Glasgow v Toulon: Warriors book their place in last 16 of Champions Cup

Huw Jones and Kyle Rowe dot down twice apiece with Josh McKay also getting across the line

Kyle Row scores the first of his two tries for Glasgow Warriors versus Toulon. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Kyle Row scores the first of his two tries for Glasgow Warriors versus Toulon. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

Glasgow Warriors 29

Toulon 5

DAVID BARNES @ Scotstoun

IT won’t be remembered as one of the great European nights for Glasgow Warriors, but they were good enough to see off a much-changed and under-strength Toulon outfit to book their place in the last 16 of the Champions Cup.

Franco Smith‘s side will finish fourth in Pool 3 if Munster manage to beat Northampton Saints at Thomond Park tomorrow [Saturday] evening, and third if the Irishmen come up short in that game. Either way, they face an away day in their first knock-out match on the weekend 5th-7th April, with the draw seeded based on pool rankings at the end of this weekend.

On a dreich night at Scotstoun, this game never really got going. It was pretty scrappy throughout. But five tries scored with only one against is testament to Warriors’ ability to stick to task and take their chances when they presented themselves.


Premiership preview for Saturday 20th January: runners, riders and verdict

Jamie Bhatti signs Glasgow Warriors contract extension

Scotland new boy Harry Paterson keeps feet on the ground despite rapid rise


The highlight of the opening exchanges was a great rip by Max Williamson, two minutes into his first start for Glasgow Warriors, which killed off a promising Toulon attack.

Mathieu Smaili had an opportunity to nudge Toulon into a ninth minute lead with a penalty awarded against Matt Fagerron for not rolling away after the tackle, but his effort from halfway and directly in front of the posts fell harmlessly short and to the left of the posts.

Then, for the second time in as many weeks, Warriors had a try chalked off in contentious circumstances, after Josh McKay ran from deep, burst through some heavy traffic in the middle of the park, stepped outside last man Gaël Drean and used his pace to touch down in the corner. The score was initially given by referee Matt Carley, but then TMO Ian Tempest suggested a review, and it was decided that both Scott Cummings and Lucio Sordoni had obstructed  potential tacklers near the start of his full-back’s long run to the line.

Scotstoun fell quiet again for a while after that, but at least on this occasion the decision did not have  any material effect on the outcome of the match.

Finally, on 21 minutes, Warriors got reward for their steadily increasing dominance when some slick hands and decoy running opened up a gap for Huw Jones to accelerate through, before releasing Kyle Rowe for the score with a neat one-handed pass out of contact.

Jones went from creator to finisher just after the half hour mark when he took advantage of his reunion with Sione  Tuipulotu in Glasgow’s midfield by running a trademark wicked line off his inside-centre to cut through score just to the left of the posts, which set up an easy conversion for George Horne.

 

Despite the deteriorating conditions and the seemingly hopelessness of their cause, Toulon reappeared as energised force at the start of the second half, and took advantage of some pretty lethargic Warriors defending to pick up their first and only points of the evening on 48 minutes when Gaël Drean dotted down on the right.

Warriors worked hard to up their intensity levels over the next 10 minutes, and although it took them a while to rediscover their attacking groove, the breakthrough finally came in when replacement hooker Johnny Matthews must have used every ounce of willpower he could muster to resist dipping his head a charging for the line from five yards out for what would have been his 11th Warriors try of the season in all competitions, and instead send a lovely delayed pass leftward to send McKay over instead.

And the bonus point was wrapped up on 63 minutes when slick hands from an overthrown Toulon line-out sent Jones over for his second try of the night on the right.

That just about killed off any lingering hope of a Toulon fightback, but, to their credit, the French side did not throw in the towel, and were unlucky not to add to their tally when the TMO found a reason to chalk of a try for former Edinburgh man Cornell du Preez, for becoming detached from the line-out maul which had just marched over the Warriors line.

Poor Euan Ferrie thought he had at last grabbed his first Warriors try, a week after his last-play score against Exeter Chiefs was chalked off amid much debate, but it wasn’t to be. This time the TMO was not required by referee Carley, who identified that the pass from Rowe which had put the replacement flanker clear was marginally forward.

Rowe went over for his second try of the contest in injury time, rounding off a comprehensive but not exactly inspiring win for Franco Smith‘s men.

