Cardiff Blues 10
Glasgow Warriors 19
FOUR valuable league points and an invaluable boost to confidence for Danny Wilson’s Warriors in Wales. Glasgow arrived at Rodney Parade – Blues’ temporary base – with just one win from six matches played in this PRO14 campaign, their worst start to a season in 15 years, but played with focus and control to claim a win which they will hope changes the trajectory of their season.
You could see the positive energy coursing through the away team during the final five minutes, and they head into next week’s home match against the Dragons with the wind at their backs.
“If I’m honest, I think we should have come away with more points,” said head coach Wilson afterwards. “I know that is probably a negative way to start – and I am chuffed with the win and the effort of the players – but I went in at half-time thinking: how come were not a couple of scores up for all that pressure?
“I thought the contact area was a plus, both sides of the ball, and we came away with what we needed after some tough games against the Irish provinces.
“There is some real strike players in that Cardiff team so we knew that if we didn’t convert pressure into points then they could hurt us with breakaway tries, and they did that one and had another disallowed, but we did enough to get the win.”
Jarrod Evans gave the hosts a third minute lead when fired the points home after Tom Gordon was penalised for getting himself caught on the wrong side of a ruck. Pete Horne had a chance to square it six minutes later when Blues openside Gwilym Bradley was called for a no-arms tackle on Aki Seiuli, but he hit the right post from wide on the left.
The Warriors stand-off was bang on the money, however, a few moments later with a ruck penalty from almost exactly the same spot.
Warriors had the best of the next 20 minutes, but it was the Blues who came closest to breaking the deadlock, first when Evans broke the line on an arcing run and fed Owen Lane but Tomos Williams couldn’t hold onto the pass inside, then when Lane caught Glasgow’s back-field napping to father William’s excellent kick and dashed over the line but on this occasion the TMO identified that Bradley had knocked the ball-on when securing a turnover at the start of the move.
Glasgow, meanwhile, asked a few questions with ball in hand but didn’t really threaten, although they did take the lead with six minutes left in the half when Horne fired home his second successful penalty of the match, which was just about fair reward for their control of possession and territory during the first 40-minutes. The hosts made 71 tackles during the first half, to 32 by the visitors, which is a stat which tells its own story.
It was a more entertaining game than the 3-6 score-line indicated at the break – although the breakdown was a bit of a lottery meaning that both teams struggled to find any real fluidity.
When Blues failed to deal with the restart for the second half, it looked like Glasgow were about to set up camp in the home team’s half again, but from turnover ball the Welshmen swept up-field – Lane’s pace on the right wing once again telling – and it was hooker Kristian Dacey who finished the move off.
But Warriors didn’t panic, and they built up a fair head of steam when Sean Kennedy, Ryan Wilson and then Kiran McDonald surged up the middle of the park, leading to a yellow-card for Bradley for a deliberate knock-on. Horne then stepped forward to pull it back to a one-point game with his third penalty of the night.
Further Blues indiscipline gifted Warriors the lead back, with a no arms tackle by replacement tight-head Keiron Assiratti on Wilson gifting Brandon Thomson – on for Horne – an easy three points.
And with 10 minutes left on the clock, Huw Jones – on the wing in place of namesake and man-of-the-match Lee Jones – delivered the killer blow when he was alive to Blues desperately and recklessly trying to get the ball wide, and swooped in for the intercept before trotting home unchallenged.
Cardiff Blues: M Morgan; O Lane, R Lee-Lo, B Thomas (M Grady 58), A Summerhill (H Amos 50); J Evans, T Williams; B Thyer (C Domachowski 34), K Dacey (E Lewis 58), D Arhip (K Assiratti 53), B Murphy (A Lawrence 64), R Thornton, J Ratti (S Moore 60), G Bradley, J Turnbull.
Glasgow Warriors: G Bryce; L Jones (H Jones 64), N Grigg, R Fergusson (H Jones 30-38), R Tagive; P Horne (B Thomson 58), S Kennedy; A Seiuli (A Allan 65), G Stewart, E Pieretto (D Rae 64), L Bean (T Ioane 58), K McDonald, R Harley, T Gordon (F Lokotui 64), R Wilson.
Referee: Frank Murphy
Cardiff: Try: Dacey; Con: Evans;Pen: Evans
Glasgow: Try: Jones; Con: Thomson;Pen: Horne 3, Thomson
Scoring sequence (Cardiff first): 3-0; 3-3; 3-6 (h-t) 8-6; 10-6; 10-9; 10-12; 10-17; 10-19.
Yellow cards –