Glasgow Warriors 30
by GAVIN HARPER
WARRIORS kept their ambitions of Champions Cup qualification alive with a hard-fought victory over Ospreys in an entertaining contest at Scotstoun tonight.
The win – secured thanks to tries from Lee Jones, Rufus McLean and Aki Seiuli, while Ross Thompson kicked the rest of the hosts’ points – leaves Glasgow seven points off Ospreys with a game in hand in the race for third place in Conference A of the PRO14.
They did it the hard way, though, coming from behind after a start described as “dismal” by head coach Danny Wilson, and scored all three tries in the second half before holding on for the win despite yellow cards in either half for Ollie Smith and TJ Ioane.
Wilson was pleased with how his side bounced back from a start that saw Morgan Morris score the game’s first try inside five minutes, before the visitors were awarded a penalty try with Smith also being sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on.
Ospreys led 12-0 at that stage, before a Ross Thompson penalty got Glasgow on the board, only for opposite number Luke Price to land a penalty of his own and restore the Welsh side’s cushion.
Two further penalties from Thompson cut the deficit to 15-9 at the interval, with Glasgow having weathered the early Ospreys storm.
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The second half began with the visitors in the ascendancy and they were nearly through again when captain Dan Evans broke the line, but his loose offload was gathered by Lee Jones, who sprinted clear of the Ospreys defence to score under the posts.
Thompson added the extras to hand Glasgow a single-point lead for the first time in the match.
The lead swapped hands throughout the third quarter – first Ospreys hit back as number eight Gareth Evans drove over following several pick and go efforts, and Price converted.
Then Glasgow hit back when Thompson’s lovely left-footed grubber found Rufus McLean and the wing went over for his second try in three games. Thompson made no mistake with the touchline conversion to once more give the hosts a one-point lead.
Price missed a long-range penalty attempt and thereafter Ospreys were on the wrong side of referee Sam Grove-White as they conceded back-to-back penalties, and Glasgow took full advantage when Aki Seiuli broke off a five-metre maul to score their third try. Thompson added the conversion to extend their lead to eight.
The yellow card for Ioane – the Samoan’s second in as many outings – for a side entry allowed Price to cut the gap and bring Ospreys within a converted try, but Glasgow held on to secure victory, but Ospreys’ losing bonus point means they remain marginally front-runners to clinch the final Champions Cup spot.
“After a dismal first 20, we showed great character to come back into the game for the other 60,” said Wilson. “We took our chances in that middle 40 and held on in those final 15 minutes.
“It’s great to get two wins in a row. We want to build on these results and carry the momentum into next weekend’s game away to Dragons.”
Glasgow Warriors: O Smith (I Keatley 69); R McLean, N Grigg (I Keatley 3-10), R Fergusson, L Jones; R Thompson, S Kennedy (J Dobie 49); A Seiuli (D Evans 70), G Stewart (J Matthews 49-57, 72), E Pieretto, J Scott (K McDonald 54), L Nakarawa, R Harley, T Gordon (Ioane 61), R Wilson (captain) (Ioane 39-40).
Ospreys: D Evans (captain); D Cross, O Watkin (T Thomas-Wheeler 65), J Hawkins, K Giles; L Price, R Morgan-Williams (S Venter 62); G Phillips (R Henry 17), I Phillips (D Lake 62), M Fia (T Botha 45), L Ashley (O Cracknell 62), R Davies, W Griffiths, M Morris, G Evans (S Cross 62).
Glasgow Warriors: Tries: Jones, McLean, Seiuli; Cons: Thompson 3; Pens: Thompson 3.
Ospreys: Tries: Morris, Penalty try, Evans. Cons: Price. Pens: Price 2.
Scoring sequence (Glasgow first): 0-5, 0-12, 3-12, 3-15, 6-15, 9-15 (h-t) 14-15, 16-15, 16-20, 16-22, 21-22, 23-22, 28-22, 30-22, 30-25.
Yellow cards –
Glasgow Warriors: Smith (13 mins), Ioane (71 mins).