 

Teams –

Glasgow Warriors: J McKay; K Steyn, H Jones (, S McDowall. 64), S Tuipulotu, K Rowe (B Afshar 72); T Jordan, G Horne; J Bhatti (O Kebble 52), G Turner (J Matthews 52), L Sordoni (Z Fagerson 52), M Williamson, S Cummings (A Samuel, 72), A Miller ( E Ferrie, 39), M Fagerson (H Venter 64), J Dempsey.

Toulon: A Luc; G Drean, S Tuicuvu, M Smaili (E Herve 41), G Villiere (M Rabut 33); J  Sinzelle, V Lobzhanidze (J Danglot 64); B Devaux (F Gonzalez 72), T Baubigny (J Singleton 64), E Setiano (K Brookes 48), S Rebbadj, A Warion (M Halagahu 58), J Coulon, M le Corvec (C du Preez 62), F Isa.

Referee: Matt Carley (England)

 

Scorers –

Glasgow Warriors: Tries: Rowe 2, Jones 2, McKay; Con: Horne 2.

Toulon: Tries: Drean.

Scoring sequence (Glasgow Warriors): 5-0; 10-0; 12-0 (12-5) 17-5; 22-5; 24-5; 29-5.

 

Attendance: 7,216


Premiership preview for Saturday 20th January: runners, riders and verdict

About David Barnes 3821 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

15 Comments

  1. Licking my lips looking forward to Finn, Tuipulotu, Jones with Redpath on the bench.

    I’d still go with VdM on one wing, but other wing and fullback up for grabs ….

  2. I think Glasgow has outdone itself this year, for every single Friday night without exception it has poured with rain, rain and more rain. Deacon Blue were right on the money with their first album title, but thankfully this is a rugby team worth turning out to watch in all weathers. The result was never seriously going to be in question, not even I suspect if Toulon had picked a full-strength team. They made the mistake of repeatedly kicking away possession, which is the worst thing you can possibly do with the Weegies. They will murder you with their attacking running from just about anywhere on the pitch. And it is relentless. Tuipolotu and Jones in tandem is no question one of the most dangerous centre combos in international rugby, but having been stuck on the wing these past few games Oor Huw needed a big one to put himself back front and centre of Gregor’s thoughts – and that is exactly what he delivered. Absolutely fantastic and easily worth his MOM award. Returning from injury just in time, Demspey played like a man possessed, Fagerson Junior got through a mountain of work – especially in the tackle – and while Johnny Matthews didn’t create choo-choo chaos from off the bench, I loved his long pass out to Kyle Rowe – an effort even Finn would have been proud of! What can the man not do? Train driver, creative maestro and sprinter par excellence with his bursts of speed out wide on the wing! Ashfar looks every inch the real deal. He passes with the speedy strength of a bullet and George Horne will find himself in a dogfight once Dobie gets back from injury. Three top nines – a thing to savour – and poor old Sean Kennedy may well will be picking up his P45, for he can’t compete in such exalted company.

    • 3 top 9s I hear you say, said an Edinburgh coach. I’ll phone Murrayfield and get one moved over here. Again. For the 3rd time. Its not in the Edinburgh coaching team job descriptions to find and develop top class 9s

      2
      1
  3. I thought Glasgow played well under difficult conditions. The defence was solid again. The scrum was mainly solid (our bomb squad had impact) but the line out misfired somewhat which we need to fix. Don’t know the numbers but the penalty count seemed reasonable too.

    I agree Franco is blooding the young players well and they continue to perform.

    I think TMO is getting out if hand re who is actually refereeing the game.

  4. With Dempsey and Steyn back this looked much more like Glasgow of old. Rotten conditions for rugby and I thought they did well despise that. Fair play to Toulon – limited, but played better than I thought they would for a scratch side.

    The youngsters continue to impress, which is really pleasing.

    I wonder if Cummings has done enough to start for Scotland. He looks in good form, and offers a better carrying option than Gray or Gilchrist. Hooker starting to be a concern, with Turner looking a bit out of sorts.

