George Horne stresses the need for Glasgow Warriors to turn it on for the full 80 minutes

For 50 minutes it was pretty much the perfect Glasgow Warriors performance but George Horne knows they will need to turn it on for the full 80 if they are to challenge at the business end of the United Rugby Championship this season.

Scrum-half George Horne helped Glasgow to a 35-24 win over the Sharks. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
Scrum-half George Horne helped Glasgow to a 35-24 win over the Sharks. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

The scrum-half was a lively presence as the home team scored five tries in a 35-24 victory over a Sharks side caught cold by Glasgow’s speed and intensity.

It was their first competitive fixture in front of fans at Scotstoun since February 2020 and Horne said the players fed off the atmosphere.

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“It’s huge. It makes all the difference,” he said. “Playing in front of no crowds during Covid was dreadful for us and to have the fans back it means so much. It gives you that extra lift and there was a buzz around the changing room pre-match.”

Sione Tuipulotu in full flight. The Glasgow Warriors centre impressed in the win over the Sharks and was unfortunate to have a try disallowed. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

The Warriors certainly started with great intent. Three converted tries in the first quarter from Ross Thompson, Ryan Wilson and Jamie Bhatti had them 21-0 ahead and the game was almost beyond the Sharks with an hour still left to play.

They got back into the match briefly when lock forward Le Roux Roets forced his way over but Glasgow pulled away again with two fine tries from Cole Forbes either side of half-time.

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The Warriors thought they had scored their sixth after 49 minutes when the impressive Sione Tuipulotu finished off a move involving Thompson and Horne but the score was chalked off for an earlier obstruction by Tuipulotu.

And after that things fell flat.

A string of substitutions took the intensity out of the game and the Sharks were able to score tries through props Thomas du Toit and Ntuthuko Mchunu to make the final scoreline closer than it should have been.

While pleased with the attacking intent shown, Horne knows they will need to sustain those levels until the final whistle.

“It was frustrating, definitely,” said the Scotland international. “If we’d scored that try [through Tuipulotu] we’d have had all the momentum and it would have meant two good tries after half-time and you’d like to think that would be the game put to bed.

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“But it fizzled out and that’s something we’ll need to work on. They got a bit of confidence and a bit of territory and we maybe rushed a couple of things and made some silly mistakes. Something to work on.

“It’s all good and well playing well for 55 minutes but in the big games it’s that last 20 minutes that counts, so we need to manage that better as a team.”

New boys Tuipulotu, at outside centre, and Jack Dempsey, at No 8, made a big impression and they already look like being two handy signings for Glasgow.

“They were both outstanding,” said Horne. “It makes such a difference having two game-breakers like that.”

For a Sharks side shorn of their Springboks it was a sobering afternoon. We are only two weeks into the United Rugby Championship but the four South African teams have won just one of eight games they’ve been involved in.

Playing in Europe without their international players was always going to be a tough ask and the Scottish clubs will hope to capitalise this weekend when Glasgow host the Lions and Edinburgh welcome the Stormers.

Scorers. Glasgow Warriors: Tries: Thompson, Wilson, Bhatti, Forbes 2. Cons: Thompson 5.

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Cell C Sharks: Tries: Roets, du Toit, Mchunu. Cons: Bosch 2, Pienaar. Pen: Bosch.

Glasgow Warriors: Cole Forbes; Kyle Steyn, Sione Tuipulotu, Sam Johnson (Stafford McDowall 55), Rufus McLean; Ross Thompson (Pete Horne 76), George Horne (Jamie Dobie 62); Jamie Bhatti (Brad Thyer 50), Fraser Brown (George Turner 50), Murray McCallum (Murphy Walker 62), Richie Gray (Lewis Bean 70), Scott Cummings, Ryan Wilson (Ally Miller 70), Thomas Gordon, Jack Dempsey.

Cell C Sharks: Curwin Bosch (Tian Meyer 70); Yaw Penxe, Werner Kok (Hyron Andrews 50), Murray Koster, Thaakir Abrahams; Boeta Chamberlain, Ruan Pienaar; Khwezi Mona (Ntuthuko Mchunu 55), Fez Mbatha (Kerron van Vuuren, 51), Thomas du Toit (Lourens Adriaanse 75), Le Roux Roets ( Jeremy Ward 50, Ruben van Heerden, Dylan Richardson, Gerbrandt Grobler (Thembelani Bholi 55), Phepsi Buthelezi (James Venter 66).

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)

Attendance: 6,449

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