Glasgow Warriors left wanting more despite beating Sharks as duo come off injured

Scotstoun outfit miss out on bonus point against South African opposition

A win is a win but Glasgow Warriors will feel they should have got more out of this match.

All three of their tries came before the interval but the second half proved to be a frustrating one for the home side who couldn’t land the bonus-point score at a sold-out Scotstoun.

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The Sharks had changed their entire team from the one which defeated Edinburgh in the Challenge Cup last weekend and, while the visitors may have been missing a clutch of World Cup-winning Springboks, they still put up stiff resistance with some outstanding defence.

Glasgow Warriors' Kyle Steyn breaks clear during the win over Sharks.Glasgow Warriors' Kyle Steyn breaks clear during the win over Sharks.
Glasgow Warriors' Kyle Steyn breaks clear during the win over Sharks.

Tries from George Horne, Max Williamson and Kyle Steyn had Glasgow 21-5 up at half-time but the only points after the break came from Sharks prop Ntuthuko Mchunu and the Warriors had to settle for a 21-10 win. The victory guarantees they will remain in second place in the United Rugby Championship at the end of the weekend’s matches, with four rounds of fixtures remaining. Good news in terms of securing home ties in the play-offs and Franco Smith declared himself moderately satisfied with the result.

“I’m pretty very happy with the win, and it’s good to do it back at Scotstoun,” said the Glasgow coach. “I said through the week that the Sharks shouldn’t be underestimated and they proved that. We made a lot of errors, though, so there are a lot of work-ons to take into next week. But we’ll take the win.”

Johnny Matthews and Oli Kebble were both helped from the field during the second half, the latter on his 100th appearance, which will be a concern for the Warriors as the season reaches its climax, but Smith has built good depth in his squad as evidenced by a man-of-the-match performance from Williamson, the young lock.

Glasgow dominated the early stages, kicking a couple of penalties to the corner in the hope of using their trusty lineout as an attacking weapon, but they had to wait until the 11th minute for the breakthrough. The Warriors put together the phases, pummelling the Sharks line, but there was some heroic defending on display and it took some sharp thinking from Horne to find a way through. The scrum-half took a quick tap penalty and wriggled his way over for the opening try which he then converted.

Team doctor John Hanson and physios Michael Clark and Andrew Boag treat Glasgow Warriors hooker Johnny Matthews.Team doctor John Hanson and physios Michael Clark and Andrew Boag treat Glasgow Warriors hooker Johnny Matthews.
Team doctor John Hanson and physios Michael Clark and Andrew Boag treat Glasgow Warriors hooker Johnny Matthews.

The game then slipped into something of a mid-half slump. The Sharks made territorial gains but errors on both sides kept chances to a minimum until Matthews won a turnover in his own half which allowed Stafford McDowall to kick ahead. Francois Venter, the Sharks captain, fumbled on the ground but recovered just in time to deny McDowall. Glasgow were now deep into the visitors’ 22 and they made it count. Facundo Cordero has been lightly raced since moving north but the Argentine wing showed good feet in the build-up to the second try, and so did Jack Dempsey who popped it up for Williamson to score. Horne made it 14-0.

The try seemed to stir the Sharks into life and they enjoyed their best spell of the first half. Glasgow were resorting to nefarious means to keep them out and Italian referee Federico Vedovellli had seen enough. He sent Scott Cummings to the sin-bin for a side entry but the yellow card was for an accumulation of offences. The Sharks quickly capitalised, hooker Dan Jooste scoring from a lineout maul to cut Glasgow’s lead to nine points.

The Warriors have a speciality of such tries and quickly reasserted their authority on the match. They won a lineout close to the Sharks line but it was all a bit messy. They won a penalty and while various skirmishes were going on off the ball, Horne took another quick tap for Sione Tuipulotu to take on. The ball was worked back to Steyn to score his first try of the season for Glasgow and send them in at the break 21-5 ahead.

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The Warriors went all out for the bonus point try at the start of second half but their efforts lacked the necessary precision and it was the Sharks who plundered the next score, with Mchunu going over in the corner after some smart handling from Aphiwe Oyantyi. Siya Masuku, on for Curwin Bosch, couldn’t land the conversion but Glasgow’s lead had been reduced to 11 points and they had also lost Matthews to what looked like an ankle injury.

The Sharks continued to defend resolutely but Glasgow had one last chance to nick a fourth try. Jamie Dobie chipped through and Cordero collected expertly. The winger found the supporting Dobie but the replacement scrum-half didn’t quite have the legs to outrun the Sharks and the chance was gone.

Scorers: Glasgow Warriors: Tries: Horne, Williamson, Steyn. Cons: Horne 3. Sharks: Tries: Jooste, Mchunu.

Yellow card: Cummings (Glasgow, 35min).

Glasgow Warriors: K Rowe; K Steyn, S Tuipulotu, S McDowall, F Cordero; T Jordan (R Thompson 59), G Horne (J Dobie 74); N McBeth (O Kebble 55-74), J Matthews (G Hiddleston 51), Z Fagerson (L Sordoni 55), M Williamson (S Manjezi 66), S Cummings, M Fagerson (A Miller 72), H Venter, J Dempsey (T Gordon 55).

Hollywoodbets Sharks: B Chamberlain; E Keyter, M Koster (E Hooker 54), F Venter, A Dyantyi; C Bosch (S Masuku 47), G Williams (C Wright 69); N Mchunu (K Mona 52), D Jooste (F Mbatha 53), H Jacobs (V Koch 53), C Rahl (E van Heerden 63), G Grobler, T Mavesere, L Labuschagne (V Tshituka 51), N Hatton.

Referee: Federico Vedovellli (FIR).

Attendance: 7,216.



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