URC : Scarlets v Glasgow: Warriors streak back up to second in the table

Man-of-the-match Kyle Rowe leads the way with a hat-trick

Kyle Rowe scored a hat-trick for Glasgow Warriors against Scarlets. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Kyle Rowe scored a hat-trick for Glasgow Warriors against Scarlets. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

Scarlets 3

Glasgow Warriors 45

A KYLE ROWE hat-trick bookended this emphatic win on the road, which saw Glasgow Warriors stroll back up to second in the URC table. The visitors were vastly superior to their Welsh hosts in every facet of the game, with seven tries from a combination of opportunism, expansive back play and driving maul demonstrating their incisiveness in attack, while the fact that they conceded just three early points despite being so comprehensively ahead says a lot about the group’s uncompromising focus when without the ball.

“Defence is a very important part of the game and from a mentality perspective I thought we were very good tonight,” said head coach Franco Smith afterwards. “There’s a lot of belief amongst the squad but there is still a lot that has to happen in this season so we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.

“It is an opportunity to take some learnings from this into next week,” the South African added, as he began casting his gaze forward to next Friday’s European Champions Cup round of 16 clash against Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop. “It does feel like we have worked to a place where everybody is physically and mentally in the same place, which takes a lot of time and effort. The boys are putting their hand up for responsibility and there is a lot of competition for places, so if you lose one guy to injury then someone else will step up.”

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Scarlets were temporarily reduced to 14 men after just three minutes, when Tom Rogers got up late and took out Rowe in the air, and Warriors wasted no time in making that numerical advantage count, kicking to touch, spreading the ball first right and then back left again, before Rowe showed that he was feeling no lasting ill-effects from that earlier collision as he finished off the move.

The visitors didn’t manage to add to their points tally during that period with the extra man, and, in fact, Scarlets looked more dangerous during this spell, getting some reward for their positive play just after returning to full strength when a coruscating break from Tomi Lewis took play deep into the visitors’ 22, and Ioan Lloyd slotted the three points after Max Williamson was penalised for flailing around on the deck on the wrong side of a ruck.

With the penalties racking up against Scarlets, Warriors twice went to the corner looking to revive their happy habit of scoring off line-out mauls after a couple of quiet rounds on that front. On both those occasions they couldn’t make the required headway, and ended up moving the ball through the backs instead, but it was third time lucky on 26 minutes when Gregor Hiddleston – making his first URC start at hooker – finished off the drive, with Duncan Weir again converting.

Warriors dominated the remainder of the half, with their set-piece well on top, but there was no more scoring before the break.

However, the visitors wasted no time in getting the scoreboard ticking over at the start of the second half, when Scott Cummings charged down a clearance by Dan Jones – who was just off the bench at stand-off for Lloyd – and then flopped on the ball himself for try number three.

The bonus point should have been in the bag after 48 minutes, when George Horne took a quick tap on halfway and made good ground, before Rory Darge and Cummings carried the move on. But white line fever took over and instead of using the men lining-up unmarked in the wide channels, Horne ended up being penalised for a double (triple) movement as he tried to scramble over from the base of a ruck.

Warriors were dangerous every time they got their hands on the ball, asking questions with their running, kicking and driving play. It was a triple threat which eventually yielded the bonus-point score through a penalty try when Dan Jones was sent to the cooler for collapsing a line-out maul as it rumbled towards his own team’s line.

Scarlets picked up their third yellow-card of the match when Sam Lousi shoulder charged Horne late and with zero attempt to wrap his arms. It was a cheap shot and the second-row can count himself lucky that he didn’t see red.

Warriors exacted the best possible revenge, going to that line-out maul, with Matthews – off the bench for Hiddleston – claiming his 12th URC try of the season.

Rowe was next on the scoresheet, with the line-out maul sucking in the Scarlets defence, and a razor sharp miss-two pass from Stafford McDowall sending the winger over. On this occasion, Weir pushed his conversion to the right of the posts, which was his first failure off the tee of the match.

Rowe then scuttled over for his hat-trick, just a few seconds after being named player-of-the match, thanks to some excellent attacking play from the base of a scrum from Jamie Dobie and Tom Jordan. That took his try tally for the season cup to 10.


Teams –

Scarlets: I Nicholas; T Rogers (R Conbeer 42), J Davies, E James, T Lewis; I Lloyd (D Jones 41), K Hardy; W Jones (K Mathias 48), R Elias (S Evans 70), S Wainwright (H O’Connor 48), A Craig, S Lousi, T Leatherbarrow (C Tuipulotu 59), D Davis, V Fifita (M Jones, 75).

Glasgow Warriors: J McKay; S Cancelliere, S McDowall, T Jordan, K Rowe; D Weir ((D Munn 70), G Horne (J Dobie 62); N McBeth (A Dell, 48), G Hiddleston (J Matthews 48), Z Fagerson (L Sordoni 54), M Williamson (S Manjezi 48), S Cummings (G Brown 77), A Miller, R Darge (T Gordon 54), H Venter.

Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)


Scorers –

Scarlets: Pen: Lloyd.

Glasgow Warrirors: Tries: Rowe 3, Hiddleston, Cummings, Penalty Try, Matthews; Con: Weir 4.

