Glasgow v Stormers: Warriors make it six on the bounce in sensational style

A 78th minute try from Sebastian Cancelliere secures dramatic victory while Huw Jones is named man-of-the-match

Sebastian Cancelliere celebrates scoring Glasgow Warriors' winning try versus Stormers. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Sebastian Cancelliere celebrates scoring Glasgow Warriors' winning try versus Stormers. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

Glasgow Warriors 24

Stormers 17

DAVID BARNES @ Scotstoun

SEBASTIAN CANCELLIERE scored a dramatic 78th minute winner off a brilliant kick into the corner from Sione Tuipulotu, to secure the win and the bonus-point for Glasgow Warriors over last season’s URC title-winner, at the end of a pulsating contest at Scotstoun.

This victory extends Warriors’ winning streak to six matches in all competitions and lifts them to firth in the URC table. They’ll head to Perpignan for next weekend’s Challenge Cup clash full of confidence, although head coach Franco Smith was typically cautious as he assessed the landscape.

“It was an important step forward for us, especially the way we did it,” he said. “It was a good game of rugby and probably really enjoyable to watch for the supporters. We had to use every part of our skillset. We scrummed really well, we drove well, defended well, and used our kicking game well.


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Smith was particularly pleased with the composure and self-belief his team had shown when turning down a handful of kickable penalties during the final five minutes and opting to scrum instead. They got their reward when that led to Cancelliere’s late score.

“If we feel strong in an area, we go for it,” he said. “I felt it was a better decision than kicking at goal. If you kick at goal with seven minutes to go, you end up back defending in your half. You could then give away seven points and lose the game. Our execution can still improve. But it was the right thing to do and we got our rewards in the end.

“It was fantastic to see that we have the confidence now to take on the best teams in the competition in these areas. The guys stepped up to the plate again tonight. Our physicality and the way we went about our business. To take them on at the scrum at the end is a rewarding feeling.”

Glasgow took an eighth minute lead after weathering some early pressure. They wrested a Stormers maul into touch just yards from their own line, and then took a quick line-out for Tom Jordan to send a monstrous 70-yard clearance down the left tramlines, with the swing of momentum completed in sensational style when slick hands opened-up an opportunity on the right for Sebastian Cancelliere to score following a lovely exchange with Huw Jones, who was in 2017 vintage form and named man-of-the-match.

With Lewis Bean in the sin-bin for obstructing a Stormers tap penalty, Stormers hit back when they rumbled a line-out maul in-field before hooker Joseph Dweba rolled off the back muscled over the line, with Manie Libbock nailing the tricky conversion to give the visitors a two-point lead.

They might have been a man down, but Warriors were not in the mood to batten down the hatches for the next 10 minutes, and they snatched the lead back with another well-worked try which featured a fine line-break from Jack Dempsey, a speculative backhanded flip from Jordan which didn’t quite go as planned but bounced kindly, and slick hands from Ollie Smith and Jones to send Kyle Steyn home.

The pendulum then swung again and while Glasgow did well to keep the Stormers at bay for several minutes, the pressure – and penalties – kept mounting, as there was a sense of inevitability about the away team’s second try, which eventually arrived when scrum-half Paul de Wet sent a flat pass past the noses of Smith and Steyn to send Clayton Blommetjies over.

Stormers were beginning to dominate until some great work by Sione Vailanu over Dweba on the deck right in front of the home posts halted another relentless Stormers attack.

And it was Warriors who finished the first half on the attack when Sione Tuipulotu sent Jones clear off scrappy scrum ball on halfway, and the supporting Cancelliere nearly swept over in the corner – but the Argentinean couldn’t quite make it and his speculative pass inside was just beyond the reach of Tuipulotu.

 

Jones was making his first game at Scotstoun in two years after a spell playing down in England, and he was clearly in the mood to put on a show against the team which gave him his break in professional rugby. After getting assists for the first two tries, he got himself on the score sheet 10 minutes into the second half when he skipped inside three Stormers tacklers and darted over the line.

George Horne nailed the conversion and that proved crucial because when Stormers scored next through replacement flanker Junior Pokomela, and Libbock missed the conversion, it left the scores tied going into the final 10 minutes.

Libbock then missed a long-range penalty attempt which would have given his team the scoreboard edge they needed, before another coruscating break up the right touchline featuring Steyn and Cancelliere put Warriors on the front foot for the final five minutes.

With the Scotstoun stands reverberating to the familiar if hardly imaginative ‘Glasgow, Glasgow’ bellow which we have heard so little of in recent seasons, the team showed both composure and courage by thrice opting to scrum when awarded kickable penalties, and they then worked through several phases, and recovered from a wild pass by Domingo Miotti which forced the team ro back-pedal 20-yards, before Tuipulotu demonstrated both the vision and the technical expertise to angle an magical diagonal into the corner, which bounced perfectly for the onrushing Cancelliere to score amid jubilant scenes.

