Glasgow Warriors win over Dragons 'not perfect' but Scotland players give Franco Smith reason to smile

A bonus point win, a ninth match unbeaten, laying down a marker ahead of facing the same opponents in Europe and all the Scotland squad players unhurt.
Duncan Weir of Glasgow Warriors is tackled by JJ Hanrahan of Dragons. Photo by Ashley Crowden/INPHO/Shutterstock (13745043cs)Duncan Weir of Glasgow Warriors is tackled by JJ Hanrahan of Dragons. Photo by Ashley Crowden/INPHO/Shutterstock (13745043cs)
Duncan Weir of Glasgow Warriors is tackled by JJ Hanrahan of Dragons. Photo by Ashley Crowden/INPHO/Shutterstock (13745043cs)

There was plenty for Glasgow head coach Franco Smith to smile about after this 48-28 win over Dragons in Wales, but that is not his style. Perhaps the nearest he came was when talking about the six players released by Scotland getting some valuable time on the pitch.

There were length of the pitch tries, forward power tries, backs offloading to create tries, but still Smith was more focused on the areas which did not quite gel.

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“That was not perfect,” he said afterwards, at a ground where he spent a significant part towards the end of his own playing career.

“It was good to get the result, it was good to get five points out of it, I felt we scored some nice tries, while those that were disallowed stopped the momentum a little bit.

“I am grateful for the result, nobody is hurt, our Scotland squad players did well, they obviously needed a bit of time out on the pitch so the way we have managed them all added value to the club.

“I do not want to look back, we will step onto the challenge ahead, manage these next two weeks and then we have three very important games including a trip to South Africa to play the Lions in the middle of the Six Nations.

“Having played here in Newport myself I know the pride here, I know the dressing rooms very well, so I always knew it was going to be a big challenge, we just wanted to get the points that we did.

“We are not looking at the table, we know we have to keep playing well. If we want to compete in the final parts of the competition then we need to improve.

“In the last six months we have put in 80% and the next 20% will take a year, a lot of detail is still to be done.”

Those details came together pretty well in the opening minutes as centres Stafford McDowall and Sam Johnson combined to put wing Cole Forbes away for the opening try, and then the forwards combined for hooker Fraser Brown to score from a lineout drive.

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The Dragons levelled with two tries of their own, scrum half Rhodri Williams round the fringes and centre Sio Tomkinson with an interception, before Brown added his second lineout drive try.

An unnecessary yellow card for home hooker Brodie Coghlan, blocking scrum half Ali Price, helped Duncan Weir go over on the stroke of half-time to regain the 14 point lead.

McDowall waltzed through the defence to extend it further before the Dragons had their most prolonged period of pressure, eventually scoring through No 8 Taine Basham.

The result was sealed when right wing Sebastian Cancelliere picked off an interception near his own line and raced 90 yards for a try.

The Dragons had the last work as replacement prop Chris Coleman got his side’s fourth try for a bonus point, but it had long been a job well done for Glasgow.

Scorers: Dragons: Tries – R Williams, Tomkinson, Basham, Coleman. Cons – Hanrahan (4)

Glasgow Warriors: Tries – Forbes, Brown (2), Weir, McDowall, Cancelliere. Cons – Weir (5), Jordan.

Dragons: J Williams (S Davies 64); J Rosser (S Hughes 49), S Tomkinson, J Dixon, A Hewitt; J Hanrahan, R Williams (Capt, L Jones 70); R Jones (A Seiuli 48), B Coghlan (J Benjamin 70), L Fairbrother (C Coleman 48), M Screech, B Carter, G Nott (B Fry 40, J Benjamin 41-48), S Lonsdale (H Taylor 70), T Basham.

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Glasgow Warriors:: J McKay; S Cancelliere, S McDowall (Capt), S Johnson, C Forbes; D Weir (T Jordan 66) A Price (J Dobie 45), J Bhatti (N McBeth 65), F Brown (J Matthews 65), S Berghan (L Sordoni 65), L Bean, J du Preez (A Samuel 75), T Gordon (C Neild 65), S Vailanu, J Dempsey (E Ferrie 75),

Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)

Attendance: 4,624.



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