Saturday 17 March 2018

Glasgow get revenge over Leinster thanks to dominant first-half display

Niko Matawalu set up a try with a brilliant solo run
Niko Matawalu set up a try with a brilliant solo run

A scintillating first-half display saw Glasgow exact revenge on Leinster with a stunning 31-21 bonus-point win at Scotstoun.

Leinster inflicted a damaging defeat on the Warriors just two weeks ago in the European Champions Cup, but they had no answer as Glasgow maintained their winning start to the Guinness PRO14.

George Horne once again turned in an eye-catching performance with two tries, but it was the running of Niko Matawalu that really set the game alight while Nick Grigg touched down twice in a brilliant opening 24 minutes that saw the two sides score six tries between them.

However it was the visitors who started the game on the front foot before the Warriors had barely thrown a ball in anger, with Jordan Larmour dancing past several tackles before he was dragged down after gaining around 30 metres.

The ball eventually made its way to Jamison Gibson-Park, who produced a smart finish from the base of the ruck to touch down in front of a stunned and silent home crowd.

They were off their seats seconds later however as George Horne, who impressed so much on his first start last week, raced clear from the 22 metre line after Matawalu's offload and levelled the scores at seven apiece.

A poor kick from Glasgow gave their opponents the chance to put more pressure on and Rory O'Laughlin squeezed over from five yards out within moments of the restart, only to be pegged back once more as another mazy run from Matawalu resulted in Grigg barrelling over to make it 14-14 in a frantic opening 15 minutes.

Jordi Murphy was shown a yellow card for preventing George Horne from a quick tap and go, and they were made to pay as the scrum-half added his second of the night.

Unbelievably, the bonus point was wrapped up after just 24 minutes, and again Matawalu was the catalyst for a breathtaking try.

Receiving the ball deep in his own half, the winger raced clear displaying some dazzling footwork, and with the line beckoning, selflessly passed to Grigg who had to easy task of running in for a 28-14 lead before Murphy was allowed back on.

Peter Horne kicked a penalty before the action died down going into the break, and in the second half Glasgow's frailties up front were once again exposed as they were two weeks ago.

Scott Cummings, who was released from the Scotland squad to play, was sent to the bin before Ross Byrne touched down in the corner, but the Warriors showed good character to withstand a heavy barrage and limit the scoring.

Substitute Alex Dunbar was also shown yellow on his return from injury, but the hosts stood firm to claim a seventh consecutive domestic win.

Press Association

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