Glasgow won their third on the bounce with a healthy looking margin but they only did so after taking a lesson in adventurous running rugby with the home side enjoying a half-time advantage. The win came at a cost , with Scotland prop Zander Fagerson carted off in the second half.
It might not be Super Rugby but this was still super rugby, harum-scarum stuff for sure but all executed with so much verve, skill and speed that it left the viewers breathless. The match finished with a total of 11 tries, seven of which went to the visitors.
When Adam Hastings crossed for the opening score after just 72 seconds the visitors must have thought that this would have been a cake walk. Instead they were pushed all the way, only exerting control after scoring 21 unanswered points when the Cheetahs had a man in the bin at the start of the second half.
Glasgow contributed to their own woes in the opening half with a series of turnovers, several of which led directly to Cheetahs’ tries. A poor pass from Peter Horne resulted in a try for winger William Small-Smith and another Glasgow turnover five metres from the Cheetahs’ line sparked the best score of the match, possibly the season, when, almost 100 metres later and after numerous Cheetahs had offered a helping hand, the diminutive full-back Malcolm Jaer scored the first of his brace.
The Cheetahs third try came from centre Nico Lee but only after his gifted fly-half, Tian Schoeman, had done all the hard work and the visitors had fallen off a couple of tackles.
The lineout creaked with a couple of losses and Glasgow, not for the first time this season, fell back upon their set scrum which dominated the home side largely thanks to the presence of the giant South African Oli Kebble in the number one shirt.
Ali Price joined his half-back partner on the score sheet with a try in each half. The scrum-half had a decent game although he was pinged a couple of times, trying too hard perhaps after falling off the pace last season. At least Price stayed on the pitch because Alex Dunbar, also on his first start of the season, was carded for a high tackle and later replaced by Huw Jones.
Hastings enjoyed another productive evening, scoring 100 per cent off the tee with seven conversions and one penalty on top of that try for a tally of 22 points.
Three Cheetahs tries to two for Glasgow put the home team 19-14 ahead at the break but a careless tackle in the air on Tommy Seymour resulted in full-back Jaer sent to the sidelines and the match turned decisively in Glasgow’s favour.
Seymour took immediate advantage of the extra man, popping up in the midfield from an attacking lineout to score under the sticks, and minutes later Price had his second. Then DTH van der Merwe turned the screw with Glasgow’s fifth.
Glasgow’s five-point deficit had morphed into a lead of 16 points in the space of ten minutes.
Jaer scored his second, Glasgow’s defence was too narrow, to give the home team some hope but Hastings added that solitary penalty and further Glasgow tries followed from Callum Gibbins and George Horne.