Glasgow Warriors 33-14 Dragons: Story of the match as Jack Dempsey stars in bonus-point win

Glasgow Warriors got back on track with a 33-14 bonus-point win over Dragons at Scotstoun to reinvigorate their United Rugby Championship campaign.

Jack Dempsey celebrates scoring Glasgow Warriors' third try against Dragons at Scotstoun. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Jack Dempsey celebrates scoring Glasgow Warriors' third try against Dragons at Scotstoun. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Tries from Sione Tuipulotu, Kyle Steyn, Jack Dempsey, Ali Price and Johnny Matthews earned a deserved victory for the home side after back-to-back defeats by Leinster and Benetton.

Dempsey was outstanding for the Warriors and new full-back Josh McKay impressed on his long-awaited debut. Glasgow can now go into next week’s European Champions Cup game against La Rochelle in good heart.

Just as had happened at the Edinburgh v Benetton game 24 hours earlier, both teams took time to remember Siobhan Cattigan before kick-off and a minute’s silence was observed for the Scotland international who tragically passed away at the age of 26.

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The game was untidy in the early stages and Glasgow made heavy weather of the lineouts, squandering good positions by losing two on their own throw. But the home side were enjoying the lion’s share of possession and territory and took a deserved lead after ten minutes.

Tuipulotu, playing at inside centre this week, was the scorer after another fine kick to the corner by Ross Thompson. There was no mistake with the lineout this time, Richie Gray catching clean ball to create the platform. Price outfoxed the Dragons defence with a smart pass to Tuipulotu who muscled his way over. Thompson converted.

The second try was all down to Thompson’s invention and vision. A burst from debutant McKay had taken Glasgow close to the Dragons line and when the ball was recycled it went out to the stand-off. Thompson coolly turned to his side and found Steyn with a perfectly measured left-footed cross kick. Steyn, hugging the left touchline, gathered and trotted over for the try.

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Stand-off Ross Thompson produced a delightful cross-field kick to set up Glasgow Warriors' second try, for Kyle Steyn. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Dempsey was becoming more influential as the game wore on and a quick break and offload almost played in Price for a score. The scrum-half was halted on this occasion but Dempsey was not to be denied and a few minutes later he broke off the back of a scrum on the Dragons 22 and powered his way over. Thompson’s conversion stretched Glasgow’s lead to 19-0 at the interval.

Dragons had produced little of note in attack in the opening 40 but showed more intent in the early stages of the second half and Glasgow had to be resolute to keep them out. First Oli Kebble stopped Aaron Wainwright in his tracks and then McKay produced a try-saving tackle to deny Sam Davies after the fly-half’s chip and chase.

Dempsey’s all-action style was causing problems for the Dragons and his burst through the midfield set up Glasgow for the bonus-point try. The Welsh side struggled to get numbers back and as Warriors kept up the pressure Price was able to dummy and go over for the try his performance deserved.

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Dragons finally got on the scoreboard when hooker Ellis Shipp darted through after a period of sustained pressure. Davies converted but Glasgow came back and substitute hooker Johnny Matthews got their fifth try when he peeled off the back and rode a Dragons tackle.

Kyle Steyn runs in the try for Glasgow. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Mesake Doge, the sub prop, scored a second try for Dragons but it was all too late for the visitors.

Scorers: Glasgow Warriors: Tries: Tuipulotu, Steyn, Dempsey, Price, Matthews. Cons: Thompson 4.

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Dragons: Tries: Shipp, Doge. Cons: Davies 2.

Glasgow Warriors: Josh McKay (Nick Grigg 69); Sebastian Cancelliere, Kyle Steyn, Sione Tuipulotu, Cole Forbes; Ross Thompson (Domingo Miotti 72), Ali Price (Jamie Dobie 69); Oli Kebble (Nathan McBeth 66), George Turner (Johnny Matthews 54), Zander Fagerson (Murray McCallum 62), Rob Harley (Lewis Bean 60), Richie Gray, Ryan Wilson (Kiran McDonald 60), Rory Darge, Jack Dempsey.

Glasgow Warriors centre Sione Tuipulotu scores a first half try against Dragons. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Dragons: Jordan Williams (Josh Lewis 31); Jonah Holmes, Aneurin Owen, Jamie Roberts, Rio Dyer; Sam Davies, Dan Babos (Tavis Knoyle 46); Aki Seiuli (Josh Reynolds 60), Ellis Shipp (James Benjamin 66), Leon Brown (Mesake Doge 66), Will Rowlands, Joe Maksymiw (Joe Davies 60), Harri Keddie, Ollie Griffiths, Aaron Wainwright.

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Subs: Huw Taylor, Adam Warren.

Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU)

Attendance: 6,543.

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