Scoring sequence (Scotland first): 0-5; 0-7; 3-7; 3-12; 3-14 (h-t) 3-19; 3-21; 3-28; 3-33; 3-35; 3-40; 3-45.


Yellow cards –

Scarlets: Rogers (3 mins), Jones (53 mins), Lousi (62 mins)

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About David Barnes 3912 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.


  1. Some great displays against a poor Scarlets. Stafford and Tom Jordan had great touches in the centre and offer all kinds of threats. And Venter, who had a great carrying game, is growing into the role. So good to see some of the younger lads trusted to start too. Big step up on Friday though!
    But this Scarlets are sadly a long way from the side who won the league with the likes of Beirne, Barclay, Liam Williams, Patchell and DTH.

  2. Good win at a place we have lost more often than not in the past. Also good we stopped them scoring a try which is a great defensive effort. Thought the backs collectively looked the part and the 12/13 pairing is so well balanced and starting to look the part. Venter and Cummings had good games and of course Mathews adds to his try total. Next weekend might be tougher but if we could choose a team from the 16 we would like to play it would be Quins. If we win we play the winner of Bordeaux / Saracens that will be a tougher game but to reach the semi’s would be progress.

  3. Yeah whilst the opposition wasn’t up to much Glasgow were utterly clinical. Lots of 1st pick players missing and the guys that came in had a proper ‘just try to drop me’ attitude. Weir was magnificent helped by the excellent service from Horne and the whole backline purred with the ball and was belligerent without it. Williamson looks like the 2nd row Scotland has needed for years. Zander Fagerson has attracted a lot of criticism over the years, and rightly tbf but this season he has properly stepped up a gear. Absolutely had his man on toast…a Lion at that. All in all a huge contrast with how Scotland treated the 2nd half v a dire Welsh side that we were dominating. Honestly think it’s time to let Franco have the keys to Murrayfield so we can prep for next RWC.

    • Coaching a club / Warriors and a country / Scotland are two very different jobs. I think Franco Smith is enjoying building the Warriors and has only just started what he wants to achieve.

  4. Scarlets were terrible, A well coached, physical Glasgow were way too much for the hapless Welsh.
    Jordan, Venter, Rowe, Hiddlestone and Williamson all did well.
    With Dempsey Steyn amongst others to return next week – nothing to fear on Friday

  5. Team for Harlequins

    Josh McKay – Kyle Steyn – Stafford McDowall – Tom Jordan – Sebastian Canceliere – Duncan Weir – George Horne – Jack Dempsey – Rory Darge – Matt Fagerson – Scott Cummings – Max Williamson – Zander Fagerson – George Turner – Nathan McBeth

    Kyle Rowe – Jamie Dobie – Ally Miller – Henco Venter – Sintu Manjezi – Lucio Sordoni – Oli Kebble – Johnny Matthews

  6. Didn’t see the game but watched highlights. Thats a pretty impressive scoreline against a team that can be trickier than their league position suggests. Glasgow really have moved up a gear and when you think of the players missing its pretty impressive. A whole international centre pairing and back row unavailable – Id almost forgotten about Vallanu. I think Venter has been a good signing for these periods when you are stretched. Some good tries and good to see the Maul operating again. They are playing such a more exciting brand of rugby than Edinburgh even when missing a few and with Duncy at stand-off. I think Everrit needs to speak to Marco about how he is achieving this because he needs some help.

  7. A word of caution here, yes a good workmanlike performance against terribly poor opposition, that potentially made players standout,p. May I suggest in my pomp playing for the 3rd XV I might have looked half decent against the Scarlets who were terrible, a side who have little confidence.
    It’s a massive step up to play away against Harlequins, and this run out was hardly the best prep, that said you can only play what’s in front of you, and my goodness Glasgow took advantage so all credit to them, they kept there shape and played within themselves which is great to watch.
    I look forward to the lads upping there game to compete and hopefully wrest the win from Harlequins, they need to watch the Bath comeback to really get a feel how to beat them, what a mad game to watch.

  8. We left at least three tries out there…. Much more fluid than last week (weather much more kind as well!), and really pleased with the 80 minute performance right down to the last try. Thought that the work rate without the ball was excellent, eg the scramble by Cancelliere and MacKay after that glorious but only line break by the Scarlets. Williamson belies his years already, and Cummings seems to be continuing that edge he found again during the 6N, Venter has a great game, and Duncy rolled back the years with that outside break – long way to go yet with two very difficult matches away in SA being the games that will probably determine our final league position.

    Leinster looking so strong at the moment, as are the Bulls, and Munster lurking just below….. a tight run in.

    Anyone else see the parallel with the centres and 2015, where Dunbar and Bennet were the leagues best centre pairing, but spent the last couple of months injured and it was Vernon and Horne that more then filled the gap. Not suggesting that’s an indicator of forthcoming success, just noting how blessed we are in the centres and the fantastic job that MacDowall and Jordan are doing – both in great form, and I think I heard right that Stafford is now the only player in the league who has played all 80 minutes in every game?

    Quinns looked good for the first 50 yesterday, hope that Franco and the lads are having a chat with Finn.

  9. McBeth and Hiddleston looked good I felt and glad they are getting game time. Williamson in the row is getting better and better whilst Rowe was superb tonight. The first three should be taken on the summer tour, even if they don’t play they should get time with the squad to develop and push themselves to the next level


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