top competition next season, but coming away from South Wales with nothing means the Dragons pulled level on points and still have a chance of pipping Glasgow to that place.
The Scots will be hoping for a big enough win at home to Benetton while looking to Edinburgh to stop the Dragons, with a useful points difference advantage if needed, but it should not have come to that after a powerful first half was followed by a sloppy second.
“Not taking the last kick at goal was the wrong decision, but up until then we felt there was enough time to score a try and then try to win the game,” said head coach Danny Wilson after the game.
“It was a really poor second-half performance, one of if not the worst this season, we lacked accuracy and discipline again which is becoming a major, major issue.
“It was a poor day at the office. We played well in the first half to give ourselves opportunities, but fair play to the Dragons they put us under pressure and we had to weather a storm which seemed to take a lot out of us.”
This match was moved from Rodney Parade to the rather plusher surroundings of the Principality Stadium. It seemed to suit the Glasgow players who scored the only two tries of the first half – two very contrasting efforts.
First hooker Fraser Brown showed his recovery from a neck injury by going over from a 10-man lineout drive while the ‘home’ side were down to 14 men with flanker Ben Fry sinbinned two minutes after coming on as a replacement.
The second try also came from a lineout, but was a superb solo effort as right wing Rufus McLean went 75 yards from loose ball, shimmying through the pack and then using pace and a sidestep to get round wing and full-back Ashton Hewitt and Jordan Williams to go over in the corner.
Adam Hastings added his second conversion from the opposite touchline to the first, then slotted a 45-yard penalty on the stroke of half-time so that the visitors had a comfortable lead despite three penalties for home outside half Sam Davies.
That was the end of the good news for Glasgow as the Dragons exerted all the pressure early in the second half in a period which brought yellow cards, draining defence and eventually tries for the home team.
First full back Jordan Williams caught a ball behind him to steal a yard on the defence, then second row Matthew Screech went over in rather more prosaic style.
Glasgow still had plenty of pressure in the closing minutes, spurning kick after kick to go for the corner or take quick taps. The policy did not pay off.
Scorers: Dragons: Tries – Williams, Screech. Cons – S Davies (2). Pens – S Davies (4).
Glasgow Warriors: Tries – Brown, McLean. Cons – Hastings (2). Pen – Hastings.
Dragons: J Williams; J Holmes, A Owen, J Roberts, A Hewitt; S Davies, G Bertranou; B Harris, R Hibbard, L Fairbrother, J Davies, M Screech, H Keddie (capt), O Griffiths, R Moriarty.
Reps: R Lawrence not used , J Reynolds for Harris 76, C Coleman not used, B Carter for Davies 60, B Fry for Griffiths 10 , R Williams for Bertranou 60, N Tompkins for Roberts 16, R Dyer not used.
Glasgow: A Hastings; R McLean, N Grigg, R Fergusson, L Jones; R Thompson, S Kennedy; A Seiuli, F Brown, E Pieretto, R Gray, K McDonald, R Harley, T Gordon, Ryan Wilson (capt).
Replacements: G Stewart for Brown 76, D Evans not used, D Rae not used, L Nakarawa for McDonald 18-22, for Harley 63, F Lokotui for Gordon 63, J Dobie for Kennedy 40, P Horne for Ferguson 63, O Smith for Thompson 64 .
Referee: Dan Jones (WRU).