London Scottish 19-38 Glasgow: Warriors on top

THE London Scots are aiming at a play off-place in England’s Championship but, despite fielding an experimental line-up and using the entire 11-man bench, Glasgow still had too much class for the Exiles.

Glasgow Warriors coach Gregor Townsend. Picture: Donald Macleod

The Warriors scored four unanswered tries in the first 40 minutes and added another couple after the break, but they had to withstand a spirited fightback from the London Jocks who scored three good tries after the break.

“We needed a work-out and we got one,” said Gregor Townsend after the final whistle. “We knew it would be a hard physical game, it’s a physical league, and we obviously allowed them back into the game in the second half by not keeping hold of the ball and not keeping our discipline.

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“There were aspects in the first half that we were really pleased with but we weren’t as accurate as we were last week so we’ll have to look at why that was the case. It was a really good conditioning game for us but we know we have things to work on for next week.”

The Warriors certainly didn’t get everything their own way and will be sporting the bruises to prove it. Still, when they were given quick ball to work off, the pace, speed and strength of the Glasgow backs was several notches above anything in the opposition ranks, even if the odd pass sailed harmlessly into the crowd.

If Townsend saw anything to cause concern it was probably the set scrum which occasionally struggled to subdue a sizeable Exiles’ pack. If honours were shared in the first half, the Exiles enjoyed the whip hand after the break, especially when veteran tighthead Ben Prescott, once on Glasgow’s books, added his prowess.

No.8 Adam Ashe showed up well, carrying the fight to Scottish at every opportunity and invariably breaking the gain line, while Leone Nakarawa had a whale of a time.

Glasgow eschewed kicks at goal as they piled on the early pressure. The opening score went to Peter Murchie following a lofted pass from Mark Bennett. The centre then grabbed a brace himself in the space of three minutes, before winger Lee Jones gave Glasgow a 24-0 lead at the break.

The London Jocks regrouped at half-time and came out fighting, dominating long periods of the second half and scoring three tries. The first went to Lee Millar after Prescott won an attacking penalty at the set scrum. That was the cue for Townsend to send for reinforcements with a raft of substitutes, and Glasgow got back into scoring mode when Niko Matawalu linked with Jerry Yanuyanutawa to send the big prop barrelling over from 25 yards.

Scottish should have scored an interception but Matt Williams cut in rather than back himself on the outside but the winger made amends later when he put Dan 
Newton over for the Exiles’ second try, and Mike Doneghan scored from a cross-field kick for their third.

Tommy Seymour was shown a yellow card late in the game for a late tackle, and Scottish almost got a fourth touchdown, but instead Rory Hughes scorched up the left wing and popped an inside pass to Murchie whose sixth try added some gloss to the final scoreline.