Huw Jones excels as Glasgow Warriors defeat URC champions the Stormers in Scotstoun thriller
They beat the Stormers 24-17, their sixth win in a row, underlining their new-found resilience under Franco Smith and perhaps announcing themselves as genuine title contenders. It was a performance full of courage and flair, with stand-out displays from Jack Dempsey and the new second-row partnership of Lewis Bean and JP du Preez.
Jones was at the heart of it as the Glasgow backline took the game to their illustrious opponents. The Scotland centre rejoined the club in the summer from Harlequins but missed most of the first half of the season due to a back injury. His second debut came in the Challenge Cup win at Bath and his first Scotstoun appearance was supposed to come the following week against Perpignan, only for the match to be switched to Murrayfield.
The homecoming when it came was special as Seb Cancelliere scored a last-minute try to defeat the South Africans, secure a bonus point and elevate the Warriors to fifth place in the standings ahead of the European window.
Jones had a key role to play in Glasgow’s opening two tries. Cancelliere started and finished the first one, motoring up the right wing from his own half before slipping the ball round the back to Jones who passed it back to Cancelliere to score.
Stormers aren’t the URC champions for nothing and they responded quickly, their cause helped by a yellow card for Bean. The extra man helped at the lineout maul and hooker Joseph Dweba broke off and powered his way over, knocking George Horne and Kyle Steyn out the way. Manie Libbok converted.
It was fast and open and Glasgow soon regained the lead. Dempsey’s break gave them momentum and the ball was passed out the line to Jones who delayed the pass long enough to draw the defender before playing in Steyn for a try in the corner.
Bean returned from his 10-minute rest but Glasgow found themselves under extreme pressure. They repelled attack after attack before Stormers scrum-half Paul de Wet fizzed the ball out to Clayton Blommetjies and the full-back finished things off. Libbok missed the conversion but the visitors were 12-10 in front.
Jones was having a field day and got the try his performance deserved after 50 minutes. Steyn had made all the running and, when Glasgow recycled, Jordan played in Jones who stepped inside four or five Stormers for a superb score. George Horne converted.
It was compelling stuff and the visitors drew level as the game moved into its final quarter. Junior Pokomela had only been on the field for 10 minutes when he buried his way over from close range to make it 17-17.
Libbok, who was taking an age with his place kicking, was off target with the conversion attempt and then missed a penalty chance a couple of minutes later.
Glasgow had the scent of victory in their nostrils and spent the final minutes camped on the Stormers line, winning penalty after penalty and taking the scrum on each occasion. They looked to have blown it when Domingo Miotti threw a wild pass behind Steyn but Glasgow regrouped and when Sione Tuipulotu threaded threw a delicate kick for Cancelliere the ball sat up perfectly for the Argentine to score his second try. Miotti converted and Scotsoun was in ferment.
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