Ospreys 6 - 47 Glasgow: Young stars offer bright future

Adam Hastings put in a man-of-the-match performance. Picture: SNS/SRU.
Adam Hastings put in a man-of-the-match performance. Picture: SNS/SRU.
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If Scotland’s thrashing of Australia at Murrayfield showed the current international product is pretty healthy, this beating of the Ospreys showed the conveyor belt in Glasgow is in pretty good working order as well.

They maintained their 100 per cent record in the Guinness Pro14, but this was more than just a good away win against a team who may be struggling at the bottom of their conference.

The next potential generation of Scotland stars were key to the performance, in particular half-back pairing George Horne and man-of-the-match Adam Hastings who contributed 27 points between them. There was also an impressive showing by young locks Kiren McDonald, making his first start, and Scott Cummings.

It was a record home league defeat for the Ospreys, play-off semi-finalists last season, who could not cope with Glasgow’s attacking intent and execution.

“We would have been happy just to get a win here, so obviously really happy with the attitude and effort out there today. That was well beyond expectations,” said coach Dave Rennie, who has been linked this week with the Wales job after the 2019 World Cup.

“We had a few young fellas out there, we dug in defensively and created a lot of our pressure from defensive efforts and turnovers, we fronted up today and that was important.

“This is a positive competition. I think people back home would be surprised by the skills of the players, and teams who are positive tend to go on to do well with the Scarlets last year, Connacht and Glasgow before that of course.”

There were 44 players missing from this fixture, with a mixture of international calls and injuries, but there were still 20 capped players between the two squads.

Glasgow were comfortable on the ball, happy to attack from anywhere and – in contrast to their opponents – looked to pass into space rather than take the ball into contact.

Glasgow included Ruaridh Jackson, a late replacement for Scotland against Australia after Stuart Hogg’s injury, who ended up on the pitch in that great victory and then started in Swansea little more than 20 hours later.

Glasgow showed their expansive intentions from the beginning, spurning goal kicks in front of the posts to go for the corner.

They were rewarded in strange fashion as the ball was scooped back to outside half Hastings, pictured, who took advantage of the confusion to dummy, change direction and scoot through a gap in the defence which would not have been there for a more organised move.

More spurned kicks at goal and Glasgow were again attacking on the Ospreys line, Horne bursting over for the try.

The Ospreys were still in the game at half-time, but were firmly closed out shortly after the break. Hastings and Horne combined to set up a try for lock Cummings, then George Turner went 50 yards from an interception.

Wing Lelia Masaga combined with Horne for the scrum-half to get his second, while another interception allowed replacements scrum-half Kaleem Baretto and centre Brandon Thomson to interpass for the latter to score.

Salt was rubbed in the Ospreys wounds when left-wing Leonardo Sarto grabbed another interception try on the stroke of full-time. Though they fell just short of the half century, there was certainly no disappointment for the visitors in such a commanding performance.

As an audition for Rennie’s credentials to be the next Wales coach, from a Glasgow perspective it was maybe a bit too good!