Glasgow Warriors v Dragons Match Report
Although a solid performance allowed the Gwent team to bring home a hard earned losing bonus point.
The Dragons last away victory in the PRO12 came in November 2013 against tonight’s opposition, this was the last time Glasgow were toppled at their Scotstoun home meaning that the Men of Gwent’s task would be no mean feat.
A marked improvement on recent performances saw the Dragons go into the break 9-6 to the good but a struggling scrum ensured that the final score read 19-15 to the home team.
The game began positively for the Dragons, gaining the first penalty opportunity of the evening after the home team were found to have entered the ruck at the side. Geraint Rhys Jones continued his fine kicking form of late and slotted the kick through the uprights to give the Dragons the lead.
The Warriors were presented with an opportunity of their own as the Dragons were guilty of conceding a copycat penalty from the kick off, Duncan Weir stepped up to restore Glasgow to a share of the lead, 3-3.
A spell of pressure from the Warriors followed, however, they could not capitalise as Sean Lamont knocked the ball on and the Dragons followed up with some continued pressure of their own. The Dragons were able to keep hold of possession and build the phases gaining a penalty within kicking distance for Jones to once again convert.
The Dragons were forced into a change at 6-3 with captain, Rynard Landman taking a knock and leaving the field as a precaution. The Dragons were able to bring on Wales international Andrew Coombs as his replacement to ensure the pack retained an element of experience.
The Dragons scrum, a source of satisfaction this season was beginning to crumble though, and a penalty awarded at scrum time meant that Weir was once again able to level the scores for Glasgow, 6 points apiece.
The Glasgow outfit were once again applying pressure in the Dragons half when some excellent defensive work from Ross Wardle and Lewis Evans earned a penalty at the ruck and allowed the Dragons to clear the ball down field. Now inside the Glasgow half the Dragons were the grateful recipients of another penalty with Geraint Rhys Jones once again adding a valuable 3 points to the scoreboard.
That completed the scoring for the first half but the whistle was not blown until another great bout of Dragons defence saw them hold out a series of Glasgow attacks, Richie Rees was sin binned in the closing moments but the Dragons held firm to go into the break at 9-6.
The Warriors began the second half with serious intent, capitalising on a loose pass from the Dragons as Matawalu hacked through for a footrace to dot the ball down. After reviewing the TMO the try was ruled out with Wardle showing real hunger to get back and prevent a Glasgow score, he did however concede a 5 metre scrum in taking the ball over his own line.
The Warriors dominance in the scrum came to the fore and the referee awarded a penalty try at the first instance when the Dragons pack splintered. Weir kicked the routine extras to put the Warriors ahead for the first time in the match at 13-9.
Glasgow were guilty all night of ill-discipline allowing the Dragons to stay in the game and this was the case once again as Geraint Rhys jones was given the chance to add another 3 points just two minutes later. Jones duly converted the chance leaving the Dragons one point behind at 13-12 with sin binned player Richie Rees returning to the field.
The Warriors began a period of dominance but were unable to convert dominance into tries as the Dragons continued to put in a real defensive shift with Glasgow settling for two Duncan Weir penalties to increase their lead to seven points, 19-12. The latter penalty was given for Richie Rees killing the ball, the experienced scrum half was now playing right on the edge and the decision was made to substitute him and introduce Jonathan Evans into the game.
As the clock ticked into the final ten minutes the Dragons were once again awarded a penalty and the success of Geraint Rhys Jones ensured that the Dragons hard work was rewarded. A final flurry from the Dragons saw them threaten the Glasgow line and with it a shock victory at Scotstoun, it was not to be though with Glasgow snaffling the ball away and putting the ball into touch. The final whistle was blown with the scores at 19-15 and the Dragons taking a hard earned losing bonus point in a game where all points, with the exception of the penalty try, were taking by the opposing kickers; each with 100% records.