 

Teams –

Glasgow Warriors: O Smith: S Cancelliere, S Tuipulotu, H Jones, K Steyn; T Jordan (D Miotti 68), G Horne (A Price 63); J Bhatti (N McBeth 68), G Turner (F Brown 57-68), L Sordoni (S Berghan 57), L Bean, J Du Preez, M Fagerson, S Vailanu, J Dempsey.

Stormers: C Blommetjies; S Hartzenberg, D du Plessis, D Willemse, L Zas (A Davids 34); M Libbok, P de Wet (I Khan 73); S Kitshoff (B Harris 70), J Dweba (J Kotze 53), N Fouche (S Sandi 70), B Dixon (C Evans 61), M Orie, D Fourie (M Theunissen 66), W Engelbrecht (J Pokomela 52), H Dayimani.

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)

 

Scorers –

Glasgow: Trie: Cancelliere 2, Steyn, Jones; Con: Horne, Miotti.

Stormers: Try: Dweba, Blommetjies Pokonela; Con: Libbock.

Scoring sequence (Glasgow Warriors): 5-0; 5-5; 5-7; 10-7; 10-12 (h-t) 15-12; 17-12; 17-17; 22-17; 24-17.

 

Yellow cards –

Glasgow: Bean (12mins)


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About David Barnes 3179 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.

29 Comments

  1. Fantastic game of rugby. Franco has the Glasgow backs playing with some real intent, but it’s the grit and depth of their pack that is impressive. At least 3 regular match 23 props missing, Cummings injured, Gray rested (?) and no match fit 7. Despite no Darge, the back row is immense with Fagerson being relentless allowing Vailanu and Dempsey to punch serious holes in opposition defences and backing it up in defence with some massive hits. A good shift from Bean and we were wondering why that was the first 80 minute outing for Du Preez. Sardoni and Bhatti were relentless and a near full 80 for Turner. It’s so different from a year ago, where they were utterly passive.
    Doubt it will happen, but Tuipulotu and Jones should be the starting centres for Scotland. Sione has the full bag of tricks and Jones ability to terrify scrambling defences is invaluable. Doesn’t matter what number they have on their backs, they just seem to pop up in the right place at the right time.

  2. Lets hope Jones gets a run and a shot at the blue jersey – his try showed all his strength and power and Tuipulotu kicking for the last try was a revelation.
    I have to say I stand corrected I thought Smith was a very poor choice of coach but he’s been tremendous – on paper Edinburgh have a better squad but Glasgow look really good for top 8 and have potential for top 4.

  3. What a great advert for the URC. Tuipulotu is a shoe in for the Scotland side, he looks like a crash ball but has so much more with great distribution and a deft boot. I’ve no issues with Harris as the other centre as he’s rock solid but I’d start Jones as well. On their day Glasgow have to be the most exciting team to watch in the competition.

  4. I can say this with total honesty and sincerity – even if Warriors had lost that was one hell of a match and performance. Credit to both teams

  5. Great game. Tuipolotu getting better all the time and Jones was masterful. Horne picked over Price to start and justifiably. Townsend please note these 3.

  6. That was a belter of a game and I suspect I might be posting links to the YouTube replay to all my friends who missed it.
    When the South African teams joined the comeptition, I was worried our teams might roll over in the face of their occasioanlly brutal physicality, Glasgow more than matched it yesterday. It was a great team performance, with electrifying back play at times and it’s maybe better not to think about how different this fixture might have been last season.
    Credit to the coach, who had his team very well prepared, and I hope some head scratching for Townsend, as one or two are making themselves very hard to ignore.

  7. As exciting a match as I’ve seen this season, with the good guys for once on the right end of a very close result! Glasgow seem able to take on and beat all comers on their current form and even more encouragingly they grow stronger with every game under their new coach. He has put some real steel in their spine to complement that marauding home attack that just keeps charging at you over the artificial turf. Particularly impressive considering the absence of core internationals Richie Gray, Scott Cummings, Zander Fagerson and Rory Darge in the pack. Full marks to the Stormers’ coach for acknowledging that the Warriors deserved the win. It was a great contest that they might have edged had their goalkicker not been so poor. While Edinburgh are having a torrid time, the Glasgow boys are putting their hands up all over the pitch for Scotland caps. If Tupo and Huw Jones are overlooked in favour of Harris at centre, Townsend will yet again rob me of the will to live.

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    • .If Tupo and Huw Jones are overlooked in favour of Harris at centre, Townsend will yet again rob me of the will to live.
      DEFINITELY….ME TOO

  8. Perhaps the best game Glasgow have played for 3 years?
    And that was without Tom Jordan quite being at the level he has been at the last few weeks.
    The rest of the backs were faultless really.
    While the pack went toe to toe with an impressive Stormers unit for 80 minutes. Fantastic to see Du Preez, Bean, McBeth, and Berghan all playing their part.
    And as Pete D says, GT has a lot to think about in the centres…
    …Johnson and Harris? Redpath and Bennett? Tuipulotu and Jones?
    To be fair Chris Dean and Stafford McDowall are probably individually having their best seasons as well, and might have been considered for a call up to the squad in any other year…

  9. Edinburgh here again … that was some match, and great to see real skill on display from 1-5 on both sides.

    Looking at Glasgow’s run in, this really looks doable !!

