Worcester Warriors 22
Glasgow Warriors 27
HAMISH STUART @ Sixways
A PHONEY war between two sets of Warriors, but Glasgow clearly set their stall out with the penalty kicks at goal and would have been pleased to live up to that intent with the victory.
If you needed confirmation both sides were taking it seriously then it came in the seventh minute when Glasgow elected to take a penalty kick rather than going for the corner, Ross Thompson duly slotting the kick to take the lead.
Worcester are in the end game of their pre-season, starting their league programme earlier than the Scottish sides, but still this will have been a morale-boosting win for the visitors.
“Last week wasn’t about winning, it was about the first hit out and getting the lads playing some rugby, but tonight was about coming here to get an away win because our next game will be about winning away so we came here to do that,” said Glasgow coach Danny Wilson.
“There were a couple of sticky moments in the first half when they were attacking well and the whole game was very physical, but in the second half in particular some guys took their opportunities, so we have some headaches ahead of the first selection.
“It is a case of small stepping stones in pre-season, but getting everybody out there playing and no major injuries is good – but we won’t read too much into it.
“Still, when you set out your stall to play hard and get a win, not just giving people a game, then it is good to get a win and the players will get some confidence because of that.”
The home team were still without their Lions stars, for Scottish pair Rory Sutherland and Duhan van der Merwe will both report to training in their new English surroundings for the first time on Monday. It would have been nice for those players who were on display to appear in front of a healthy crowd after such a long gap, with the main stand at Sixways threequarters full.
Glasgow showed their serious side in the seventh minute, taking advantage of an opening period of pressure to kick a penalty through outside half Ross Jackson.
While Glasgow played effectively without breaking through, Worcester had more of a cutting edge, especially with centre Ollie Lawrence looking to build on his summer breakthrough with England.
He made the first try for scrum-half Willi Heinz, on his debut, with a neat pass, and then scored the second with a neat finish.
Despite their periods of pressure inside the 22, Glasgow’s opening try came from an interception by Rufus McLean. The fact a couple of Worcester defenders tried to chase him down just showed they had not seen the Glasgow right wing in full flight before.
The changes usual in such a game started at half-time and it was one of those who made an immediate impact for Worcester with scrum-half Will Chudley making the break for full-back Melani Nanai to score the try.
His appearance was shortlived as he was soon sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on. Glasgow lock Lewis Bean forced his way over from the resulting penalty to narrow the gap once again.
Former Worcester 10 Duncan Weir was another change for Glasgow and he put in a perfect cross kick for McLean to score his second try. There was a further declaration on intent when Weir added a penalty from 40 yards to put his side more than one score ahead.
The game moved to uncontested scrums with just five minutes to go in a move which might have been controversial in different circumstances, just when the Glasgow eight had got on top in that area.
Worcester replied a couple of minutes from the end when outside-half Billy Searle landed a penalty to get his side back in range, but the clock ran out on them with no further scores.
A few niggles but no serious injuries, centre Sam Johnson getting a full 80 minutes, all four half-backs looking sharp and the pack looking powerful, particularly in the second half – plenty for Glasgow to enjoy on the long bus trip back.
Worcester Warriors: M Nanai; N Heward, O Lawrence, F Venter, H Doel; O Williams, W Heinz; E Waller, S Baldwin, C Judge, M Garvey, J Clegg, T Hill, S Lewis, K Hatherell. Subs: N Annett, L Holsey, J Tyack, G Kitchener, J Scott, M Monks, C Montgomery, M Kvesic, W Chudley, B Searle, T Howe, A Beck, O Morris, P Humphreys, J Shillcock.
Glasgow Warriors: S McDowall, R McLean, S Tuipulotu, S Johnson, C Forbes; R Thompson, G Horne; J Matthews, T Lambert, S Berghan, L Bean, R Gray, S Cummings, R Darge, R Wilson. Subs: G Stewart, B Thyer, M Walker, M McCallum, R Harley, M Williamson, R Jackson, T Gordon, J Dempsey, J Dobie, D Weir, P Horne, N Grigg, O Smith, F Callaghan.
Scorers: Worcester: Tries: Heinz, Lawrence, Nanai. Cons: Williams 2. Pen: Searle.
Glasgow: Tries: McLean 2, Bean. Cons: Thompson 2, Weir. Pens: Thompson, Weir.
Scoring sequence: 0-3, 5-3, 7-3, 12-3, 14-3, 14-8, 14-10 half-time, 19-10, 19-15, 19-17, 19-22, 19-24, 19-27, 22-27.
Yellow card: Worcester: Chudley (49mins).
Referee: A Leal (RFU).
Attendance: 3, 751.