  5. The guys must be getting webbed feet they are playing so much in the rain. Joking aside that was a really good result against a team lying 5th in the top 14. I think we can say that you play Jones at 13 he is wasted on the wing. The Jones / Tuipulotu axis looked good last night and maybe settled the Cardiff starting line up. Good to have Steyn and Dempsey back with Dempsey putting in a great shift. I wonder how close Mathews is to starting in Cardiff his pass for McKay’s try was selfless. We are in the last 16 that’s progress.

  6. Miserable weather last night, so to handle and score the tries we did was ace. Took our while to get up to speed with the game, we seemed to be waiting for things to happen in first 20. Shuggie really put his hand up last night, and despite the Russell/Redpath link I can’t see GT not starting with Tui and Shuggie at 12 & 13 – then again with the tombola one never knows!

    Williamson was solid, and gotta feel for young Ferrie, having two consecutively chalked off…. Ashfar looked good again when he came on, think that Franco is our best to date regards managing the rotation to bring on the youngsters – most if not all look comfortable when on the park. Looking forward to seeing the squad perform in the two URC games during 6N.

    Also… bring on Cardiff, let’s just keep our powder dry and our own SRU media machine quiet for once! No need to give the opposition any motivation.

  7. I think Mr Barnes’ match report above is a little wide of the mark. He damns Warriors with faint praise. Notwithstanding a much changed opposition I thought that was a pretty efficient performance in awful conditions. Sorry David. Just saying.

  8. Ramblings, Matthews must start for Scotland. Huw Jones was magic last night, the centre partnership in Cardiff will be fascinating Jones or Redpath to partner Tuipulotu 🤔
    Kyle Rowe looks better and better.
    I’d maybe thought Dempsey would take a couple of weeks to get up to speed……WRONG.
    Again Glasgow looked well coached and confident, and played well on a filthy night. Real pity Josh McKay not SQ.

    12
    • McKay with a name like that must have some scottish highlander/islander heritage. Surprised he is not Scottish qualified.

      • BREAKING
        Storm Isha warnings latest
        Alec Baldwin indicted over fatal shooting
        Unmanned spacecraft lands on moon
        Killer dismembered neighbour’s body
        Missing teen found dead
        Hollywood star nearly dies on holiday
        Storm Isha warnings latest
        Alec Baldwin indicted over fatal shooting
        Unmanned spacecraft lands on moon
        Killer dismembered neighbour’s body
        Missing teen found dead
        Hollywood star nearly dies on holiday

        Rugby Union
        New Glasgow Warriors Kiwi Josh McKay quashes talk of Scotland cap
        Josh McKay sounds like someone who may have arrived in Scotland with an eye on pushing for international honours in the land of his forbears – but the 24-year-old New Zealander insists that was not a consideration in his decision to join Glasgow Warriors.
        By David Barnes
        Published 23rd Nov 2021, 22:00 GMT

        0:00
        /
        0:00

        Nasser: ‘Bazball’ England will need a…

        Quote from McKay when he joined

        “Five generations ago, my grandparents’ grandparents came across from Scotland, so there is a bit of heritage over here

      • BREAKING
        Storm Isha warnings latest
        Alec Baldwin indicted over fatal shooting
        Unmanned spacecraft lands on moon
        Killer dismembered neighbour’s body
        Missing teen found dead
        Hollywood star nearly dies on holiday
        Storm Isha warnings latest
        Alec Baldwin indicted over fatal shooting
        Unmanned spacecraft lands on moon
        Killer dismembered neighbour’s body
        Missing teen found dead
        Hollywood star nearly dies on holiday

        Rugby Union
        New Glasgow Warriors Kiwi Josh McKay quashes talk of Scotland cap
        Josh McKay sounds like someone who may have arrived in Scotland with an eye on pushing for international honours in the land of his forbears – but the 24-year-old New Zealander insists that was not a consideration in his decision to join Glasgow Warriors.
        By David Barnes
        Published 23rd Nov 2021, 22:00 GMT

        0:00
        /
        0:00

        Nasser: ‘Bazball’ England will need a…

        “Five generations ago, my grandparents’ grandparents came across from Scotland, so there is a bit of heritage over here

      • I’ve tried to post twice where McKay says he has scottish blood but it was his grandfather grandparents

  9. Two teams in the later stages of the European stage and both in the top 5 of their league 😊🐻

    18
    1

Comments are closed.