    Away Dragons
    Home Ulster
    Home Zebre
    Away Munster
    Home Scarlets
    Home Connacht

    Top eight might just be doable for Edinburgh.

    • Theoretically top 8 might be possible but not if they don’t get their collective finger out.
      Sharks – home
      Scarlets – away
      Leinster – home
      Connaught – away
      Ospreys – home
      Ulster – away

      On the lighter side, I see Owen Farrell has been cited which may be interesting for the England v Scotland game. Citing panel all RFU guys and girls – it was a Premiership game incident – any betting on a two week ban?

      • You would like to think we should beat one or both of the Welsh teams (although Ospreys are coming onto a game) and if Ulster don’t sort themselves out, we might get a bonus away win at the end.

        However, I think an objective analysis would have Edinburgh as second favourites going into each of those games at the moment.

      • Agreeing with Garry’s thoughts, but I think the difficulty may be that it could be the Edinburgh 2nd XV for the first four of these games due to Scotland squad commitments. (Though there may be fewer taken by GT following the last few weeks.)

  10. Wow! Great game and well done Warriors, this was one of their best displays in the last year or two and classic Glasgow. You can tell when they’re really psyched for a match and they definitely were today. When the pack are in the mood, they’ve got a real hard edge and they really took it to a much vaunted Stormers up front. Both Sione’s great again and Tuipuluto was again the real fulcrum that the side operates round – more so than a pretty quiet Jordan at 10. Shuggy was obviously imperious beside him though but the whole team linked well forwards and backs. Hoping they can back this up away in Europe next week… Still early days but you get the feeling that this is a team on the up that could just be building into something special again.

  11. Fantastic match and brilliant performance from Glasgow. As an Edinburgh fan I’m delighted to see Glasgow playing like this. as its good for the game in Scotland. At the end of last season after the Leinster humiliation I feared for Glasgow this season but what a transformation and thats with a few key players missing as well. Tuipulotu has been transformed and was like 2 players with his newly developed kicking skills. Jones, Canciellere and Steyn all great in the backs with all the back row and Du Preez outstanding in the forwards. Seems Glasgows 2nd tier players have all advanced and the style of rugby is like the Glasgow of 5 or 6 years ago – running the ball from anywhere. Long may it continue.

    17
  12. Was v sceptical about Franco coming in but that was a marquee display reminiscent of the title winning vintage. Surely even GT can see it would be madness to pick Harris ahead of the likes of Jones Sione and Dean….?? Whole backline was purrin. So many union matches these days are turgid affairs but this was a great watch. The SA time wasters need to be punished more harshly tho. That was ludicrous.

  13. Turns out Franco Smith knows a thing or two about coaching!

    Glasgow can realistically aim at winning 5/6 remaining games if they keep this form up, so could enjoy a home quarter final. Keep it up lads!

  14. Marvellous stuff Glasgow.

    A great game, a great performance and so good to see a Scottish team carry the ball so aggressively and successfully so often. Dempsey, Fagerson and both Siones were imperious.

    Huw Jones – what can you say? Looks like he is back to his best.

  15. What a fantastic game and so good to see the players spending time with the kids afterwards
    It will be hard to ignore Huw Jones for the 6 nations next month after today’s performance – even GT must be impressed.

  16. Really good game from Glasgow and the Stormers, to stick in and get the late winner and get 6 in a row, was a great performance. They showed signs of being back to their old self. The forwards put in a great shift with Dempsey , Fagerson and Vailanu looking the part and Du Preez worth his start. The backs were really great I have been critical of Tuipulotu in the past but today he was great again , with that backwards run star of the show play. Jones it’s just so good to have him back with a great try from almost nothing. Cancelliere has been a great signing also and had a great game today also. The centres come the 6N is going to be interesting but it’s good to have so many good options, Harris , Redpath , Jones and Tuipulotu , nice for Townsend to have so much choice.

  17. With the renewed confidence and edge, I knew that we would compete today, but that was one of the most entertaining games that I’ve seen for many a year… and to close it out after almost blowing it, a 5pt win – superb… GT has a lot to think about re centre pairing as Sione and Shuggie were imperious today.

    16
  18. Really thought they had blown it, but enormous credit to the team whole team for not losing the head, believing in themselves and going for the win. Even the SA post match analysts were putting Warriors in the frame to win the whole thing.

    Such a difference from the awful match yesterday.

    14
    • Don’t know about winning the whole thing, but they are doing what Leicester had down to a fine art – peaking for the end of season playoffs. 2 cents Rugby has glasgow at 3rd in his power rankings (based on form) and can only see them going up after this.

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