Franco Smith hails Glasgow Warriors fight as lineout drives deliver bonus point win at Ospreys
Glasgow found the winning formula with four tries from lineout drives taking them to this impressive win on the road, finishing strongly to snatch victory.
The Ospreys were leading with seven minutes to go but ended up being denied a losing bonus point as Glasgow re-took the lead with a Duncan Weir penalty and then grabbed the bonus point with an Alan Dell try.
“We always plan to try and score four tries and never mind the result, so we were glad we got that done,” said coach Franco Smith.
“But the Ospreys were excellent tonight, especially in the first 20 minutes they disrupted us completely, they were very accurate when they had the opportunities and we had to fight hard to stay in the game.”
Glasgow struggled to make ground against the Ospreys defence in the early stages, but it was penalties that really punished them as the home side worked their way upfield for a lineout on the visitor’s line.
The subsequent drive was effective with centre Kieron Williams joining the forwards to be the one taking the ball over the line for the try. Outside half Jack Walsh converted from touch.
The Ospreys nearly added a second when wing Mat Protheroe chased a kick through from scrum half Reuben Morgan-Williams, but it just bounced dead in goal before he could touch down.
Glasgow lost outside half Duncan Weir for 10 minutes when he went in slightly high on a tackle with Williams meaning there was head on head contact, luckily for the Glasgow man there was limited force even though Williams failed a subsequent HIA and stayed off.
Walsh added the three points from the incident to stretch his side’s lead, while Weir passed his HIA and returned to the pitch when his time was up.
As soon as he was back on the pitch Glasgow got their first try, though it was solely a forward effort from a lineout drive with hooker Johnny Matthews inevitably the one getting the try. Weir did add the conversion.
It meant the score was just 10-7 to the home side at half-time when for much of the half it looked as though the margin would be so much greater.
Glasgow came out after the break and added a carbon copy lineout drive try, Mathews again the scorer and Weir again converting.
The forwards so liked going over from lineout drives they decided to share it around a couple of minutes later, flanker Sione Vailanu finishing the move off this time.
The Ospreys fought back, first through a penalty to narrow the gap and then a well worked try to narrow it further.
They worked the ball to right wing Luke Morgan whose cross kick was gathered by scrum half Reuben Morgan-Williams who was able to jink his way over near the line to make the conversion easy for Walsh.
Walsh then added a penalty to put his side ahead with just seven minutes to go, but Weir was able to slot a 40 yard penalty a couple of minutes later to put Glasgow back in the lead.
A tackle in the air from the restart led to a Glasgow penalty and yellow card for Ospreys flanker Justin Tipuric. A couple of minutes later the forwards were driving towards the line again and replacement prop Alan Dell finished off.
Weir maintained his flawless kicking record to deny the home team a losing bonus point.
Scorers: Ospreys: Tries: Williams (5), Morgan-Williams (56). Cons: Walsh (6, 57). Pens: Walsh (25, 55, 73).
Glasgow: Tries: Matthews (37, 44), Vailanu (57), Dell (80). Cons: Weir (38, 45, 58, 80). Pens: Weir (76).
Ospreys: M Nagy; L Morgan, K Williams, O Watkin, M Protheroe; J Walsh, R Morgan-Williams; N Smith, D Lake, B Warren, R Davies, A Beard, H Deaves, J Tipuric (capt), M Morris.
Replacements: G Phillips for Smith 66, T Botha for Warren 51, J Fender for R Davies 66, J Ratti for Deaves 52, G North for Williams 25.
Glasgow: O Smith; S Cancelliere, S Tuipulotu, S McDowall (capt), K Rowe; D Weir, J Dobie; J Bhatti, J Matthews, L Sordoni, S Manjezi, R Gray, M Fagerson, S Vailanu, H Venter.
Replacements: A Fraser for Matthews 71, A Dell for Bhatti 71, E Pieretto for Sordoni 71, G Peterson for Manjezi 3-17 and 48, A Samuel for Fagerson 71, A Miller for Fagerson 71, S Kennedy for Dobie 59, T Jordan for Tuipolotu 71.
Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR).
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