Glasgow Warriors reaction: Huw Jones presses claim for Scotland recall as Franco Smith hails statement result
It was a statement result for the home side for whom Huw Jones was outstanding. The centre scored one try and created two more to press his claim for Scotland selection for the Six Nations after a two-year exile from the national side. Gregor Townsend, the national coach, is due to name his squad later this month.
Glasgow won 24-17, securing the victory (and a bonus point) with a last-minute try from Sebastian Cancelliere, the Argentine winger’s second of the match.
“It was an important step forward for us, especially the way we did it,” said Smith. “It was a good game of rugby and probably really enjoyable to watch for the supporters. We had to use every part of our skillset. We scrummed really well, we drove well, defended well, and used our kicking game well.”
The scores were locked at 17-17 going into the final quarter but Glasgow dominated the last ten minutes, winning a succession of penalties close to the Stormers line. They opted for the scrum on each occasion and looked to have missed their chance when a wild pass from Domingo Miotti went behind Kyle Steyn. But the Warriors recovered their composure and Sione Tuipulotu played in Cancelliere for the winning try with a perfectly weighted grubber.
Smith felt it was the right decision to persist with the scrums rather than go for the three points.
“That’s always the plan,” said the coach, who has guided the club to six successive wins. “If we feel strong in an area, we go for it. I felt it was a better decision than kicking at goal. If you kick at goal with seven minutes to go, you end up back defending in your half. You could then give away seven points and lose the game. Our execution can still improve. But it was the right thing to do and we got our rewards in the end.
“It was fantastic to see that we have the confidence now to take on the best teams in the competition in these areas. The guys stepped up to the plate again. Our physicality and the way we went about our business. To take them on at the scrum at the end is a rewarding feeling.”
Smith has used Jones sparingly since his return from a back injury but praised the centre's contribution. “I agree that he has contributed a lot. I think he has put his hand up [for Scotland selection].”
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