Glasgow Warriors’ Adam Hastings shines in Scotstoun war of attrition

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The season is now a month old but as the wind and rain swirled around Scotstoun on Saturday night it felt like the start of proper business heading into an autumn and winter which still holds a fair bit of uncertainty for Glasgow.

It was a case of job done against a game but limited Dragons side as a five-try victory was secured to get Warriors back on track after that Southern Kings shocker the week before. However, the overriding thought upon leaving a pretty forgettable game was that a similar performance riddled with handling errors and indiscipline when Saracens come calling in the Heineken Champions Cup in a couple of weeks could lead to an outcome as bracing as the late September gale which played a major part in this match.

Adam Hastings evades the challenge of Dragons' Jarryd Sage. Picture: SNS/SRU

Adam Hastings evades the challenge of Dragons' Jarryd Sage. Picture: SNS/SRU

That’s not to say there were undoubtedly some positives for Dave Rennie to take out of a comfortable win, not least of which was another impressive showing by young stand-off Adam Hastings, who came out of arguably the toughest test of his burgeoning Warriors career with more plus marks.

In testing conditions, the 21-year-old playmaker had a decisive impact on the game. There were a few bum notes along the way, fluffed kicks and being caught on occasion by a Welsh side who put the emphasis on spoiling defence, but, in a way, the way Hastings handled those with poise made his 80-minute performance all the more encouraging.

“There were a couple of tough kicks into that wind and I could have made a couple of better decisions but, all in all, I’ll take that win to be honest with you,” was Hastings’ self-appraisal afterwards.

“When the wind is like that you’ve maybe got to play a bit more and I think we did that. If a couple more passes had gone to hand we would have broken them.

“The ball wasn’t too greasy, it was just very windy and I think we were getting a bit flat, especially in the first 20 minutes, wanting to get on to ball. We just had to take a couple of yards of depth, which we spoke about at half-time. We did that a lot better in the second half.”

After Oli Kebble surged through for an early try, Dragons responded with a couple of penalties before a bit of Hastings magic put Lee Jones in for the first of his two tries. Huw Jones, whose partnership with fellow tryscorer Alex Dunbar was another high point for the home side, provided the bonus-point score in a match that was an attritional slog for the most part.

“I thought the Dragons responded well a couple of times. We scored and they’d come back and get in our face,” said Hastings. “A lot of teams will be like that this year but our defence put in some really good sets.

“We had some really good moments but it’s just about doing it for 80 minutes.”

Kebble, pictured, was awarded man of the match by Premier Sports pundit and former Warriors skipper Al Kellock but Hastings admitted his confidence grows with every game. “I think that’s just minutes in the pocket,” he said. “I’m getting a lot of reps at training. If you give anyone the opportunity they’ll look to take it and I feel I am at the moment. The forwards were amazing tonight and Oli deserved man of the match.”