Huw Jones grabs vital late try to earn Glasgow Warriors much-needed win over Cardiff
However it came, they will be grateful to have improved a Conference position which saw them level on points with Italians Zebre at the bottom before kick off.
Even without their internationals, the Scots would have expected better, but head coach Danny Wilson would have seen some signs that a better platform is being built.
The game was being played in Newport while Cardiff’s ground is being turned back into a rugby pitch having been used as a reserve hospital for the last few months.
The lack of crowds made the noise of the Glasgow celebrations all that much clearer as they celebrated each scrum and penalty to generate their own momentum.
In the end the match clincher was scored by replacement Huw Jones, but it was built on pressure and defence which meant the Blues could not get away.
While the Wales-England international down the road the day before had been more than a bit of a kickfest, this was a contest between two teams looking to keep the ball in hand with kicking as a reserve plan.
England coach Eddie Jones had blamed the extra kicking on the way the breakdown is refereed, and Irishman Frank Murphy seemed to have taken that to heart – some early ruck penalties showed he was also keen to see quick ball.
Naturally some of those penalties were in kickable positions so we saw an early exchange between Blues outside half Jarrod Evans and Glasgow opposite number Peter Horne.
Horne was also a threat with ball in hand, no doubt hoping to remind Scotland of his abilities while front line outside halves are injured.
The stalemate was almost broken following a Blues turnover, a kick ahead by scrum half Tomos Williams, an awkward bounce brilliantly collected by right wing Owen Lane who went clear for what seemed a try.
Unfortunately for him the move was called back for a knock on in the turnover and from that scrum Glasgow went on the attack and earned a penalty for Horne from 35 metres to take the lead.
That was enough to give Glasgow a slender lead at half-time, a 40 minutes which had promised more than it delivered.
However it was the Blues who struck first in the second half. Lane was a constant threat down the right and he broke free only to fall in contorting himself to regather a kick once clear of the defence.
However the Blues spread the ball to the other wing where hooker Kristian Dacey collected an inside pass from wing Aled Summerhill to go over. Evans converted.
Glasgow continued to be steady with lock Kiran MacDonald leading he way in the loose.
That pressure brought penalties for Horne and replacement Brandon Thomson as Glasgow retook the lead going into the final quarter.
That pressure told on the home team as they looked to run the ball from their own half in the final ten minutes, only for replacement wing Huw Jones to spot the interception opportunity and race over under the posts.
Scorers: Cardiff Blues: Pen – Evans. Try – Dacey. Con – Evans.
Glasgow Warriors: Pens – Horne (3), Thomson. Try – H Jones. Con – Thomson.
Cardiff Blues: M Morgan; O Lane, R Lee-Lo, B Thomas, A Summerhill; J Evans, T Williams; B Thyer, K Dacey (capt), D Arhip, B Murphy, R Thornton, J Ratti, G Bradley, J Turnbull. Replacements: E Lewis for Dacey 57, C Domachowski for Thyer 33, K Assiratti for Arhip 53, A Lawrence for Bradley 56, S Moore for Ratti 59, J Hill for Williams 72, M Grady for Thomas 57, H Amos for Summerhill 49.
Glasgow Warriors: G Bryce, L Jones, N Grigg, R Fergusson, R Tagive, P Horne, S Kennedy; A Seiuli, G Stewart, E Pieretto, L Bean, K McDonald, R Harley, T Gordon, R Wilson (CAPT).
Replacements: J Matthews not used, A Allan for Seiuli 61, D Rae for Pieretto 61, F Lokotui for Bean 56, TJ Ioane for Gordon 60, J Dobie for Grigg 72, B Thomson for Horne 59, H Jones for Fergusson 29-39, Jones 59.
Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU).
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