Scarlets 26 - 8 Glasgow Warriors: Scarlets leave Warriors red-faced
A minute or two after the end of the 80 minutes, the players huddled round near halfway with Peter Horne and Callum Gibbins laying down the law, to analyse what had gone wrong in a match where they had been blown away by the end.
This was a game where the European Champions Cup semi-finalists comfortably saw off the Pro14 form side, Glasgow’s scrum the starting point of the unravelling, kicks straight out of play and interceptions completing the job.
“We were disappointing,” admitted coach Dave Rennie, while also confirming he had not spoken to Wales about replacing Warren Gatland after 2019.
“I felt we were really conservative today, we kicked a lot of ball away, and while the second half was better, there were too many handling errors. When we had them under a bit of pressure we released it.
“It was a pretty flat performance. We are not looking for excuses – a few international boys coming back in after a couple of weeks off, we just were not as sharp as we needed to be.
“We get three more cracks at it so we need to be better. A six-day turnaround is good, the quicker we get out after that performance the better, we will make sure we make it better next week.”
Next Friday sees Glasgow entertain Connacht so they will expect to confirm top place then, after a stuttering performance when it took almost half an hour for the first points to be put on the board.
Finn Russell missed a long- range penalty, then hit the post with an easier effort, before Scarlets outside half Rhys Patchell got the first try, running straight through the middle of the Glasgow defence – bouncing off scrum-half Ali Price on this way.
Lee Halfpenny extended his side’s lead with a penalty and the power of the Scarlets and Wales front row also earned a scrum penalty in front of their posts as the clock ticked past 40 minutes after Glasgow had spurned three points and gone for the scrum. That decision was no doubt a talking point over half-time and a similar penalty just after the break resulted in three points from Peter Horne, who had replaced Russell after a frustrating first half.
Halfpenny slotted another three-pointer then came a decisive moment to bring back nightmares for any Scotland fan. A promising Six Nations start in Cardiff was ruined when scrum-half Gareth Davies intercepted opposite number Price near half way. He did the same again and had a broad smile on his face as he sprinted to the line.
Price departed for Henry Pyrgos and a half break from Horne allowed the replacement scrum half to sprint through for his side’s first try. Any glimmer of hope that provided did not last long and the Scarlets finished things off in style as Patchell added his second.